Description v. Story

Whenever I have my middle schoolers write a narrative, I often wind up with a slew of first drafts that are nothing more than a description of a fun vacation, their favorite teacher, a mean kid at school, or a memorable class trip. These aren’t stories, but rather itineraries or lists. Many might include awesome similes and descriptive language, but at the end of page, they have nothing more than a detailed description.

I want to kids to understand that a personal narrative should be a story. To help them see the difference, I use this anchor chart and mentor text to explain that their piece should have a take-away message (or theme) for their readers to connect with. By seeing how the author of the mentor piece revises their description to make it a story, young writers are able to go back into their writing and make similar changes.

This download is for your classroom. Please do not post online. Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system, or for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden. Please have other teachers download their own copy.

Narratives should tell a story, not just give a description.

Description v. Story

Help your students make purposeful and effective revisions to their narrative writing.

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