Narrative Workshop Steps: Writing a Six Second Story

Narrative Workshop Steps: Writing a Six Second Story


Period _____ Date ______

Narrative Workshop Steps: Writing a Six Second Story

Place an “x” in each box as you finish that step. Make sure to keep all your work in the writing section of your binder. You’ll earn stamps for each box completed once you show your work to Mrs. Clark-Burnell, then you will turn this form in for forty points.


1.  Read pages 536-542: Model Story

a.  You’ll read the short story by Gary Soto, “The No-Guitar Blues”

b.  In your head or with a partner review the “Think about the Model” questions on page 542. Use a plot map to map the events of the story and then write down the theme of the story.

2.  Read pages 542-3: Prewriting—Brainstorming ideas and thinking about purpose and audience

3.  Do Practice and Apply #1: Find a story Idea and Think about Purpose & Audience

a.  On a piece of paper which you’ll store in the “Writing” section of your binder answer the bulleted questions on page 543—you are creating a chart of possible characters and possible conflicts for your own short story.

b.  Decide on your story character and conflict; circle those.

4.  Read page 544 & 545

a.  Do “Think it through” on page 544 to flesh out your main character, to make him or her seem real.

b.  Do the practice on page 545—add dialogue and narrative action (that’s when the narrator describes what the characters do—how they flip their hair or slouch) to the short paragraph in beige at the bottom of page 545.

5.  Read p. 546-547 – Setting and Point of View

6.  Do Practice and Apply #2: Plan Setting & Point of View

7.  Read pages 548-549

8.  Do Practice and Apply #3: Plot your short story

Make a story outline or a plot map of your story indicating who the characters are, what the setting is, what the major problem or conflict is, (the exposition), the rising action, the climax, and the denouement or resolution.

9.  Read pages 550-551.

10.  Do Practice & Apply #4: Write the first draft of your short story

Narrative Workshop: Revising & Editing your Six Second Story Rough Draft

Each stamp for the revision and editing phases is worth 10 points. /70 points

11.  Conference with three peers. Two peers fill out the “Peer Response Form” and one peer fills out the back page, the “Short Story Rubric.” Attach peer conferencing/response form to this packet.

12.  Write a second draft, using the feed back from your peer conferences. Most first drafts require MAJOR revisions. Underline all the changes that are now in your second draft so Mrs. Clark-Burnell can quickly see n what kind of revisions you are making. You should type this draft so that further changes are easy to make. Type “second draft” underneath your name, period and date in the top right hand corner. Other formatting instructions: font should be easy to read—no italics or cursive fonts. 12-point font, one-inch margins, double line spacing or 1.5 line spacing. Attach second draft to this packet.

13.  Do the “Highlighter test” on your second draft with an adult. This is a great activity to do with your parent/guardian. Use the “What Ingredients are in your Six Second Draft: Take the Highlighter Test to Find out[1]” handout to do this. Then use the back of the highlighter test handout to add sensory details to your story and to get inside your character’s head! Fill out this form. You’ll use this to revise your draft a third time on step 14.

14.  Now read pages 554-555. Use the information from the highlighter test and the “focus on precise nouns and adjectives” instruction to revise your short story a third time. Write a third draft. Type “third draft” underneath your name, period and date in the top right hand corner. This time highlight changes in your third draft so Mrs. Clark-Burnell can see the types of revisions you are making.

15.  Get ready to edit, by learning how to punctuate dialogue. Read “Grammar Link: Punctuating Dialogue” on p. 556. Then do the practice on correctly punctuating dialogue on page 556.

16.  Edit draft #3. Look for the items below. Check them off when you are SURE that you have edited for these. Then print your final draft.

a.  Dialogue is punctuated correctly—every time a new person speaks, there is a new paragraph. Have you put the punctuation in the correct place?

b.  Story is broken into manageable paragraphs

c.  There are no run-on sentences or sentence fragments, unless these are purposefully included in dialogue to make it realistic.

d.  Spelling is correct.

e.  Grammar and usage are correct (to the degree appropriate for this age and grade).

f.  Story title is NOT underlined or in italics. Only titles of long works are underlined or italicized. A short story title can be bold or larger font.

g.  Font is easy to read and is 12 point. Paper has one-inch margins, double line spacing or 1.5-line spacing.

h.  Student full name, period, date and “Six Second Story Final Draft” are in the upper right-hand corner.

i.  Do not write “The End” or “by so-and-so” at the end of your story.

17.  Final Draft.

a.  Self-assess final draft using the “Short Story Rubric” (will be handed out in class by step 14). Rubric is a version of the rubric on the back of the peer conferencing/peer response form.

b.  Have two peers read your short story and give you feedback on the back of the rubric. The peer’s job is not to give you a grade, but to comment on the things that they appreciated and that they think you might want to think about for your next story.

c.  Turn your story in with the Short Story Rubric stapled on top.

d.  Pat yourself on the back for having completed the writing process. This is hard work.

Page numbers refer to the Literature & Language Arts: First Course textbook published by Holt, 2003. (We call this the Green textbook in our class). The idea for a six second story and later steps are modified from curriculum developed by Jay Richards. –L. Clark-Burnell

[1] The highlighter test handout is designed by Jay Richards, 2001.