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55 Narrative Writing Prompts For 3rd Grade

As students improve their writing skills, it is important that they explore various types of writing—including narrative writing. Narrative writing is an important step not only in learning to write but also in learning to reflect and think deeper.

Whether students are journaling or making story charts and discussing their answers in class, the following writing prompts are a great place to start with your 3rd graders.

Using These Prompts

You can use these prompts as journaling prompts for your students during your writing practice, but they also make great discussion questions.

Students might feel awkward about expressing some of their emotions, and this is a great way to help them come out of their shell and realize that we’re all more alike than we realize.

Here are a few ways you can use this guide in your classroom:

  • Assign one prompt per table group. Give students time to write down their thoughts, and then have them share with the rest of their table.
  • Challenge your students to use prompts that they find uncomfortable, as those are often the most important ones for them to work on.
  • Ask your students to write using one prompt each day for the entire school week.
  • Don’t grade these assignments; the emotional reflection and self-realization are more important than the grade.

The Prompts

  • Write about the strangest thing that has ever happened to you.
  • What do you think a typical day would look like if you were seven feet tall?
  • Write about a time when you felt very sad. How did you make yourself feel better?
  • Have you ever lost an important game? Write about what happened and how you felt.
  • When you play with friends, what do you like to play?
  • Do you think it’s important for kids to play pretend?
  • Write about your favorite holiday memory.
  • Write about a time when you felt very scared.
  • Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied? What did you do?
  • Why is it important to stick up for yourself?
  • What are some ways that you like to relax on the weekend?
  • Do you speak another language? Do you think all students should learn a foreign language in school?
  • Which Disney character do you relate to most? Why?
  • Which Marvel character do you relate to most? Why?
  • If you could be any color, which color would you be? Why?
  • Describe your perfect family vacation.
  • Why is it important to help those in need?
  • Have you ever had stage fright? What happened?
  • What is a fun fall activity that you like doing with your family?
  • Which season is your favorite? Why?
  • If you could instantly learn one skill, what would it be? Why?
  • Do you prefer board games or card games? Why?
  • What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and could speak to animals?
  • Write about a time when someone close to you hurt your feelings.
  • Write about a challenge you’ve faced. What did you do to overcome it?
  • What do you do for fun when you don’t have screens or technology to entertain you?
  • What is your favorite food? What makes it so special?
  • What is your least favorite food? Why don’t you like it?
  • What do you do when your feelings are hurt? Do you think this is a good way to handle your emotions?
  • Have you ever received an award? What was it for? How did it make you feel?
  • Write about your favorite book. What makes it so special?
  • What is one thing you would change in your classroom?
  • What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
  • Write about something that seemed bad at first, but turned out to be good.
  • Write five ways you can help someone in need.
  • What are some important skills you need to master to move on to 4th grade?
  • What is the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
  • Would you rather it rain glitter or snow birdseed? Why?
  • Write about the last vacation you took with your family.
  • Do you have a blanket or stuffed animal that is special to you? Write about where it came from and why you love it.
  • Do you prefer Star Wars or Harry Potter? Why?
  • Write five things you can do to calm yourself down when you feel angry.
  • Write about something that makes you laugh.
  • Write about a conflict between you and your best friend. How did you resolve it?
  • Who do you enjoy spending your time with? What makes your time so special?
  • Write about a time when you tried something new. How did you feel?
  • Do you play a sport? What do you enjoy about it?
  • Write five things you can do to feel better when you are sad.
  • Have you ever been in an argument where you knew you were right, but the other person wouldn’t agree? What happened?
  • If you were the teacher for a day, what would you do?
  • What is your favorite animal? What do you think this says about your personality?
  • If you were responsible for cooking breakfast for your entire family, what would you cook? Why?
  • Why is it so important for siblings to get along? Do you get along with your siblings?
  • Write about the best gift you’ve ever received.
  • What are five things you can do to feel better when you are scared?

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narrative writing 3rd grade examples

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Raise the Bar Reading

A Reading Teacher's Blog

Teaching Narrative Writing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade

When teaching narrative writing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, there are so many writing skills to cover. They range from creating a sequence of events (beginning, middle, and end) to more difficult skills like building strong characterization. With a class full of students at such varying levels of writing, it can be overwhelming to think of where to start with your narrative writing unit.  

Narrative Writing in Elementary School

Narrative writing can be one of the most motivational types of writing for students since the topics can be something they feel connected to in their own lives.  Personal narratives allow them to talk about their own experiences they want to share, and fictional narratives let students create a story about absolutely anything that they want!  

As you can see in the chart below, students are expected to do a little bit more with narrative writing as they grow as writers from 1 st to 3 rd grade.    

Common Core ELA Standards for Narrative Writing

So, 1 st grade focuses on developing sequenced events (beginning, middle, end).   With 2 nd and 3 rd grade, the focus is creating a hook/opening, events (beginning, middle, end), and a closing. In 2 nd and 3 rd grade students also need to begin to develop characterization.

For young writers learning such a new, specific format of writing, it is really important to break it up into small, clear steps. 

Below is how I tackle narrative writing step by step:


First, I explain what a narrative is with visuals and examples.  I go through a pre-written narrative writing example.  These examples will differ depending on whether we are working on writing fictional narratives or personal narratives.

Narrative Writing Anchor Charts

We identify and discuss each part of the piece of writing.  For first graders that means the beginning, middle, and end.  For second and third graders, that means an opening, events (beginning, middle and end), and closing.


Narrative Writing Sentence Starters

I like to model the actual process of writing a narrative as well.  With modeling a personal narrative, I like to pick an experience we have had in school that year so that it is easy for students to participate.  I keep this model basic and clear so that students are not overwhelmed in what they need to produce in their first piece of narrative writing.  While modeling, I refer to the prewritten example that I provided earlier.  I also display sentence starters and transitions to use as a guide.   


First, students can practice the narrative format by using picture prompts for beginning, middle, and end.  They use the visuals to describe what happens from the beginning to the end of their story.

Narrative Writing Prompts First Grade

Next, it’s time for students to begin fictional narrative or personal narrative writing from scratch!  At first, I usually provide a writing prompt for the entire class that is easily relatable.  The prompts will vary depending on if we are working on writing personal narratives (“Tell about a time when…”) or fictional narratives (“Write a story about…”).  However, you could also give multiple options or have students develop their own individual topics.  

During the prewriting phase of the writing process, students brainstorm using graphic organizers. 

Personal Narrative Writing Organizer

I like give students two graphic organizers – one for them to first brainstorm ideas for their drafts, and then one to organize their ideas into a narrative writing format.

Narrative Writing Graphic Organizers

While writing their drafts, students can refer to sentence starters to help guide them in writing their stories.  

After writing their drafts, I give students an editing checklist to use as a reference.  This makes it easier for them to make sure they have included each part of a piece of narrative writing.  

Narrative Writing Editing Checklist


As students are ready, I target specific narrative writing skills either as a whole class, or with just a small group that is ready for taking their writing to the next level. 

To introduce a particular narrative writing skill (i.e. writing narrative hooks), I display a poster that is student-friendly with visuals and examples.  Then, I have graphic organizers or practice pages that students can use to work through each strategy on their own.  

Most students will need help with the following narrative skills:

Writing a Strong Narrative Hook:

Breaking narrative hooks down by hook types is so helpful for giving them some tools for creating their own leads.  Grab the posters below and a couple practice writing pages for free here .

Writing Narrative Hooks or Leads

Writing a Strong Narrative Ending:

Similar to writing hooks, breaking down narrative endings by type is also a helpful way for students to try out different closings for their piece of writing.

Writing Narrative Ending Types

Small Moments Writing:

So often, personal narratives can just turn into a list of moments in order. By teaching and practicing small moments writing , students can see how much more powerful their writing becomes when they zoom in on the most important moment in their story.

Small Moments Writing

Describing Characters:

When teaching narrative writing in 2 nd grade, students need to learn to describe characters by their actions, thoughts, and feelings.  By 3 rd grade, the Common Core asks that students also use dialogue to develop characterization in their writing.

Describing Characters or Building Characterization

Describing Character Feelings

You can display a poster of different ways to describe similar feelings to build stronger word choice in their writing.  Students can use this poster to go through and edit their word choice in their own piece of writing. 

Describing Feelings Poster

Using Fiction Story Elements:

You can have students prewrite with story elements graphic organizers to ensure they hit each element in their own writing.

Fiction Story Elements Anchor Chart


I love using fictional narrative and personal narrative journals to provide students with tons of ongoing practice!  I use them as informal free-writes just for continual practice, but some or all of the entries could be used for writing pieces that go through the writing process (prewriting, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing) as well.  

Narrative Writing Journals

All of the materials shown in this blog post for teaching narrative writing in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade can be found in the Narrative Writing Unit in my TpT shop!

Next: Teaching Opinion Writing in the Primary Grades

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narrative writing 3rd grade examples

100 Exciting Narrative Writing Prompts for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

Are you teaching narrative writing to your students and in need of some unique and creative writing prompts? An exciting writing prompt can be all your students need to finally feel motivated to write!

If your students are bored with regular “write a story about a magical place” narrative writing prompts, then they are going to LOVE these!

These writing prompts are unique and will really get your students’ imaginations churning!

So get the creative juices flowing with this list of 100 creative and inspiring narrative writing prompts!

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

Be sure to sign up below to get the printable copy of this list of 100 narrative writing prompts!

I’ve bolded some of my FAVORITE narrative writing prompts in each of the categories below.

