Photo by Labor2008
How can we incorporate the tools authors use when writing fiction to improve students’ personal narratives?
Begin With Conflict
Students writing a personal narrative might not realize that conflict is essential even in a true story – and it doesn’t have to mean two guys fighting! Explore different types of conflict to get them thinking about how conflict will fuel their narrative:
- Character vs character
- Character vs society
- Character vs nature
- Character vs self
Perhaps the conflict is dealing with unjust rules at school, self-doubt when trying something new, or struggling against nature during a camping trip.
Include A Theme
Ask students to wrap their events in a literary theme such as:
- The Quest
- Coming of Age
Imagine a typical “first day at a new school” personal narrative refocused using an “alienation” theme.
The “I did something wrong and had to tell my parents” tale takes on a new dimension when a student knows about “redemption.”
An “I went on a vacation” narrative gains new meaning when told as a “quest.”
Structure The Events
Then, using a high-quality plot structure, students will shape their events to enhance the theme.
No more “then we did this, then we did this, then we went home.” By applying a five act plot structure, students use an exposition and denouement to highlight their own change throughout the story.
Get creative ideas in your inbox.
I'll send you one or two emails a month to help you better understand and differentiate for gifted students.Get free resources now!