Have you ever listened to a child tell you a story that contains a million amazing ideas, but they don't quite fit together? Maybe you know adults with the same problem!
If our ideas are hard to follow, our audience will find it hard to enjoy the story. This is why it's important to structure our writing.
A well structured story:
As young writers become more confident, they can play with story structure (for example, by starting at the end). This can be a lot of fun! But it's still important to make sure all of the story elements are there, so that readers are never scrambling to fill in too many blanks.
How to help your child plan a well-structured story:
There are many ways you can do this, but here's one we use often!
Once they have their story idea, invite them to:
Then there is just one thing left to do: start writing the story!
Ria (Grade 3) used this prompt to a plan a story about her dog, Rex. Have a listen to her explaining her plan:
Ria turned her plan into a story by expanding her notes with details and descriptions. Read the finished story below!
Lockdown for Rex
Once upon a time, a one-year-old guard dog named Rex was on a walk to the park. When he arrived, his owners took off his leash and set him free. Rex ran happily to all his doggy friends. They played fetch, ran around and chased other.
When his owner looked at his watch, he told Rex it was time to go back home but Rex was not ready. He ran to the other side of the doggy court. His owner just left him alone and waited. Ten minutes later, Rex was a good boy and they went back home.
Because he was good, the next day Rex was allowed to drive his ownerâs toy car out into the streets. It was just the right size for him. Rex drove along the roads, cheerfully barking at people as they went past to say hello.
When he got home, Rex's owner told him some bad news. There was something called COVID-19. It was a virus that was very dangerous. Everyone except doctors and nurses had to be on lockdown, which meant no going to the park and no driving the toy car out into the streets for Rex.
Everyone in Rexâs family was sad, but not as sad as Rex. He had so much fun being outside and having fun with all the other dogs that he had to find a way to play, so each day he tried to escape but his owner always caught him..
âRex decided to stop escaping because he would just be found out. It was boring. He thought he should just do something else, like find a new hobby or just be naughty like he used to be. Rex went to get a drink and heard the woman who lived next door. âWhy did you do digging again and not stay in your cage?'' she yelled at her dog.
Rex suddenly remembered digging when he was young. His owner was not mad then, and it was fun! So he started to dig, using all his energy, and when he was tired he went back to his dog house to rest. When his owner found out the next day he started steaming from his ears, mouth and eyes!
Rex had to stay in his cage for the next two weeks and only go out for the toilet. Rex was sad and gloomy; he never wanted to dig ever again in his life.
The next month his owner brought a girl dog who was the same breed as Rex. Her name was Belinda. Two months later, Rex and Belinda had eight cute puppies.
When COVID19 stopped their owner kept all of the puppies because he liked having so many dogs in his house. Rex was a good dog but he never told the cute puppies off, so when the owner saw new holes in the garden he started a shop and sold some of the naughty dogs, but not Rex!
Where young writers (and some older ones) write.