Adventures Await Narrative Writing Prompts

  • Tell a story about friends going to a secret island full of magical creatures.
  • Write about a forest where time gets mixed up, and you have to solve a mystery.
  • Describe a journey to a volcano where you find a special treasure.
  • Imagine rescuing a special animal from an evil person’s castle. What makes this animal so special and why was it being held in this castle?
  • Sail across through a storm across the sea to find a land with lots of secrets and wonders. Describe the trip and what you discover.
  • Write about a chase to catch robbers who took a map leading to hidden treasure.
  • Tell a story about kids exploring a dark and wet cave under the ground. How did they find it and what’s inside?
  • Write about a thrilling adventure in an old building.
  • Create a story about chasing a thief through a big and magical city. What did the thief steal? Why
  • Tell a tale about kids trying to break an old spell that’s causing trouble. What trouble is happening? How can they break the spell?
  • Describe an exciting quest to solve mysteries in a magic forest. What makes the forest magical? What quest are you trying to solve?
  • Imagine flying to a floating island with strange things and surprises. Describe what the floating island looks like and what strange things happen.
  • Write about an investigation into strange events in a faraway village. Who lives here and what is happening?
  • Create a story about finding a magic thing in a random place. What did you find and what makes it magical?
  • Tell a tale about kids walking through a scary swamp looking for a missing item.
  • Write about a journey to find a special flower that can heal anything. Why do you need to find it?
  • Imagine exploring a frozen world with many dangers and surprises.
  • Describe an adventure through a tricky maze to win a special prize. What makes the maze so tricky and what is so special about the prize?
  • Create a story about saving a magic animal from a secret jail. Why was the animal in jail to begin with? How do you help them escape?
  • Tell a tale about stopping a magic item from falling into bad hands.

Whimsical and Wacky Tales Narrative Writing Prompts

  • Tell a funny story about a magical pet that can talk and go on adventures. What type of pet is it? Where does it go?
  • Describe a day when everything at school starts to float, and the kids have to figure out why. How do you make the floating ultimately stop?
  • Write about a town where animals can do things like people, and they all decide to have a big party. What can they do? What happens at the party?
  • Imagine finding a mysterious door at the back of a closet that leads to a land of make-believe. What do you see when you open the door?
  • Create a story about a giant plant that grows in the middle of a neighborhood and causes all sorts of silly things to happen.
  • Tell a tale about a group of kids who find a map leading to a treasure hidden in their town. What is the treasure? What do they do with it once they find it?
  • Write about a day when all the toys in a toy store come to life and go on an adventure after the store closes.
  • Imagine a world where it rains candy, and kids have to figure out how to save the town from being buried in sweets.
  • Describe a day when everyone wakes up with a superpower and someone has to learn how to control it. What superpowers do people have?
  • Write a story about a magical recipe book that makes food come to life.
  • Create a tale about a mischievous leprechaun causing chaos in a small town.
  • Tell a story about a group of kids who build a spaceship out of cardboard and go on an adventure to outer space.
  • Write about a mysterious box that arrives in a classroom, and when opened, it releases a cloud of glitter that brings everything to life.
  • Imagine a day when all the books in a library start swapping stories, and the characters come out of the pages.
  • Describe a town where everyone’s wishes come true but not exactly as they intended.
  • Write about a magical paintbrush that brings anything it paints to life.
  • Create a story about a talking tree that helps kids solve problems in their neighborhood. What advice does the tree give? Does it ever give bad advice that makes problems worse?
  • Imagine a day when all the colors in the world start mixing up, causing everything to look strange and funny. What color is the sky? How can you fix the colors?
  • Tell a tale about a group of kids who discover a secret passage under their school leading to a magical kingdom. Where did they find the entrance and what do they discover under their school?
  • Write a story about a group of animals in a forest who form a detective agency to solve mysteries. Who is the leader? What sort of mysteries do they solve?

Mysteries and Detective Work Narrative Writing Prompts

  • Write about a group of friends who solve the mystery of disappearing objects in their school.
  • Create a story about a detective dog and its young owner solving a case of missing treats in the neighborhood.
  • Describe a mysterious treasure map found in an old attic, leading to an unexpected adventure.
  • Imagine a school where students work together to uncover the truth behind strange messages appearing on the classroom whiteboard. What do the messages say? Who is leaving them?
  • Write about a secret code discovered in an old library book that leads to a surprising discovery. Where is the code discovered? What does it lead to?
  • Tell a tale about a group of kids investigating strange noises coming from a deserted house in their town. What do they hear? What is making the noise?
  • Write a story about a detective cat who helps its owner solve a puzzling case at a local carnival.
  • Imagine solving a case of a missing class pet using clues hidden around the school.
  • Create a mystery involving disappearing colors in a town’s annual art show, and the kids must crack the case before it’s too late and the art is ruined forever.
  • Describe a daring escape from an ancient maze with hidden traps and secrets.
  • Write about following clues left by a mischievous leprechaun to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. What makes the leprechaun mischievous?
  • Imagine traveling to a land of talking animals, where you must help them solve a mystery threatening their peaceful kingdom. What is the mystery? How is it threatening their kingdom?
  • Tell a tale about decoding ancient symbols to reveal the location of a long-lost treasure.
  • Imagine discovering a secret portal to a land of giants, where you must outwit them to earn their trust and find your way home.
  • Write about a daring investigation into the disappearance of famous landmarks. Where has the Statue of Liberty gone? Mount Rushmore?
  • Describe a case where kids must solve the mystery of a missing time-traveling machine. Who stole it and why?
  • Create a story about a group of young detectives solving the case of a stolen precious artifact from a museum.
  • Imagine uncovering the truth behind a series of strange events happening during a sleepover.
  • Write about solving the mystery of a legendary creature that roams the woods near a small town.
  • Tell a tale about a group of kids investigating a series of mysterious messages left at their clubhouse. What do the messages say? Who is leaving them?

Heartwarming Moments Narrative Writing Prompts

  • Write about a special surprise party for a friend who has been feeling sad lately.
  • Create a story about a group of kids coming together to help an injured animal and nurse it back to health.
  • Describe a heartwarming reunion between a lost pet and its owner after a long search.
  • Imagine a day when a shy student stands up to a bully, and the class comes together to support them.
  • Tell a tale about a magical place that brings joy to everyone who visits it.
  • Write a story about a young superhero who helps their neighbors during a big storm.
  • Imagine a day when the whole town comes together to clean up a park and make it beautiful again.
  • Write a tale about a group of friends organizing a fundraiser to help a family in need.
  • Describe a surprise visit from a long-lost relative bringing joy to a family.
  • Write about a community coming together to build a new playground for children to enjoy.
  • Tell a story about a kind gesture that helps a new student feel welcome at school.
  • Imagine a day when neighbors work together to rescue a stranded kitten from a very, very, tall tree.
  • Write about a heartwarming friendship between a child and an elderly person in their neighborhood. How did they become friends? How do they help each other?
  • Create a tale about a group of kids organizing a talent show to raise money for a local charity.
  • Describe a moment when someone receives a thoughtful gift that brightens their day.
  • Imagine a day when a group of kids volunteers at an animal shelter and makes a difference in the lives of the animals.
  • Write about a surprise party to celebrate a teacher.
  • Tell a story about a small act of kindness that starts a chain reaction of good deeds in a community.
  • Describe a moment when someone overcomes a fear with the help of their friends.
  • Write a story about a group of kids organizing a cleanup of a local beach to protect the environment.

Fantastic Voyages Narrative Writing Prompts

  • Write a story about a magical flying carpet that takes you on a journey to a mysterious land.
  • Imagine traveling to the bottom of the ocean in a submarine and discovering a hidden world of sea creatures.
  • Describe a thrilling adventure aboard a spaceship exploring distant planets and encountering alien life forms.
  • Create a tale about a time-traveling adventure to a historical era, where you witness an amazing event firsthand.
  • Write about embarking on a hot air balloon expedition with unexpected discoveries along the way.
  • Imagine setting sail on a pirate ship in search of buried treasure on a remote island.
  • Imagine embarking on an expedition to a land of ice and snow, where you must befriend a polar bear to save your group before you freeze.
  • Describe an expedition to the center of the Earth. How do you get there? What do you see?
  • Write about an adventure riding on the back of a friendly dragon.
  • Create a tale about exploring an abandoned city in the jungle.
  • Imagine visiting a magical kingdom hidden behind a waterfall.
  • Write a story about a thrilling safari adventure in the African savanna where you encounter wild animals.
  • Write about a journey through a land of dreams, where you must rescue a lost teddy bear to help a child find sleep again.
  • Create a tale about a voyage aboard a time-traveling train that takes you to a specific moment in history.
  • Tell a story about an expedition to the frozen tundra, where you meet penguins and witness the Northern Lights.
  • Create a tale about a magical circus that appears only once a century. What makes it so magical? Why does it only appear once a century?
  • Write about a daring adventure on a magical ship navigating through stormy seas and encountering sea monsters.
  • Describe a journey through a forest inhabited by strange creatures, where you must seek the help of a wise old owl to find your way home.
  • Create a tale about exploring a hidden cave filled with glowing crystals.
  • Imagine a voyage to a floating island in the sky where gravity works differently.

If you’re teaching narrative writing, be sure to check out ⭐ the complete personal and fictional narrative writing units for your grade level in my store. ⭐

Get your copy of these narrative writing prompts!

Teach your students how to write a strong introduction to their narrative.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

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Third Grade Narrative

Narrative Writing

In this summer writing prompt worksheet, children will describe a typical summer day.

Animal Antics

In this summer writing prompt worksheet, children will describe a favorite summer memory.

Topic Sentence

In this summer writing prompt worksheet, children will imagine and describe a day spent in nature.

