While I am a huge advocate of assigning writing to students at the beginning of the school year, middle school ELA and high school English teachers can assign narrative writing at any point in the year.
Teaching students about narrative writing and assigning a narrative writing project helps students work on their creativity, while also focusing on important literary elements. I explain to my students that just like the short stories that we read and analyze in class, they also need to create a setting that enhances the lot. Just like the short stories we read and analyze in class, they also need to fully develop the protagonist and antagonist. Once students see this connection, they become stronger readers and writers. To help with this concept, my narrative writing teaching unit helps walk students step-by-step throughout the process.
Here are 10 narrative writing prompts to consider using in your classroom.
Personal Narrative Prompts
When I choose one of these personal narrative writing prompts, since I teach high school, I also explain to my students that they most likely will be able to use some of what they’ve written for a college admissions essay or scholarship essay.
- Write about a time when you worked hard toward accomplishing a goal. Tell the story about the goal, why you set the goal, the steps you took to accomplish the goal, and how you felt once it was accomplished.
- Write about the accomplishment you are most proud of. In your narrative, explain your accomplishment, describe why you are most proud of it, and tell the story surrounding it.
- Write about a time when you experienced hardship or failure. In your narrative, elaborate on the hardship. Explain the events and your feelings surrounding the hardship or failure, and how you have grown from the experience.
- Write about your best childhood memory. In your narrative, tell the story of that memory.
- Write about an event from your past that has shaped the person who you are today. In your narrative, tell the story surrounding that event and explain its significance on who you are today.
Fictional Narrative Prompts
For these fictional narrative writing prompts, I like to provide my students with a start of the story and then see where they go with it. To ensure that students write a complete story, they will have a checklist of items they need to include. Also, in order to help students write better narratives, it is important to make sure you write better prompts for your students.
- The day started out like any other. However, as soon as I woke up, I quickly realized…
- Two characters explore an area in a field. During their explorations, they find a secret passage, a sort of tunnel to a new dimension. The characters step into the tunnel and are immediately transported to…
- Choose your favorite fictional character from any fairy tale or superhero story and write an alternate story for that character.
- The clock was tickly so slowly. It seemed as if time was moving backward and now forwards…
- Cautiously, she/he/they opened the door and stepped inside. There was no going back now…
Hopefully, with these writing prompts, your next narrative teaching unit will be a huge hit!