What is a Narrative?
§ When you take the Grade 5 Writing
Assessment, one type of prompt you could
receive is a narrative prompt. These prompts
have certain signal words and phrases like
“write a short story about….” or “write about
your experience.” The prompt will ask for you
to write about a real experience or one from
§ Remember to use the checklist you are given.
Qualities of a Narrative
§ Is lively and imaginative
§ Has vivid descriptions of people, places, and
§ Includes setting, characters, a plot with conflict,
and a solution
§ Has a beginning, a middle, and an end
§ Can include story elements like foreshadowing,
flash back, dialogue, and suspense
§ Includes precise language to tell what happens
§ Contains logical organization, a variety of correct
sentences, and proper grammar and mechanics.
Grabbing the Reader
§ Start your story in a way that will make your reader
want to keep reading.
§ Sometimes a sentence or question at the start will
make the reader want to find out more.
§ Which example is the best?
§ Example 1: Once there was a little girl who was
sad because she was poor, so she dreamed about
a better life.
§ Example 2: Dreams are all some people
have…one sad, poor girl knew this, so she
dreamed so hard that someone listened.
§ The first example is pretty boring. It simply tells
that the story will be of a poor girl who dreams of a
better life. The second example is written in a way
that makes the reader curious.
Ways to Grab the Reader
Ask a question that makes the Have you ever done something
reader want to know what you’re just because someone told you
talking about. not to?
Begin with an uncommon trait of Alex had always been curious
your main character. about clocks, so he took all of
Start with an action that makes When the invitation arrived in the
the reader wonder why it mail, I threw it in the trash right
§ The setting is the time and place a story takes place.
§ A personal narrative takes place sometime in your life. An
imaginative story can take place anytime, including the
§ When you write, you need to provide clues about when and
where the story is happening.
§ You should use precise and vivid words to describe the
setting in detail.
§ Which is the best example?
§ Example 1: I was sitting in my very messy bedroom.
§ Example 2: I sat on the only clean patch of the floor in my
bedroom. Around me were dirty clothes, papers from
school, half eaten candy bars, and games with missing
§ Be sure to include characters.
§ Tell the reader important things about the
§ This might include what they look like
and how they act.
§ A story needs an interesting plot
§ There should be an introduction in which we
learn a little about the characters and setting.
§ Then, the action builds, and we learn about the
§ The action builds to a climax.
§ After that we see the resolution when
everything is solved.