Journal Writing Task Cards #1

  • Grades 6-12
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50 Creative 3rd Grade Writing Prompts (Free Printable!)

Taking the leap from the primary level to the intermediate grades.

Four printed note boards for third grade writing prompts.

Third grade is a huge transitional year in elementary school. Third grade writers have learned foundational concepts and skills and have had time to practice. Now they are developing more complex skills as they dig deeper, learn to make connections, and analyze the topics they write about. Here are 50 third grade writing prompts to help your students master and refine their writing skills.

If you’d like even more upper elementary writing prompts, we publish new ones twice a week on our kid-friendly site: the Daily Classroom Hub . Make sure to bookmark the link!

(Want this entire set in one easy document? Get your free PowerPoint bundle by submitting your email here, so you’ll always have the prompts available!)

1. Tell about a special event in your life.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

2. What are you best at?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

3. What do you want to learn more about?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

4. I could never live without______.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

5. If you could go anyplace in the world, where would you go and why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

6. Interview one of your parents or grandparents and ask them to tell you a story from their childhood. Share their story here.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

7. Describe one of your favorite book characters. Tell three things about their personality.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

8. Do you think third graders should have to do chores at home? Why or why not?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

9. What is something you would change about school if you could?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

10. Tell about a time you helped somebody.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

11. Tell about a time somebody helped you.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

12. Tell about a memorable “first” in your life. For example, the first time you ate a particular kind of food, the first time you met your teacher, etc.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

13. Describe step by step how to make a pizza.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

14. What does it mean to be a hero?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

15. I am afraid of _______ because_______.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

16. What is the difference between being polite and rude? Give three examples.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

17. What is the most important rule in the classroom?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

18. What are the three most important qualities you look for in a friend?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

19. Do you think kids should be assigned homework? Why or why not?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

20. Nature gives us many beautiful things—plants, animals, water, weather, stars and planets, etc. What is one of your favorite things in nature and why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

21. If I were a spider, I’d _______.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

22. Three things that make me happy are ______.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

23. What is your favorite holiday and why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

24. Tell about one of your family’s unique traditions.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

25. If you could have a pet, what would you choose? How would you take care of it?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

26. Write about a dream you recently had.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

27. Tell about a person that inspires you and why.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

28. Name five things you are thankful for and why you are thankful for them.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

29. What are ways you can be a good citizen?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

30. When you and a friend disagree, how do you work it out?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

31. What do you think the world will be like in one hundred years?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

32. What is your favorite type of weather? Why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

33. What superpower do you wish you had? Why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

34. What famous person would you like to meet? Why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

35. In your opinion, which animal makes the best pet? Give three reasons for your answer.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

36. If someone gave you $100, how would you spend it?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

37. Should third graders have cell phones? Why or why not?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

38. If you could be an Olympic athlete, what sport would you participate in?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

39. Write about your “getting ready for school” routine.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

40. Write about your “getting ready for bed” routine.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

41. If you could travel through time like Jack and Annie in the Magic Tree House, where would you go?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

42. In your opinion, what does a perfect weekend look like?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

43. Write about the last time you felt really angry. What happened and how did it all work out?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

44. Pretend there was a special zoo where animals could talk. Which animal would you talk to and what are three questions you would ask?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

45. What is your favorite thing with wheels? Why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

46. Tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from the point of view of Baby Bear.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

47. What do you think would grow if you planted a magic bean?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

48. Which would you rather be able to do—fly or read people’s minds? Why?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

49. Tell about an adult in your life that you admire.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

50. If you were traveling for a week and could only bring a backpack, what would you pack?

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

Get My Third Grade Writing Prompts

Love these third grade writing prompts? Make sure to check out our third grade jokes to start the day !

50 Creative Third Grade Writing Prompts (Free Printable!)

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21 Narrative Writing Examples

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Written by Dan

Last updated February 14, 2024

Are you looking for the best narrative writing examples to use in your classroom? As an educator, finding engaging and compelling narrative stories that can capture your students’ imaginations can be challenging.

Narrative writing can open windows of opportunity to understand student perspectives while teaching critical literary skills and components.

This blog post’ll explore creative and interactive narrative writing examples to promote a positive learning experience for teachers and students alike!

Related : For more, check out our article on  How To Make Writing Fun  here.

Table of Contents

Section 1: The Awakening of Nature

As the morning sun shyly peeked over the horizon, a glistening dewdrop delicately clung to a leaf, reflecting the first light of day. It was as if Mother Nature herself had adorned the world with tiny diamonds.

“Good morning, world,” whispered the wind, playfully rustling the leaves, its voice echoing through the silent woods like a soft melody. A serene symphony of nature stirred every creature from their slumber.

Suddenly, a rabbit hopped out of its burrow, its fur as white as fresh snow, and its eyes sparkling with curiosity. “Another beautiful day,” it seemed to say, twitching its nose at the scent of fresh earth and blooming flowers.

Just then, a bird burst into song, its voice ringing out clear and true. A sweet serenade filled the air, as captivating as a nightingale’s enchanting tune. The forest, once quiet, now buzzed with the rhythm of life.

Section 2: The Magic of Childhood

In the heart of the city, there was a secret oasis known only to the children; a park where dreams took flight. It was like stepping into a storybook, complete with towering trees that stretched towards the sky, their branches reaching out like giant hands ready to catch any child brave enough to climb.

“Bet you can’t catch me!” shouted Sam, his laughter filling the air as he darted across the lush green grass. His words were a challenge, a spark that ignited the competitive spirit in his friends.

Sarah, with her pigtails bobbing, gave chase, her shoes thudding against the ground in a rhythmic pattern. She ran with the determination of a cheetah on the hunt, her eyes focused on Sam, who was now a small figure in the distance.

The park was their kingdom, a place where they could be pirates, explorers, or superheroes. It was where their imaginations roamed free, creating adventures as colorful as a painter’s palette.

Section 3: The Beauty of Love

In the quiet corner of a bustling café sat a couple, lost in their own world. They were like two stars drawn together by an invisible force, their love radiating warmth and light.

“Remember our first date here?” asked John, his eyes twinkling with nostalgia. His words hung in the air, painting a vivid picture of their past.

“Yes,” replied Emily, her voice soft and wistful. “It feels like ages ago, yet it seems like yesterday.” Her smile was as radiant as the sun breaking through the clouds after a summer rain, filling their small corner with a glow that only love can bring.

There was a comfortable silence as they reminisced, their hands intertwined on the table. Their love story was etched into every line of their faces, a testament to the enduring power of love.

Section 4: The Intricacies of Technology

The sun had barely risen when Alex, a software engineer, sat down at his desk. His fingers danced across the keyboard, coding with the elegance of a pianist playing a symphony. The screen, glowing like a solitary lighthouse in the dark room, reflected a world of ones and zeros, a language only understood by a select few.

“Another day, another code,” he murmured, his voice resonating with a quiet determination. His words were not just a statement, but a mantra that fueled his passion for technology.

Suddenly, an email notification popped up on his screen. It was from a tech startup, their proposal as captivating as the siren’s song. “We’re building a future beyond imagination,” it proclaimed, its promise echoing in the silence of the room.

In the world of technology, every day was a new challenge, a puzzle waiting to be solved. It was a thrilling ride that oscillated between triumph and despair, as unpredictable as a roller coaster yet as rewarding as discovering a hidden treasure.

Section 5: The Power of Art

In a quaint little studio tucked away in a bustling city, Sarah painted with a fervor that could only come from within. Her brush strokes were as fluid as a dancer’s movements, each one a testament to her talent.

“The canvas is my stage,” she would often say, her voice filled with a profound love for art. Her words were not merely a statement, but a proclamation of her dedication to her craft.

As the day turned into night, her painting began to come alive. The colors were as vibrant as a summer sunset, their brilliance illuminating the room. “Art is not just about creating something beautiful,” she mused, her eyes reflecting the glow of her creation. “It’s about pouring your soul onto the canvas.”

In the realm of art, every brush stroke was a new journey, an adventure that transported the artist to a world of endless possibilities. It was a dance between imagination and reality, as mesmerizing as a ballet performance under a moonlit sky.

Narrative Texts

Title of ExampleAge GroupNarrative TypeKey Elements IncludedPurpose of ExamplePossible Teaching Points
“The First Adventure”6-8Personal NarrativeFirst-person perspective, chronological structure, descriptive languageTo illustrate how to write about a personal experience with vivid details.Introducing first-person narrative, using sensory details, organizing a story chronologically.
“A Day in the Life of a Coin”7-9Fictional NarrativeImaginative point of view, anthropomorphism, dialogueTo show how inanimate objects can be characters with their own stories.Exploring perspective and voice, writing dialogue, developing creative characters.
“The Secret Garden Mystery”9-11Mystery NarrativePlot twists, suspense, clues, resolutionTo demonstrate how to build suspense and resolve a mystery in a narrative.Constructing a plot, pacing, planting clues, and developing critical thinking.
“Journey to Mars”10-12Science Fiction NarrativeFuturistic setting, scientific elements, imaginative plotTo provide an example of incorporating scientific ideas into a creative story.Blending factual information with fiction, world-building, exploring themes like exploration.
“The Lost Civilization”11-13Historical NarrativeHistorical context, authentic details, narrative voiceTo exemplify how to write a story set in a historical time period.Researching historical settings, integrating facts with fiction, developing a narrative voice appropriate for the time period.
“Dragon’s Breath”12-14Fantasy NarrativeWorld-building, magical elements, hero’s journeyTo illustrate the key components of a fantasy world and plot development.Crafting a fantasy world, character development, exploring the hero’s journey archetype.
“The Great Escape”13-15Adventure NarrativeAction sequences, dynamic characters, descriptive action writingTo show how to maintain tension and excitement in an adventure story.Writing action scenes, developing character arcs, maintaining narrative tension.
“When I Met My Best Friend”6-8Reflective NarrativeEmotional depth, reflection, character developmentTo teach how to reflect on an important relationship and its

Section 6: The Thrill of Sports

The stadium was buzzing with excitement as the players took the field. The air was electric, charged with anticipation, as if the crowd was holding its collective breath.

