Think, Then Write Volume 4: a Narrative Writing Program, scripted and structured to teach students of different abilities to understand, think about, tell, and then write stories. It includes evidence-based scaffolds, models, visual prompts, and ideas to teach and practice the “story grammar” needed to write true narratives.
Humans are wired to tell stories. But some students struggle to understand, narrate, or write stories, including many students with developmental language and other learning disorders, and some children who are learning English as a second language.
This no-prep 127-page resource is designed to support students to learn the fundamentals of story-telling and writing, with idea prompts (including settings, archetypal characters, kick-off event suggestions, and obstacle options) to enable students to make up an almost unlimited number of stories. To help students understand, tell and write their own stories we start with an evidence-based recipe to teach students the classic “macrostructure” of good stories (see first thumbnail).
We then model story-telling explicitly with an example, before breaking the narrative into its structural elements so that students can see how it’s done.
Many students with writing difficulties (including many students with language and learning delays) struggle with some of the jargon academics use when discussing stories – orientation, complication, etc.
We’ve replaced the jargon with plain English words and visual support to help students to understand the elements of a good story.
To keep things simple and focused, and to reduce preparation time, we’ve broken the resource into 10 modules, to enable students to practice story making and writing using different combinations of stimulus items. The modules can be printed or displayed on digital devices to save paper.
- Module 1: Introduction and Model Story
- Module 2: Model Story Analysis
- Module 3: Make your own story A
- Module 4: Make your own story B
- Module 5: Make your own story C
- Module 6: Make your own story D
- Module 7: Make your own story E
- Module 8: Make your own story F
- Module 9: Make your own story G
- Module 10: Advanced module – The Hero’s Journey
Fundamentally, this resource is all about learning by doing. Many children (and adults) fear the blank page. So we have included lots of story building elements and suggestions to get (and keep) going.
Suitable for one-to-one, small group and whole class work, this resource is a versatile tool for oral and written language, for students of all ages.
We use this program in our busy clinic, and think that it makes a useful addition to every teacher and therapist’s narrative writing toolbox.
Note: This resource replaces and supersedes our popular Master Story Wizard, and has been expanded to make it easier to use to support learner story writers. It incorporates helpful feedback from clients, teachers and other speech pathologists and includes a module with an advanced framework based on The Hero’s Journey Model by Christopher Vogler.
Looking for additional structured writing resources?
If you haven’t done so already, please check out other volumes in the Think, Then Write Program:
- Think, Then Write Foundations: writing simple and compound sentences
- Think, Then Write Volume 1: writing compound and complex sentences that require verbal reasoning
- Think, Then Write Volume 2: writing paragraphs
- Think, Then Write Volume 3: writing transitions and short reports expressing a personal opinion
- Think, Then Write Volume 5: short reports arguing a case/seeking to persuade
In early 2022, we will publish Think, Then Write Volume 6: writing short responses to exam questions containing academic verbs.