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Elmsprings 02-25-2020 03:23 PM

Narrative writing 4th grade
When writing a narrative with 4th graders:
What steps do you teach? Do you use a planning organizer?
I haven't taught this before--and I don't feel confident.
Do you have students indent every time that a new person speaks?

I greatly appreciate any advice!!

all41 02-25-2020 07:01 PM

Yes, I do use an organizer. It helps the students get their thoughts, ideas, and sequence of events down without the task of writing complete sentences right away - it breaks the tasks down into smaller, more manageable sections and doesn't feel overwhelming.

Yes, I do teach that we need to start a new paragraph for each new speaker. This is tough because the students always want to start out with a lot of 6-8 word sentence/paragraphs. It drives me crazy but the students feel really good about learning and practicing this new skill. I secretly think they like pushing enter and tab on the keyboard, but they do know that a new speaker means a new paragraph because of it. After they really get this rule we look at ways to improve our writing with descriptive words and adding other information in addition to the spoken words in that paragraph. We look at the string of short, single sentence paragraphs of spoken dialogue and evaluate what is missing such as what is happening around the characters or what they are doing. I use mentor text to help demonstrate this. This text could be whatever we are reading at the time such as their AR Library books, a story from our basal reader, a novel we are reading together, or even a picture book.

It takes time but I find these steps work for me, but each teacher has a different style and each group of kids are different in the way they learn.

Linda/OH 02-26-2020 02:51 AM

I ditto everything all41 said. Writing dialogue can be tricky. With our first personal narrative, we don't use it. We write a second one with conversation/dialogue.

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