“This is it, the moment we’ve been waiting for,” muttered Jake, his eyes fixed on the opponents. His words were not just a statement, but a battle cry that ignited the fire in his teammates’ hearts.

As the whistle blew, the game began. Each pass, each run, each tackle was executed with surgical precision, as coordinated as a well-choreographed dance. “This is not just a game,” echoed Jake’s voice, his determination palpable even amidst the deafening cheers.

In the world of sports, every game was a test of strength, skill, and spirit. It was a thrilling spectacle that brought together people from all walks of life, a celebration of human resilience, as inspiring as a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Section 7: The Magic of Music

In the quiet solitude of a dimly lit room, Ethan strummed his guitar with a grace that belied his years. His fingers moved with the agility of a seasoned musician, creating melodies that were as enchanting as a moonlit serenade.

“Each note is a story waiting to be told,” he whispered, his voice barely audible over the harmonious symphony he was weaving. His words were not just a sentiment but a testament to his profound connection with music.

As the night grew deeper, his composition evolved, each chord resonating with raw emotion. The music was as captivating as a symphony performed in an ancient cathedral, its echoes lingering long after the final note was played. “Music isn’t just about sounds,” he reflected, his eyes lost in the dance of shadows cast by his guitar. “It’s about capturing the essence of life in a melody.”

In the universe of music, each composition was a voyage across the sea of emotions. It was a mesmerizing dance between silence and sound, as captivating as the eternal dance of stars in the night sky.

Section 8: The Enigma of Science

In the sterile confines of a high-tech lab, Dr. Amelia peered through her microscope, her face illuminated by the artificial glow. Her hands moved with precision, handling the delicate samples with the care of a jeweler inspecting a priceless gem.

“Every atom is a mystery waiting to be unraveled,” she murmured, her voice echoing in the silent laboratory. Her words were not just a hypothesis, but a declaration of her unwavering curiosity for the unknown.

As hours turned into minutes, her research began to bear fruit. The results were as fascinating as the discovery of an alien civilization, their implications reverberating through the realms of science. “Science isn’t just about facts,” she mused, her gaze lost in the labyrinth of data on her screen. “It’s about challenging the boundaries of human knowledge.”

In the realm of science, every discovery was a step towards the unknown, a dance on the edges of human understanding. It was a journey as exciting as venturing into the unexplored corners of the universe.

Section 9: The Allure of Literature

In the serene comfort of her study, Emily penned down her thoughts with a passion that was almost palpable. Her pen moved across the page with a rhythm that mirrored the heartbeat of her story, each word a piece of her soul inked on paper.

Every sentence is a journey into the human psyche,” she mused, her voice blending with the soft rustle of pages. Her words were not just a thought, but a reflection of her deep-seated love for literature.

As the night draped its dark veil, her story began to take shape. The plot was as intriguing as a centuries-old mystery waiting to be uncovered, its twists and turns a testament to Emily’s literary prowess. “Writing isn’t just about narrating a tale,” she contemplated, her eyes gleaming with the satisfaction of a well-written chapter. “It’s about delving into the depths of human emotions.”

In the world of literature, every book was a key to a different world, an exploration into the vast expanse of human experience. It was a voyage as enthralling as sailing across the seas of time and space, discovering new lands of imagination and creativity.

Section 10: The Evolution of Robotics

In a high-tech laboratory bathed in the glow of neon lights, Dr. Lee worked tirelessly on his latest invention – a humanoid robot. Its metallic facade reflected the artificial light, creating an aura of intrigue around it. His fingers moved deftly over the control panel, programming commands with the precision of a master craftsman.

“Each code is a step towards artificial intelligence,” he mused, his voice barely audible over the hum of machinery. His words were not just an observation but a testament to his relentless pursuit of technological advancement.

As the night unfolded, the robot began to respond. Its movements were as fluid as a professional dancer’s, its mechanical eyes flickering with simulated life. “Robotics isn’t just about creating machines,” he pondered, watching his creation with a sense of accomplishment. “It’s about the fusion of creativity and engineering.”

In the realm of robotics, every innovation was a leap towards the future, a journey into the uncharted territories of technology. It was a thrilling exploration as captivating as the discovery of a new planet in the cosmos.

Section 11: The Revolution of Virtual Reality

In the heart of Silicon Valley, Sarah donned her VR headset, stepping into a world that existed beyond the confines of physical reality. The virtual landscape unfolded before her, its vivid imagery as mesmerizing as a Van Gogh painting.

“Every pixel is a window to another world,” she remarked, her voice brimming with excitement. Her words were not just a statement, but a proclamation of her fascination with virtual reality.

As the day transitioned into dusk, her virtual adventure escalated. The experiences were as enthralling as teleporting to an alien civilization, their realism challenging the boundaries of perception. “Virtual reality isn’t just about simulation,” she reflected, her eyes sparkling with awe. “It’s about transcending the limitations of our senses.”

In the universe of virtual reality, every session was a journey beyond the ordinary, an expedition into the realms of imagination. It was an experience as exhilarating as time-traveling into different eras of history.

Section 12: The Impact of Cybersecurity

In the nerve center of a leading tech company, Sean scanned through lines of computer code, his eyes alert for any signs of a potential breach. The glow from the multiple monitors illuminated his concentrated face, reflecting in his glasses.

“Every line of code can be a potential vulnerability,” he stated, his voice steady and serious. His words were not just a professional opinion but a reflection of his dedication to cybersecurity.

As minutes turned into hours, his vigilance paid off. The anomalies were as subtle as a chameleon blending into its surroundings, their detection a testament to Sean’s expertise. “Cybersecurity isn’t just about protecting data,” he contemplated, his fingers swiftly neutralizing the threat. “It’s about safeguarding our digital existence.”

In the world of cybersecurity, every threat detected was a victory over invisible adversaries, a silent battle fought in the digital realm. It was a responsibility as immense as guarding the secrets of a nation’s treasury.

Section 13: The Progress of Space Exploration

In a state-of-the-art control room at NASA, flight director Ava studied the telemetry data from their latest Mars rover. The screens around her were abuzz with information, each dataset a story of the rover’s journey on the red planet.

“Every byte of data is a clue to the mysteries of Mars,” she commented, her voice filled with wonder. Her words were not just an observation, but a declaration of her passion for space exploration.

As the Earth turned on its axis, the rover sent back stunning images. They were as breathtaking as the first photographs of Earth taken from the moon, their impact resonating throughout the scientific community.

“Space exploration isn’t just about reaching new frontiers,” she mused, her gaze fixed on the Martian landscape. “It’s about understanding our place in the universe.”

In the realm of space exploration, every mission was a leap into the unknown, a voyage into the cosmic ocean. It was a journey as awe-inspiring as the birth of a star in the distant galaxies.

Section 14: The Innovation of Quantum Computing

In a high-tech lab buzzing with activity, quantum physicist Dr. Raj worked on his cutting-edge quantum computer. The complex lattice of qubits and lasers before him was as mesmerizing as a symphony of light and energy.

“Every qubit is a step towards harnessing the power of quantum mechanics,” he noted, his voice echoing in the lab. His words were not just a statement, but a testament to his dedication to pushing the boundaries of computing.

As hours slipped into minutes, the quantum computer began to show promising results. The computations were as mind-boggling as deciphering an alien language, their speed outpacing traditional computers.

“Quantum computing isn’t just about faster calculations,” he reflected, watching the data stream on his monitor. “It’s about transforming how we solve complex problems.”

In the world of quantum computing, every breakthrough was a stride towards a paradigm shift in technology. It was an endeavor as exciting as unlocking the secrets of the universe itself.

Section 15: The Advancements in Artificial Intelligence

In the bustling hub of a leading tech company, AI researcher Lily fine-tuned the algorithms of her latest machine learning model. Her code, a labyrinth of functions and variables, was a testament to the intricacies of artificial intelligence.

“Every algorithm is a building block for intelligent machines,” she declared, her voice filled with determination. Her words were not just a professional opinion but a reflection of her commitment to AI research.

As the day turned into night, her machine learning model began to learn and adapt. The progress was as fascinating as watching a child learn to speak, its potential applications limitless.

“Artificial intelligence isn’t just about mimicking human intelligence,” she pondered, analyzing the results on her screen. “It’s about augmenting our capabilities and creating a symbiotic relationship with technology.”

In the domain of artificial intelligence, every innovation was a step towards a future where machines could think and learn. It was a journey as intriguing as deciphering the workings of the human brain.

Section 16: The Expansion of Virtual Reality Gaming

In the heart of a bustling game development studio, designer Marco was fine-tuning the graphics for their latest virtual reality game. The vibrant colors and lifelike textures on his screen were as enchanting as a digital masterpiece.

“Every pixel is a step towards total immersion,” he observed, his voice resonating with enthusiasm. His words were not just a remark, but a reflection of his passion for creating immersive gaming experiences.

As the day transitioned into evening, the game’s virtual world began to take shape. The landscapes were as captivating as a panoramic view of a fantastical land, their realism pushing the boundaries of virtual reality.

