Kids in the elementary school phase are probably the easiest to mold. Personally, physically and psychologically. They are in an age where they're not sure of everything they do and hence are on the constant lookout for advice from people who do know. Teaching kids in this age how to write, and how to write well, is one of the most imperative and challenging jobs for teachers and parents. There are distractions present in every form, threatening to take the child's interest away from writing.
Hence, it becomes even more important and even more challenging to imbibe the quality of good writing into the child. The best way to get a child to write, is to make the writing about him or her. Narrative writing is one such form of writing, which helps the child to write what he feels, how he feels it. This Penlighten article will focus on elementary narrative writing and how you can help students improve.
Narrative Writing for Elementary Students
As mentioned above, the best way to get a child involved in writing, is to make whatever he or she is writing, about him or her. Narrative writing is a form of writing that does not require the writer to conduct any kind of background research. All it requires is a thorough knowledge of what he's going to be describing in his or her piece, mainly something related to him or her. It is a detailed account of the particular topic from the point of view of the writer, in this case, elementary students. So, let us see what are the basic areas that you can cover when you ask your elementary students to write something for you.
Events, Experiences and Happenings
Everything has to be about the writer in narrative writing. And what better way to get a child to narrate a story, than asking him or her to recount an experience that he or she. You can ask children to elaborate on a particular event that took place in their life. You could also ask them to write about something that did not happen to them, but affected them in some way. You can encourage them to write about things that they think could have happened, because of some experience that they had or even ask them to write a descriptive piece on an outside event from their point of view. This way, you get to know in what lines they are thinking and also get a fair idea of their language and grammar skills.
Objects: Their Past and Their Future
Another good way to get students to open up their minds and exercise their gray cells is to get them to write about things that they see around them everyday. Take everyday objects and ask the kids to come up with stories about the past and the future of these objects. Ask them to either find out about the history of the objects and write about them, or it could be a creative exercise, wherein they make up a fictitious past and future for the object. It will definitely help their creativity and also help them better their descriptive skills.
Places and People
People get influenced by people. And there's no better writing prompt for kids in elementary school than the different people in their lives. Writing about people from their family is something that they will do with a lot of enthusiasm. This is because they know them so well and they know that whatever they write will not only be true, but there will be no chance for error. This will build up confidence in themselves to write about people they don't know too. Places are another great way to get children to write better. Ask them to write about the different places that they've been to, and you'll be amazed at the level of observation that even elementary kids have.
Dream, Imagination and Fantasy
Children tend to have a very vivid imagination, especially at the elementary school level. They're learning new exciting things everyday and this makes their brain go into overdrive. Try to get them to hone this imagination into a creative form, by writing about it. Give them a fairly broad topic like say, sea creatures or a fantasy land, and ask them to use their creativity and imagination to write about it from a very fantastical point of view. Nothing has to be real. Nothing needs to make sense. Just let them write whatever they want, as if they're narrating a story and compliment them on their attempts. Not only will they enjoy it, but they'll also be more open towards learning how to improve on something that they know they're good at.
Narrative writing at any level is a very creative form of writing and hence, requires to be properly taught and understood. Elementary narrative writing may seem childish and basic at that phase, but it is the stepping stone towards advanced narrative writing. So, make sure you hone their skills and help them to identify with the narrator within them.