Narrative Writing Unit: Grades 7-12

Cult of Pedagogy
Grade Levels
7th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
250 pages
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Cult of Pedagogy


This unit will take you and your students through the process of planning, drafting, revising, and polishing a narrative piece. These resources will work for personal narratives or fictional short stories, because the skills needed for both forms are the same.

The first few days are structured, whole-class lessons. After that, the class moves into a series of writer’s workshop days as students complete mini-lessons and work on developing their own stories.

NEW REMOTE TEACHING SUPPLEMENT: If you are teaching this unit remotely, I have put together a document that explains the work-arounds you'll need to use HERE.




Unit Plan:

Detailed lesson plans guide you through 15 days of instruction on the craft of narrative writing.


Each mini-lesson walks the writer through a specific aspect of narrative writing craft. The lessons come as PowerPoint slideshows (compatible with Google Slides) that you can deliver as teacher-led lessons, and PDFs, which can be given to students who miss the “live” lesson, to those who want to work ahead, or to everyone as a reference for later.

Mini-Lesson Topics:

✔ The Story Arc

✔ Pacing

✔ Modes Of Storytelling

✔ Exposition

✔ Dialogue

✔ Description

✔ Interior Monologue

✔ Transitions

✔ The Opening

✔ The Ending

✔ The Title

✔ Word Choice

✔ Sentence Variety

✔ Revision & Peer Review


A fully editable rubric is provided in two different styles with criteria adapted from the Common Core ELA standards for narrative writing.

Supplementary Materials:

Some of the early lessons also include interactive activities and hands-on tasks to help students understand key concepts. Printable materials are included for these activities.

Sample Narrative:

An original sample narrative is included as a mentor text, to give students a clear example of what a finished narrative piece looks like. All mini-lessons are built around examples from this sample.

Teaching Guide:

Along with the mini-lessons and the detailed lesson plans, the Teaching Guide also includes helpful tips for implementing the unit, including how to differentiate, how to customize the unit for your own course, and other advice for making the unit go smoothly. A list of Common Core standards aligned with this unit is also included for grades 7-12.


Is this REALLY for Grades 7-12?


This unit teaches skills that can be practiced and refined year after year. For younger students or those who struggle academically, the unit can be simplified by cutting out some of the mini-lessons that teach more advanced skills. Because the mini-lessons also come in PDF form, you can easily hand the more advanced lessons to students who want to move ahead more quickly.

The mentor text used for the mini-lessons is simple enough for most students in grades 7-12 to understand. Older or more advanced students might find it a bit too simplistic for their tastes, but it does the job of illustrating the skills being taught. To make the unit richer and more challenging, all a teacher needs to do is supplement it by having students look at more rigorous examples of the same concepts from other stories.

I plan to update and improve on this unit as I receive feedback on it from teachers. Please join our new Cult of Pedagogy English Teachers group on Facebook to share ideas, ask questions, and meet other teachers who are also using these materials.



I also have a fantastic unit on argumentative writing that uses a similar format.



Total Pages
250 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.


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