“VR gaming isn’t just about playing a game,” he pondered, testing the game on his VR headset. “It’s about living an adventure.”

In the universe of VR gaming, every new game was a journey into a different realm, an exploration into the limitless possibilities of virtual worlds. It was an experience as thrilling as teleporting into a different dimension.

Section 17: The Proliferation of Self-Driving Cars

In a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to autonomous vehicles, engineer Sofia was calibrating the sensors of a self-driving car. The complex network of radars, lidars, and cameras were as intricate as the human nervous system.

“Every sensor is an eye towards achieving full autonomy,” she stated, her voice echoing in the vast garage. Her words were not just a technical assessment, but a testament to her dedication to advancing autonomous technology.

As hours turned into minutes, the self-driving car began to navigate the test track flawlessly. The maneuvers were as precise as a professional driver’s, its decisions based on complex algorithms.

“Autonomous driving isn’t just about replacing the driver,” she reflected, monitoring the car’s performance. “It’s about enhancing safety and efficiency.”

In the world of self-driving cars, every successful test drive was a stride towards a future where cars could navigate without human intervention. It was a progression as fascinating as the evolution of transportation itself.

Section 18: The Advancements in Wearable Technology

In the design lab of a leading tech company, product developer Ryan was refining the features of their latest smartwatch. The sleek device on his workbench was as stylish as a high-end timepiece, its functionalities extending beyond just telling time.

“Every feature is a step towards seamless integration with our lives,” he remarked, his voice filled with excitement. His words were not just an evaluation, but a reflection of his commitment to enhancing wearable technology.

As the day turned into dusk, the smartwatch began to showcase its capabilities. The readings were as accurate as professional medical equipment, its user interface intuitive and user-friendly.

“Wearable tech isn’t just about gadgets,” he contemplated, testing the device’s fitness tracking feature. “It’s about personalizing technology to enrich our daily lives.”

In the realm of wearable technology, every new product was a leap towards a future where technology would be an integral part of our lives. It was a journey as intriguing as decoding the human genome.

Section 19: The Emergence of Quantum Internet

In a cutting-edge lab dedicated to quantum research, scientist Dr. Kim was working on the prototype for a quantum internet. The complex matrix of quantum entanglement and teleportation was as fascinating as a celestial constellation.

“Every entangled particle is a step towards unbreakable encryption,” she noted, her voice echoing with profound determination. Her words were not just an insight, but a testament to her unwavering dedication to quantum technologies.

As the day transitioned into night, the quantum internet prototype started showing promising results. The data transmission was as instantaneous as teleportation, its security unparalleled.

“Quantum internet isn’t just about faster communication,” she reflected, scrutinizing the test results. “It’s about revolutionizing the way we exchange information.”

In the world of quantum internet, every successful experiment was a stride towards a new era of communication. It was a journey as thrilling as venturing into a wormhole in space-time.

Section 20: The Evolution of Smart Cities

In the command center of a futuristic smart city, urban planner Alex was monitoring the city’s intelligent systems. The elaborate network of sensors and AI algorithms was as intricate as a digital ecosystem.

“Every sensor is an eye towards achieving sustainable urban living,” he stated, his voice filled with conviction. His words were not just an observation, but a declaration of his commitment to smart city initiatives.

As the sun set over the skyline, the city’s intelligent systems began to optimize various operations. The efficiency was as remarkable as a well-oiled machine, its impact significant on the city’s carbon footprint.

“Smart cities aren’t just about technology integration,” he contemplated, watching the live data feeds. “They’re about enhancing the quality of life for their inhabitants.”

In the realm of smart cities, every innovation was a leap towards a future where urban living would be sustainable and efficient. It was a progression as significant as the industrial revolution itself.

Section 21: The Advancements in Biotechnology

In the heart of a state-of-the-art biotech lab, scientist Maya was examining genetic sequences for her latest research. The strands of DNA on her computer screen were as mesmerizing as an intricate tapestry of life.

“Every gene is a piece of the puzzle towards understanding our biology,” she expressed, her voice echoing with fascination. Her words were not just a professional opinion, but a reflection of her passion for biotechnology.

As the day turned into evening, her genetic research began to yield insightful results. The findings were as enlightening as deciphering an ancient script, their implications far-reaching.

“Biotechnology isn’t just about manipulating genes,” she pondered, analyzing the data. “It’s about harnessing the power of life to improve health and wellbeing.”

In the world of biotechnology, every discovery was a step towards a future where diseases could be cured at the genetic level. It was a journey as intriguing as unraveling the mysteries of life itself.

Narrative writing is an essential part of the curriculum, fostering creativity, enhancing literary skills, and promoting critical thinking in students.

The examples shared in this blog post are a powerful tool to engage students and provoke their imagination.

Integrating these narrative writing examples into your teaching strategy allows you to create an interactive learning environment that encourages students to develop their narrative skills.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to teach students how to write and inspire them to tell their stories with confidence and creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is narrative writing.

Narrative writing is a form of writing that tells a story. This could be a personal experience, an imagined event, or a sequence of events. The goal is to immerse the reader in the story through details, plot development, and character interaction.

2. Why is narrative writing important in schools?

Narrative writing is important in schools because it enhances students’ creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills. It allows students to express their thoughts and experiences, thereby improving their understanding of language and literature.

3. How can I use these narrative writing examples in my classroom?

These narrative writing examples can be used as models for students’ writing. Students can analyze these examples to understand the structure, style, and elements of a good narrative. You can also use them to spark discussion or as prompts for creative writing exercises.

4. How can I encourage my students to engage with narrative writing?

Encourage your students by creating an open and supportive environment where they feel comfortable sharing their stories. Provide constructive feedback, incorporate creative writing exercises, and use engaging narrative examples. Celebrate their progress and achievements to boost their confidence.

5. Can narrative writing be used across different subjects?

Absolutely! Narrative writing isn’t just for English or Literature classes. It can be used in History to narrate historical events, in Science to describe a process or phenomenon, or in Social Studies to explore different cultures and societies. The possibilities are endless!

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About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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Grammar and Writing Workbook for Grade 3

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Narrative writing prompts for grade 3

Writing stories.

These writing prompts help get students to use their imagination and write stories. Writing hints and 2 pages of lined paper included.

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Free Printable Narrative Writing Worksheets for 3rd Grade

Narrative Writing: Discover a collection of free printable worksheets for Grade 3 Reading & Writing teachers, focusing on enhancing students' narrative writing skills and creativity. Dive into the world of storytelling with Quizizz!


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Explore printable Narrative Writing worksheets for 3rd Grade

Narrative Writing worksheets for Grade 3 are an essential resource for teachers looking to enhance their students' reading and writing skills. These worksheets provide a structured approach to teaching narrative writing, focusing on key elements such as character development, setting, plot, and dialogue. By incorporating these worksheets into their lesson plans, teachers can help their Grade 3 students build a strong foundation in reading and writing. Furthermore, these worksheets also cater to nonfiction writing, allowing students to explore various genres and styles of writing. With a wide range of topics and themes to choose from, teachers can easily find the perfect Narrative Writing worksheets for Grade 3 to suit their students' needs and interests.

Quizizz is an excellent platform for teachers to supplement their use of Narrative Writing worksheets for Grade 3, as it offers a variety of interactive quizzes and activities to engage students in the learning process. By incorporating Quizizz into their lesson plans, teachers can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that fosters a love for reading and writing. The platform offers a vast library of quizzes and activities, covering topics such as grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and more, which can be easily integrated with the Narrative Writing worksheets for Grade 3. Teachers can also create their own quizzes and activities, tailoring the content to their students' specific needs and learning objectives. Overall, Quizizz is an invaluable tool for teachers looking to enhance their students' reading and writing skills, while also making learning fun and interactive.

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Third Grade Narrative Writing Prompts and Worksheets

Third Grade Narrative Writing Prompts and Worksheets

These third grade narrative writing worksheets are perfect for writing lessons, writing centers, or writer’s workshop. Your third grade students will love these activities during literacy lessons. If you’re looking for a narrative writing lesson idea or narrative writing prompts, there are 30 pages of printables for you! These are for personal narratives and fictional narratives.



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This 30 page third grade writing resource is a must-have for teaching narrative writing. If you want fun and engaging prompts for writing personal narratives, fictional stories, and recounts, then these writing prompts and worksheets are perfect for you!

This story writing resource has 25 prompts in 5 different worksheet styles, with 5 blank templates. This is no prep, simply print and go!

Note: These third grade narrative writing prompts can be used for second grade students, depending on their capabilities.

When/how to use these Third Grade Narrative Writing Prompts:

  • Whole group writing lessons
  • Small group work (literacy or writing centers)
  • Independent writing practice
  • Early finishers
  • Morning work

What is included:

30 pages of writing prompts/worksheets (25 ready to go and 5 blank templates).

The prompts are in 5 different template styles. Some are more scaffolded with boxes or steps, whereas others have more lines, for more advanced writers.

First, Then, Next, Last with Picture Boxes

  • My Camping Trip, My Vacation, My Recess, My Day at the Beach, My Sick Day, Blank Template

3 Pictures Prompt

  • Fairy Tale, Space Adventure, Hunt for Treasure, The Thief, The Little Frog, Blank Template

First, Then, Next, Last Writing Boxes

  • If I Saw a Shark, If I Turned Into a Robot, If I Had a Pet Dinosaur, If I Were Royalty, If I Met a Troll, Blank Template

Lined Writing Page

  • The Magic Castle, I Saw a Superhero, My Pirate Adventure, The Day I Turned Into a Mermaid, The Day I Met a Unicorn, Blank Template
  • My First Day of School, My Summer, My Ouch, My Birthday, My Trip to the Zoo, Blank Template

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Literacy Ideas

Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students

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Narratives build on and encourage the development of the fundamentals of writing. They also require developing an additional skill set: the ability to tell a good yarn, and storytelling is as old as humanity.

