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Don’t Tell, Show Activity: Beginning writers are more likely to tell readers how a character is feeling, rather than showing them. W.4.3d – Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. This writing worksheet gives students practice with showing and not telling. Rather than just telling how a character feels, students should have the characters perform actions that imply the told feeling. W.4.3 – Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. Before you begin writing, teach your fourth graders the definition of a narrative, which is a story.
Read some examples of narrative writing with your fourth-grade students.
The book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst is one classic example of a narrative story.
W.8.3c – Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
W.8.3d – Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
Start with brainstorming and ask students to answer the questions about what happened, where and when it occurred, and who else was present.
Fourth graders can jot down ideas for the beginning, middle and end of their stories, followed by writing the complete narrative based on their notes.
You can also allow students to get creative and write fictional narratives.
Similar to writing a personal narrative, start with brainstorming ideas for a character and situations that person might get into.
W.8.3e – Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
W.9-10.3a – Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.