ALEX Lesson Plan


Constructing Narratives: A Unit Plan for Taking Apart and Reconstructing Stories

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Kimberly Dunn
System: Pike County
School: Pike County High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 30020


Constructing Narratives: A Unit Plan for Taking Apart and Reconstructing Stories


This lesson is designed as a project-based unit plan that will take students through the narrative process from deconstruction to construction.  After initial discussion, students will use the Interactive Story Map feature at Read Write Think to deconstruct a short story.  Students will use pictures to put together a PowerPoint-based storyboard that other students will use to construct a story.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (6-8)
2. Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.
Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations
TC2 (6-8)
5. Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures
spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets
databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers
presentation software—slideshow
TC2 (6-8)
9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites
  • Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
  • Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying
    penalties—fines, incarceration
  • Citing sources of digital content
  • TC2 (6-8)
    11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
    Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases
    collecting—probeware, graphing calculators
    organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets
    evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility
    synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software
    ELA2015 (7)
    22. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. [W.7.3]
    a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. [W.7.3a]
    b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. [W.7.3b]
    c. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another. [W.7.3c]
    d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events. [W.7.3d]
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events. [W.7.3e]
    ELA2015 (7)
    23. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.7.4]
    ELA2015 (7)
    24. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three standards in the Language strand in Grades K-7.) [W.7.5]
    ELA2015 (7)
    25. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources. [W.7.6]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will be able to

    • Distinguish among different parts of a narrative
    • Communicate through various multimedia sources
    • Extend and develop narrative writing skills
    • Create connections between narrative stories and their own narrative writing

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Sample short stories

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Internet Access (incl.
    Presentation Software
    Word Processing Software
    Digital Camera
    Document Scanner


    Students will need to have basic knowledge of computers including presentation software. Students will need to have familiarity with narrative stories and basic writing skills (sentence and paragraph formation.) The teacher may have to conduct a tutorial on the appropriate programs to facilitate student learning


    As a whole class, fill out the first three columns of a K-W-L Chart to help students access their prior knowledge and misconceptions about narrative stories. Continue the discussion about narratives by asking leading questions such as why do we read stories and what are the things that happen in a story that make us interested in it. Introduce students to the CFQ's and how we will answer them. Students will be given a sample narrative prompt to write a narrative. Students will use the narrative rubric to evaluate their initial attempts at writing a narrative. Class discussion will facilitate discussion about what is wrong and what is right about the initial stories.

    Throughout the unit, students will use a blog through to respond to guiding questions. Students will also use the blog to reflect about what they are doing during the unit. Students may use the blogs to help self-assess as well as review other blogs to offer peer interaction and assessment.

    Students will be provided with examples of short stories. The whole class will read one short story together. As a whole class, fill out Story Map on the Read Write Think website. The Story Map helps students see how a story breaks down into its individual parts. After completing an appropriate amount of these as a whole class, students will work in pairs to read a story and complete the Story Map.

    Students will use a PowerPoint template to create a storyboard. Students must know the different parts of a story to complete the storyboard. For each part (setting: when and where, character: main and supporting, and parts of a narrative plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution), students will have to choose a picture that represents the idea of the story they have in mind. Students may use clipart, digital pictures, or create their own pictures to complete the project.

    Completed PowerPoint presentations will be assigned a number, and each student will draw a number. Students will use the PowerPoint presentation drawn to create a new story. Students will be able to share their narratives. Students will use their blogs to comment on how well they think the stories match up to their storyboards. Students may also use the blogs to reflect on whether or not the storyboard they created matches well with the story that was a true reflection of the story they envisioned - how well does the created story match the storyboard it was created from.

    Students will be presented with the original narrative prompt and directed to respond to it a second time. Students will be able to evaluate the original story versus the new story and may choose to reflect about the differences.


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    Assessment Strategies

    Students will use the KWL chart and Questioning steps to show what they already know about narratives in general. Students will respond to a narrative prompt and use the narrative rubric to see how well they did with their writing.
    Students will complete the Read Write Think Story Map student interactive to deconstruct stories and learn about the parts of a narrative.
    Students will use blogs to assess their own progress and assist in the progress of their peers.
    Students will use a presentation rubric to assess their PowerPoint-driven storyboards.
    Students will continue to use the Narrative Rubric to assess further examples of narratives


    Advanced students will be directed to create their PowerPoints using books that they have read, interpreting the books into pictorial format, including creating their own pictures (either via digital camera OR their own artistry, which can be scanned into digital format). Advanced students will also be encouraged to add more elements to their PowerPoints and to use higher-level vocabulary in their narratives. These options, especially creating their own pictures, should be available to all students.


    Students will lower abilities will have easy access to readily available graphics and can be paired or teamed with other students.

    Special needs students will have access to a collaborative/inclusion teacher who can assist with the various steps in the project and work one-on-one with these students as needed.

    ELL students can have access to a English-Spanish dictionary and/or online websites that will translate words as-needed. ELL students may get a modified PowerPoint template that has bilingual instructions and terms. ELL students may be paired or teamed with a peer tutor or get instructional support from the ELL specialist.


    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.