We see and hear stories everywhere and daily, from having good gossip on the doorstep with a neighbor in the morning to the dramas that fill our screens in the evening.

Good narrative writing skills are hard-won by students even though it is an area of writing that most enjoy due to the creativity and freedom it offers.

Here we will explore some of the main elements of a good story: plot, setting, characters, conflict, climax, and resolution . And we will look too at how best we can help our students understand these elements, both in isolation and how they mesh together as a whole.

Visual Writing


What is a narrative?

A narrative is a story that shares a sequence of events , characters, and themes. It expresses experiences, ideas, and perspectives that should aspire to engage and inspire an audience.

A narrative can spark emotion, encourage reflection, and convey meaning when done well.

Narratives are a popular genre for students and teachers as they allow the writer to share their imagination, creativity, skill, and understanding of nearly all elements of writing.  We occasionally refer to a narrative as ‘creative writing’ or story writing.

The purpose of a narrative is simple, to tell the audience a story.  It can be written to motivate, educate, or entertain and can be fact or fiction.


narrative writing | narrative writing unit 1 2 | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |

Teach your students to become skilled story writers with this HUGE   NARRATIVE & CREATIVE STORY WRITING UNIT . Offering a  COMPLETE SOLUTION  to teaching students how to craft  CREATIVE CHARACTERS, SUPERB SETTINGS, and PERFECT PLOTS .

Over 192 PAGES of materials, including:


There are many narrative writing genres and sub-genres such as these.

We have a complete guide to writing a personal narrative that differs from the traditional story-based narrative covered in this guide. It includes personal narrative writing prompts, resources, and examples and can be found here.

narrative writing | how to write quest narratives | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |

As we can see, narratives are an open-ended form of writing that allows you to showcase creativity in many directions. However, all narratives share a common set of features and structure known as “Story Elements”, which are briefly covered in this guide.

Don’t overlook the importance of understanding story elements and the value this adds to you as a writer who can dissect and create grand narratives. We also have an in-depth guide to understanding story elements here .


Narrative structure.

ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Set the scene by introducing your characters, setting and time of the story. Establish your who, when and where in this part of your narrative

COMPLICATION AND EVENTS (MIDDLE) In this section activities and events involving your main characters are expanded upon. These events are written in a cohesive and fluent sequence.

RESOLUTION (ENDING) Your complication is resolved in this section. It does not have to be a happy outcome, however.

EXTRAS: Whilst orientation, complication and resolution are the agreed norms for a narrative, there are numerous examples of popular texts that did not explicitly follow this path exactly.


LANGUAGE: Use descriptive and figurative language to paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read.

PERSPECTIVE Narratives can be written from any perspective but are most commonly written in first or third person.

DIALOGUE Narratives frequently switch from narrator to first-person dialogue. Always use speech marks when writing dialogue.

TENSE If you change tense, make it perfectly clear to your audience what is happening. Flashbacks might work well in your mind but make sure they translate to your audience.


narrative writing | structuring a narrative | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |

This graphic is known as a plot map, and nearly all narratives fit this structure in one way or another, whether romance novels, science fiction or otherwise.

It is a simple tool that helps you understand and organise a story’s events. Think of it as a roadmap that outlines the journey of your characters and the events that unfold. It outlines the different stops along the way, such as the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, that help you to see how the story builds and develops.

Using a plot map, you can see how each event fits into the larger picture and how the different parts of the story work together to create meaning. It’s a great way to visualize and analyze a story.

Be sure to refer to a plot map when planning a story, as it has all the essential elements of a great story.


This video we created provides an excellent overview of these elements and demonstrates them in action in stories we all know and love.

Story Elements for kids


How to write a Narrative

Now that we understand the story elements and how they come together to form stories, it’s time to start planning and writing your narrative.

In many cases, the template and guide below will provide enough details on how to craft a great story. However, if you still need assistance with the fundamentals of writing, such as sentence structure, paragraphs and using correct grammar, we have some excellent guides on those here.

USE YOUR WRITING TIME EFFECTIVELY: Maximize your narrative writing sessions by spending approximately 20 per cent of your time planning and preparing.  This ensures greater productivity during your writing time and keeps you focused and on task.

Use tools such as graphic organizers to logically sequence your narrative if you are not a confident story writer.  If you are working with reluctant writers, try using narrative writing prompts to get their creative juices flowing.

Spend most of your writing hour on the task at hand, don’t get too side-tracked editing during this time and leave some time for editing. When editing a  narrative, examine it for these three elements.

  • Spelling and grammar ( Is it readable?)
  • Story structure and continuity ( Does it make sense, and does it flow? )
  • Character and plot analysis. (Are your characters engaging? Does your problem/resolution work? )


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The story’s setting often answers two of the central questions in the story, namely, the where and the when. The answers to these two crucial questions will often be informed by the type of story the student is writing.

The story’s setting can be chosen to quickly orient the reader to the type of story they are reading. For example, a fictional narrative writing piece such as a horror story will often begin with a description of a haunted house on a hill or an abandoned asylum in the middle of the woods. If we start our story on a rocket ship hurtling through the cosmos on its space voyage to the Alpha Centauri star system, we can be reasonably sure that the story we are embarking on is a work of science fiction.

Such conventions are well-worn clichés true, but they can be helpful starting points for our novice novelists to make a start.

Having students choose an appropriate setting for the type of story they wish to write is an excellent exercise for our younger students. It leads naturally onto the next stage of story writing, which is creating suitable characters to populate this fictional world they have created. However, older or more advanced students may wish to play with the expectations of appropriate settings for their story. They may wish to do this for comic effect or in the interest of creating a more original story. For example, opening a story with a children’s birthday party does not usually set up the expectation of a horror story. Indeed, it may even lure the reader into a happy reverie as they remember their own happy birthday parties. This leaves them more vulnerable to the surprise element of the shocking action that lies ahead.

Once the students have chosen a setting for their story, they need to start writing. Little can be more terrifying to English students than the blank page and its bare whiteness stretching before them on the table like a merciless desert they must cross. Give them the kick-start they need by offering support through word banks or writing prompts. If the class is all writing a story based on the same theme, you may wish to compile a common word bank on the whiteboard as a prewriting activity. Write the central theme or genre in the middle of the board. Have students suggest words or phrases related to the theme and list them on the board.

You may wish to provide students with a copy of various writing prompts to get them started. While this may mean that many students’ stories will have the same beginning, they will most likely arrive at dramatically different endings via dramatically different routes.

narrative writing | story elements | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |

A bargain is at the centre of the relationship between the writer and the reader. That bargain is that the reader promises to suspend their disbelief as long as the writer creates a consistent and convincing fictional reality. Creating a believable world for the fictional characters to inhabit requires the student to draw on convincing details. The best way of doing this is through writing that appeals to the senses. Have your student reflect deeply on the world that they are creating. What does it look like? Sound like? What does the food taste like there? How does it feel like to walk those imaginary streets, and what aromas beguile the nose as the main character winds their way through that conjured market?

Also, Consider the when; or the time period. Is it a future world where things are cleaner and more antiseptic? Or is it an overcrowded 16th-century London with human waste stinking up the streets? If students can create a multi-sensory installation in the reader’s mind, then they have done this part of their job well.

Popular Settings from Children’s Literature and Storytelling

  • Fairytale Kingdom
  • Magical Forest
  • Village/town
  • Underwater world
  • Space/Alien planet


Now that your student has created a believable world, it is time to populate it with believable characters.

In short stories, these worlds mustn’t be overpopulated beyond what the student’s skill level can manage. Short stories usually only require one main character and a few secondary ones. Think of the short story more as a small-scale dramatic production in an intimate local theater than a Hollywood blockbuster on a grand scale. Too many characters will only confuse and become unwieldy with a canvas this size. Keep it simple!

Creating believable characters is often one of the most challenging aspects of narrative writing for students. Fortunately, we can do a few things to help students here. Sometimes it is helpful for students to model their characters on actual people they know. This can make things a little less daunting and taxing on the imagination. However, whether or not this is the case, writing brief background bios or descriptions of characters’ physical personality characteristics can be a beneficial prewriting activity. Students should give some in-depth consideration to the details of who their character is: How do they walk? What do they look like? Do they have any distinguishing features? A crooked nose? A limp? Bad breath? Small details such as these bring life and, therefore, believability to characters. Students can even cut pictures from magazines to put a face to their character and allow their imaginations to fill in the rest of the details.

Younger students will often dictate to the reader the nature of their characters. To improve their writing craft, students must know when to switch from story-telling mode to story-showing mode. This is particularly true when it comes to character. Encourage students to reveal their character’s personality through what they do rather than merely by lecturing the reader on the faults and virtues of the character’s personality. It might be a small relayed detail in the way they walk that reveals a core characteristic. For example, a character who walks with their head hanging low and shoulders hunched while avoiding eye contact has been revealed to be timid without the word once being mentioned. This is a much more artistic and well-crafted way of doing things and is less irritating for the reader. A character who sits down at the family dinner table immediately snatches up his fork and starts stuffing roast potatoes into his mouth before anyone else has even managed to sit down has revealed a tendency towards greed or gluttony.

Understanding Character Traits

Again, there is room here for some fun and profitable prewriting activities. Give students a list of character traits and have them describe a character doing something that reveals that trait without ever employing the word itself.

