Two weeks ago, I wrote about simplifying the narrative writing process in order to provide clarity, especially for the students who find obstacles along their story paths. While I explained and elaborated in that post, much of what I wrote boiled down to the blue chart with the yellow post-its. (By the way, I’ve been loving making charts on different colored paper and putting those on bulletin boards in classrooms. That way, we can direct students to the blue chart, or the orange chart, or the…)
In the classroom, we placed the chart above next to the chart below, because once students know their beginnings, middles, and ends, can say what their stories are really about, make plans, and identify their important parts, they are not only ready to draft, but also ready to use development techniques to stretch out those important parts and bring their stories to life.
This green chart led into the following gray chart since students needed some clarity on how to develop stories. While some of the students needed more explanation, for many of them it was enough to teach them that they can blend talk, description, action, and thinking in order to bring their work to life.
We had some drill down strategy lessons, such as how to use dialogue effectively, as well as how to incorporate inner thinking.
What was true for almost every student was that they could use these charts to identify what they were working on, how they were working on it, and whether or not they needed instruction of some sort of help.