3 Narrative Writing Mini-Lessons to Build Suspense

Teaching students to build suspense in their narrative writing often has even the most reluctant writers coming up with spooky tales to tell. If you really want to rekindle some writing excitement with your students, use the following three mini-lessons to teach your students to build suspense in a narrative story.

Here are my 3 favorite narrative writing mini-lessons that will have your students writing spooky Halloween stories that build suspense for their readers.

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3 Genres of Writing: Narrative, Creative Writing and Poetry

Stay in the know! Read to find out how you can stay supported with incorporating genres of writing into your classroom! Gain support with Narrative Writing, Creative Writing and Poetry!

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4 Activities to Support Creative Writing

During writer’s workshop, I do not deviate from the standards I am responsible for teaching. Here’s where my conflict arises: I want my young writers to experience writing in a fun, free, engaging and enjoyable way; I want them to let loose, relax, smile, and laugh! I will describe four activities I always have available for my students to help them tap into their creative side.

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Narrative Writing Mini-Lesson: Narrow Focus

A HUGE mistake I see many Elementary writers make is trying to write a story about a topic that’s too broad. Instead of focusing on a small slice or seed of the story, they try to cover EVERYTHING that happened from when they woke up to when they went to bed. Here is a mini-lesson that will help your students narrow their focus to a specific event.

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Interactive Writing Notebooks: Creating a "Space-Saving" Reference Section

Including a reference section in student writing notebooks is essential! Read to learn more about ways to set up the resource reference section and to gain suggestions on types of resources to include. Students will become more independent writers when writing skills and strategies are at their fingertips!

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Get Started With Writing Warm-Ups

Looking to improve students attitudes toward writing? I will show you how to get started with writing warm-ups in your elementary classroom.

When it comes to writing instruction, one of your main goals is to help your students become better writers. However, this is not always an easy task. Many of your students have negative feelings toward writing. They may struggle to come up with ideas, or freeze when they don’t know how to spell a word. Many kids look at a blank piece of paper and feel overwhelmed and intimidated. 

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Help Your Students A.C.E. Response to Text Writing

In order for students to learn to effectively write responses to text, we must teach them how to cite evidence and explain it. Here is an easy formula to teach students how to write an effective response to text. 

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Public Service Announcements: A How-To Guide for Teachers

One of the ways I like to give my students voice to share their opinions is to have them create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about something they are passionate about.

Even though Public Service Announcements usually don’t require a lot of script writing, they do require students to tell a persuasive story. PSAs are often visual stories that provide information to an audience, evoke an emotion, and often have a call to action.

 
 
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Student Collaboration Strategies for Writing Workshop

When the classroom expectation is that students will be collaborating about their writing and sharing what they wrote with others, they begin to take ownership in their written pieces. Learning how to effectively collaborate is a skill that must be explicitly taught, practiced, and then practiced some more!

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Writing Engaging Leads for Narrative Writing

Grabbing and holding the reader's’ attention is what makes or breaks a story. I don’t know any teachers who get excited to read 30 narratives that begin with the same boring opener. I have taught 2nd - 6th grade and I expect more from my students. The lead is an important element of the story and should take effort and thought.

Let me share some ideas with you about how you can get your kids to write a better hook than, “Do you like dogs? I do. Let me tell you about my dog, Frank.”

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Descriptive Writing Lesson - A Winter Setting

Winter Descriptive Writing

One area of narrative writing that my students continue to need practice is with elaborating details. When my students write to tell a story, they generally want to get the information out in the shortest way possible. Getting them to stop the story and elaborate on details is often a challenge. Adding descriptive details is a learned skill in which students need to be given support and lots of practice.

One area of student writing that often gets overlooked is describing the setting of a story. I really enjoy helping my students practice this skill. When given a little structure and support, students can transform their writing. By describing the setting in elaborate detail, the students learn to set the stage and help draw the reader into their story.

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