It is also essential to avoid adjective stuffing here. When looking at students’ early drafts, adjective stuffing is often apparent. To train the student out of this habit, choose an adjective and have the student rewrite the sentence to express this adjective through action rather than telling.

When writing a story, it is vital to consider the character’s traits and how they will impact the story’s events. For example, a character with a strong trait of determination may be more likely to overcome obstacles and persevere. In contrast, a character with a tendency towards laziness may struggle to achieve their goals. In short, character traits add realism, depth, and meaning to a story, making it more engaging and memorable for the reader.

Popular Character Traits in Children’s Stories

  • Determination
  • Imagination
  • Perseverance
  • Responsibility

We have an in-depth guide to creating great characters here , but most students should be fine to move on to planning their conflict and resolution.


narrative writing | 2 RoadBlock | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |

This is often the area apprentice writers have the most difficulty with. Students must understand that without a problem or conflict, there is no story. The problem is the driving force of the action. Usually, in a short story, the problem will center around what the primary character wants to happen or, indeed, wants not to happen. It is the hurdle that must be overcome. It is in the struggle to overcome this hurdle that events happen.

Often when a student understands the need for a problem in a story, their completed work will still not be successful. This is because, often in life, problems remain unsolved. Hurdles are not always successfully overcome. Students pick up on this.

We often discuss problems with friends that will never be satisfactorily resolved one way or the other, and we accept this as a part of life. This is not usually the case with writing a story. Whether a character successfully overcomes his or her problem or is decidedly crushed in the process of trying is not as important as the fact that it will finally be resolved one way or the other.

A good practical exercise for students to get to grips with this is to provide copies of stories and have them identify the central problem or conflict in each through discussion. Familiar fables or fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Cinderella, etc., are great for this.

While it is true that stories often have more than one problem or that the hero or heroine is unsuccessful in their first attempt to solve a central problem, for beginning students and intermediate students, it is best to focus on a single problem, especially given the scope of story writing at this level. Over time students will develop their abilities to handle more complex plots and write accordingly.

Popular Conflicts found in Children’s Storytelling.

  • Good vs evil
  • Individual vs society
  • Nature vs nurture
  • Self vs others
  • Man vs self
  • Man vs nature
  • Man vs technology
  • Individual vs fate
  • Self vs destiny

Conflict is the heart and soul of any good story. It’s what makes a story compelling and drives the plot forward. Without conflict, there is no story. Every great story has a struggle or a problem that needs to be solved, and that’s where conflict comes in. Conflict is what makes a story exciting and keeps the reader engaged. It creates tension and suspense and makes the reader care about the outcome.

Like in real life, conflict in a story is an opportunity for a character’s growth and transformation. It’s a chance for them to learn and evolve, making a story great. So next time stories are written in the classroom, remember that conflict is an essential ingredient, and without it, your story will lack the energy, excitement, and meaning that makes it truly memorable.


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The climax of the story is the dramatic high point of the action. It is also when the struggles kicked off by the problem come to a head. The climax will ultimately decide whether the story will have a happy or tragic ending. In the climax, two opposing forces duke things out until the bitter (or sweet!) end. One force ultimately emerges triumphant. As the action builds throughout the story, suspense increases as the reader wonders which of these forces will win out. The climax is the release of this suspense.

Much of the success of the climax depends on how well the other elements of the story have been achieved. If the student has created a well-drawn and believable character that the reader can identify with and feel for, then the climax will be more powerful.

The nature of the problem is also essential as it determines what’s at stake in the climax. The problem must matter dearly to the main character if it matters at all to the reader.

Have students engage in discussions about their favorite movies and books. Have them think about the storyline and decide the most exciting parts. What was at stake at these moments? What happened in your body as you read or watched? Did you breathe faster? Or grip the cushion hard? Did your heart rate increase, or did you start to sweat? This is what a good climax does and what our students should strive to do in their stories.

The climax puts it all on the line and rolls the dice. Let the chips fall where the writer may…

Popular Climax themes in Children’s Stories

  • A battle between good and evil
  • The character’s bravery saves the day
  • Character faces their fears and overcomes them
  • The character solves a mystery or puzzle.
  • The character stands up for what is right.
  • Character reaches their goal or dream.
  • The character learns a valuable lesson.
  • The character makes a selfless sacrifice.
  • The character makes a difficult decision.
  • The character reunites with loved ones or finds true friendship.


After the climactic action, a few questions will often remain unresolved for the reader, even if all the conflict has been resolved. The resolution is where those lingering questions will be answered. The resolution in a short story may only be a brief paragraph or two. But, in most cases, it will still be necessary to include an ending immediately after the climax can feel too abrupt and leave the reader feeling unfulfilled.

An easy way to explain resolution to students struggling to grasp the concept is to point to the traditional resolution of fairy tales, the “And they all lived happily ever after” ending. This weather forecast for the future allows the reader to take their leave. Have the student consider the emotions they want to leave the reader with when crafting their resolution.

While the action is usually complete by the end of the climax, it is in the resolution that if there is a twist to be found, it will appear – think of movies such as The Usual Suspects. Pulling this off convincingly usually requires considerable skill from a student writer. Still, it may well form a challenging extension exercise for those more gifted storytellers among your students.

Popular Resolutions in Children’s Stories

  • Our hero achieves their goal
  • The character learns a valuable lesson
  • A character finds happiness or inner peace.
  • The character reunites with loved ones.
  • Character restores balance to the world.
  • The character discovers their true identity.
  • Character changes for the better.
  • The character gains wisdom or understanding.
  • Character makes amends with others.
  • The character learns to appreciate what they have.

Once students have completed their story, they can edit for grammar, vocabulary choice, spelling, etc., but not before!

As mentioned, there is a craft to storytelling, as well as an art. When accurate grammar, perfect spelling, and immaculate sentence structures are pushed at the outset, they can cause storytelling paralysis. For this reason, it is essential that when we encourage the students to write a story, we give them license to make mechanical mistakes in their use of language that they can work on and fix later.

Good narrative writing is a very complex skill to develop and will take the student years to become competent. It challenges not only the student’s technical abilities with language but also her creative faculties. Writing frames, word banks, mind maps, and visual prompts can all give valuable support as students develop the wide-ranging and challenging skills required to produce a successful narrative writing piece. But, at the end of it all, as with any craft, practice and more practice is at the heart of the matter.


  • Start your story with a clear purpose: If you can determine the theme or message you want to convey in your narrative before starting it will make the writing process so much simpler.
  • Choose a compelling storyline and sell it through great characters, setting and plot: Consider a unique or interesting story that captures the reader’s attention, then build the world and characters around it.
  • Develop vivid characters that are not all the same: Make your characters relatable and memorable by giving them distinct personalities and traits you can draw upon in the plot.
  • Use descriptive language to hook your audience into your story: Use sensory language to paint vivid images and sequences in the reader’s mind.
  • Show, don’t tell your audience: Use actions, thoughts, and dialogue to reveal character motivations and emotions through storytelling.
  • Create a vivid setting that is clear to your audience before getting too far into the plot: Describe the time and place of your story to immerse the reader fully.
  • Build tension: Refer to the story map earlier in this article and use conflict, obstacles, and suspense to keep the audience engaged and invested in your narrative.
  • Use figurative language such as metaphors, similes, and other literary devices to add depth and meaning to your narrative.
  • Edit, revise, and refine: Take the time to refine and polish your writing for clarity and impact.
  • Stay true to your voice: Maintain your unique perspective and style in your writing to make it your own.


Below are a collection of student writing samples of narratives.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read these creative stories in detail and the teacher and student guides which highlight some of the critical elements of narratives to consider before writing.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of story writing.

We recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

narrative writing | Narrative writing example year 3 1 | Narrative Writing: A Complete Guide for Teachers and Students |


When students have a great journal prompt, it can help them focus on the task at hand, so be sure to view our vast collection of visual writing prompts for various text types here or use some of these.

  • On a recent European trip, you find your travel group booked into the stunning and mysterious Castle Frankenfurter for a single night…  As night falls, the massive castle of over one hundred rooms seems to creak and groan as a series of unexplained events begin to make you wonder who or what else is spending the evening with you. Write a narrative that tells the story of your evening.
  • You are a famous adventurer who has discovered new lands; keep a travel log over a period of time in which you encounter new and exciting adventures and challenges to overcome.  Ensure your travel journal tells a story and has a definite introduction, conflict and resolution.
  • You create an incredible piece of technology that has the capacity to change the world.  As you sit back and marvel at your innovation and the endless possibilities ahead of you, it becomes apparent there are a few problems you didn’t really consider. You might not even be able to control them.  Write a narrative in which you ride the highs and lows of your world-changing creation with a clear introduction, conflict and resolution.
  • As the final door shuts on the Megamall, you realise you have done it…  You and your best friend have managed to sneak into the largest shopping centre in town and have the entire place to yourselves until 7 am tomorrow.  There is literally everything and anything a child would dream of entertaining themselves for the next 12 hours.  What amazing adventures await you?  What might go wrong?  And how will you get out of there scot-free?
  • A stranger walks into town…  Whilst appearing similar to almost all those around you, you get a sense that this person is from another time, space or dimension… Are they friends or foes?  What makes you sense something very strange is going on?   Suddenly they stand up and walk toward you with purpose extending their hand… It’s almost as if they were reading your mind.


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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

When teaching narrative writing, it is essential that you have a range of tools, strategies and resources at your disposal to ensure you get the most out of your writing time.  You can find some examples below, which are free and paid premium resources you can use instantly without any preparation.

