Locating Information in a Narrative: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Telling stories can be a form of art. You've probably heard people tell boring stories you couldn't wait to end, while other stories get you so involved you don't want them to end. In this lesson, you will learn the parts of a superb narrative.

Components of a Sophisticated Narrative

We trekked through the woods on our quads, venturing up steep hills, through narrow paths, and splashing through mud. Trembles rumbled through our bodies.

What a thrill climbing this steep, rocky hill.

''Yikes! A giant boulder'' I worried. ''How are we driving over this?''

With great speed we tried zooming over the rock.

''Oh no!'' I screamed.

A narrative is a story that is told or written accounting details to an event. What did you think of this one? Hopefully you found it catchy and felt like you wanted to keep reading.

Let's check out some other components that make narratives enjoyable to read. The chart outlines some of these components:


Parts to a Narrative
Parts to narratives


Narrator

Usually the narrator, or person who is telling the story, is directly involved in the story. They describe an event or major part of their life. Occasionally, the narrator is someone who is more separate from the events, and tells the story as though they're just watching them unfold.

Descriptive Details

Narratives should be descriptive so that the person reading or listening to the story can clearly imagine what's going on. You want people to feel like they're part of the story.

Events

The events in a narrative are typically told in chronological order. This means that you read or listen to the events in the order that they happened: first, in the middle, and at the end.

  • Flashbacks
    • If narrators want to get tricky, they can start off in the middle of a story. In this case, the narrator would have to include flashbacks, or events that occurred earlier.
    • The following phrases are hints that you might be hearing or reading a flashback: 'a while ago', 'in the past', 'before'.
  • Problem and solution
    • To make the story more engaging, narratives often have a problem with a solution.
    • Sometimes the title of a story hints of a problem.

Identifying the Parts of a Narrative

Let's try identifying the parts to narratives, starting with our story from the beginning about riding quads.

Narrator

The narrator in the story about riding quads is the person who wrote and experienced the events. The pronouns 'our', 'we', and 'I' show it was told in first person.

Descriptive Details

Here's a new narrative for us to consider:

Grandma Freshour and I baked the most scrumptious sugar cookies. We rolled out the sticky, tan dough and used metallic cookie cutters for a variety of shapes. After baking in the oven and filling the house with a delightful aroma, the cookies cooled. Sweet green, red, and white icing was used to coat the cookies. Finally, we decorated with multi-colored sprinkles.

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