Writing teachers already know what a fantastic tool fiction can be for students to expand their creative horizons, explore relevant themes, and understand the impact that storytelling can have on the lives of people. But, with the heavy emphasis on essays and explanatory writing, the Common Core Curriculum may, at first, appear to have abandoned Fiction Narrative Writing.
Maybe a well-meaning administrator has even criticized you for using fiction in the classroom, claiming, “That’s not Common Core,” or “That’s not getting kids college and career ready.”
But actually, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Common Core Writing Standards and PARCC Assessments invite the use of fiction in the classroom. See below from the Common Core Middle School Writing Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3a Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3c Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3d Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3e Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
In summary, writing fiction opens up fantastic avenues to explore reality and imagination. Both Common Core and PARCC agree that there very much is a place for fiction writing in the classroom. And writing stories very much does get kids ready for College and Career. After all, where would our society be without our bards? And in the world of eBooks where anyone can publish, our students need to be equipped and ready to follow their muses.