FREE Narrative Graphic Organizer

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A MASSIVE COLLECTION of resources for narratives and story writing in the classroom covering all elements of crafting amazing stories. MONTHS WORTH OF WRITING LESSONS AND RESOURCES, including:


writing checklists

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Teaching Narrative Writing: 14 Activities to Help Your Students Learn to Love It

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Written by Alison Smith

When it comes down to it, narrative writing is basically the art of telling a story. And if there’s one thing that little kids are fond of doing, it’s telling stories … especially the “big fish” kind! But if you’re teaching narrative writing to your class, you know there’s a lot more to it than just being able to spin a wild tale.

Helping your students to develop their narrative writing strategies will take them from story spinners with a lot to say out loud to storytellers who can craft a beautifully written story on the page.

But how do you actually do that? Let’s dig in!

How Do You Teach Narrative Writing?

Narrative writing is one of the four major types of writing we expect from our students — along with argumentative (or opinion) writing, expository, and informative writing.

Perhaps the most important aspect of teaching narrative writing is nurturing a love of storytelling, along with helping your students to understand narrative writing structure and organization, and how to develop the story by adding details.

Naturally, teaching narrative writing differs by grade level with the kindergarten through second-grade learning largely through read-alouds and exposure to narrative writing examples, while older elementary schoolers will spend more time putting pencil to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) writing their stories. We’ll break down a few ways to teach each age and stage!

But before we do that, a quick reminder:

What Are the Five Rules of Narrative Writing?

Eventually, your students will get to a stage where the rules of writing will be a little less important, but we have to start somewhere! So call these the rules of narrative writing or the five elements of narrative writing. Either way — every story should have a:

  • Character(s)

Activities for Teaching Narrative Writing

Sowing the seeds for successful narrative story writing starts as early as pre-k or kindergarten.

Read Mentor Texts

Sure, your students may not be ready to write out their full thoughts, but the read-alouds you do in the classroom are an important part of introducing narrative story writing examples they can build off in their future education.

Here are some of our favorite children’s books to introduce the concept:

  • Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon
  • Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  • My Dog Mouse by Eva Lindstrom

Use Story Prompt Handwriting Worksheets

Help your kindergarten and first-grade students develop their handwriting skills by recounting a story based on prompts they can trace and then add to! Bonus: This resource is free!


Teach the 5Ws (and 1H)

Help your students build out the structure of their storytelling with the basics — the 5ws (and that pesky 1 H ):

  • What happened?
  • Who is it about?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

Scaffold with Storybooks

After teaching your students the vocabulary of narrative writing, use storybooks as narrative writing examples they can use to identify the different elements of the story. To make it easier, provide a template like this cute story spine porcupine so they can identify the process that the author used to build out a story, sequencing the events one by one.

porcupine narrative writing template printable with student writing

You can also use the template as a scaffold when students write their own story — with 8 steps accompanied by easy-to-follow sentence starters, your students will have planned their writing in full before they know it!

Try Guided Writing Activities

Guided writing is a brilliant narrative writing activity. Working in a small group with teacher guidance helps students to build confidence and to be active participants in discussions about writing.

Guided writing is very similar to guided reading in the classroom. Students work in small differentiated groups and work towards a similar writing goal. Guided writing sessions are usually 20-25 minutes long and are generally broken down into the following framework:

  • Direct instruction, where the teacher reminds the students of their writing goals and provides them with some form of writing stimulus (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Shared experience, where the students and teacher have a rich conversation about the writing topic and/or writing stimulus, key vocabulary, and the possible text types that could be written (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Independent writing and sharing, where students write as much as they can in the allocated time. The teacher provides timely feedback and scaffolds key writing skills. Students then share what they have written with the small group or the rest of the class (approximately 10 minutes).

Direct Instruction

Research shows that students need direct instruction that includes the I do (teacher modeling), we do ( guided practice), and you do (independent practice). Teaching narrative writing is no exception to this rule, and it’s critical to include a balance of modeled, guided, and independent writing.

A big part of direct teaching instruction is making the lesson objectives clear. Narrative writing is a complex task and so it is important to focus on one thing at a time and to make the success criteria clear. For example, if your lesson focus is narrative structure, don’t stress about the spelling.

Set Up a Writing Station

Take the fear out of writing, and set up a free writing station. Provide students with paper, blank comic strips, blank postcards, greeting cards, pictures cut out of magazines, pens, pencils, sticky notes, or whatever else inspires your students to put pencil to paper.

To make the writing station effective as a skill-building activity:

  • Acknowledge and praise all writing as a masterpiece
  • Avoid correcting the spelling, punctuation, and grammar used in free writing tasks
  • Make time for your students to use the writing station
  • Avoid making it a fast finisher activity, as the students who need it most are likely to miss out

Use a Writer’s Notebook

Encourage your students to keep a Writer’s Notebook to jot down new ideas for narrative writing.

How to Set Up a Writer’s Notebook Daily Routine

Each student needs their own notebook. Allow students to create a cover for their notebook, or you can provide them with this  Writer’s Notebook Cover Page  which they can decorate. Introduce the concept to your class, ensuring they understand the notebook will not be graded, but will instead be used daily as a place for them to play with ideas and words. This  Writer’s Notebook Poem   by Ralph Fletcher is great to stick in the front of their notebooks as a reminder of the book’s purpose. Provide students with  Writer’s Notebook Writing Prompt Cards (these are optional) Dedicate at least 5 minutes every day to your students’ Writer’s Notebooks, providing specific activities or allowing free writing time.

Create a Writer’s Prop Table

Picture a small table in your classroom, scattered with a collection of objects such as a key, a padlock, a candle, a map, or a train ticket, and your imagination will be popping with ideas for a narrative. Before you know it, your students will be looking for objects to add to the collection and planting seeds for their next narrative.

Slow Down and Break It Up!

For incredible writing outcomes, break down the main parts of a narrative text type. Spend a significant amount of time on each structural element. Think of it as laying one brick at a time. Ask your students to write a complete narrative only when they have secure knowledge, understanding, and experience of writing an orientation, complication, resolution, and ending.


A great activity to teach the structure of narrative writing is to deconstruct a text by cutting it up and sticking it back together! Given that it’s not ideal to cut up books, we have created a sorting task to reinforce the structural features of a narrative text. Your students can play surgeon, dissecting the text and putting it all back together again!

Sizzling Starts

Do your students fall into the trap of writing orientations that begin with One day…, On Monday, Once upon a time…?

If your mission is to change this, believe me when I say that students need to see it to believe it.

Read amazing story openings, the more the better. I love the sizzling start to How to Bee by Bren MacDibble…

Today! It’s here! Bright and real and waiting. The knowing of it bursts into my head so big and sudden, like a crack of morning sun bursting through the gap at the top of the door…

Teaching narrative teaching ideas

Once you’ve given your students the opportunity to read, watch and experience the impact of amazing sizzling starts, show your students a  Narrative Plot Structure Diagram to demonstrate how a great narrative often starts with action!

Sentence Starter Roll Call

Select a Narrative Sentence Starter Card , and display or write it on the whiteboard. Ask your students to think of an imaginative way to finish the sentence, (the sillier the better).

Provide your students with a little thinking time. Ask each student to share their response when you call their name. This is sure to get a few giggles!

TEACHER: Jonah, I found a strange package at the door… JONAH: …it turned into a robot who helped me to fly to the moon

Round Robin Storytelling

Have you ever tried a round-robin story with your class? It’s great fun and a perfect warm-up at the beginning of a writing lesson and is a brilliant way to develop speaking and listening skills.

  • Arrange your students in a circle. The teacher joins the circle.
  • Start the round-robin by reading aloud one of the Narrative Sentence Starter Cards.
  • Moving in a clockwise direction, ask the next person to continue the story.
  • The teacher finishes off the story when it returns to the starting point.

Be mindful of less confident learners and the support that they need during this activity.

Shared Writing

Shared writing is a crucial part of teaching narrative writing. This effective teaching strategy (whereby the teacher models writing while being given ideas and direction from the students), is ideal to use with the whole class or in a small group.

Try our  Picture Writing Prompts Widget as a stimulus for shared writing. Each image comes with writing prompts ideas,  Five Ws and One H questions and suggested activities.

Tips for leading shared writing sessions

  • Focus your shared writing session on one or two elements of narrative writing. For example, focus on text structure, ideas, characters. and setting or vocabulary.
  • Keep it short. This will depend on the year level of your class. 10 -15 minutes is an awesome effort. As a general rule, as soon as you notice that your students are disengaged, call it a day, until tomorrow!
  • Model how to write a narrative using a plan. In fact, model how to write a plan! Show your students the art of referring to the plan on a regular basis.
  • Use Think, Pair, Share and Elbow Partners , to encourage ideas and discussion.
  • Inspire your students and stimulate ideas through the use of visual prompts, props, and feely bags.
  • Make it fun and do it often.

For more useful ideas on how to use writing prompts in the classroom, don’t miss our blog   5 Ways to Spark Imagination in the Classroom Using Writing Prompts .

What are your favorite ways to teach narrative writing? Try our extensive collection of narrative writing resources !

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Not So Wimpy Teacher

The Not So WImpy Teacher creates resources for busy teachers in grades 2-5 who are looking to deliver engaging and meaningful lessons without overwhelm and chaos.

narrative writing 3rd grade examples

Fiction Narrative Writing Unit THIRD GRADE

Grade Level: 3rd Grade

My third grade fiction writing unit includes 8 weeks of done-for-you writing lessons about how to write an engaging fiction essay, with strong characters, an interesting problem and solution, and rich dialogue . This unit contains detailed lesson plans, mentor texts, anchor charts, student writing tasks, and rubrics –everything you need to be a capable, confident writing teacher with students who love to write.

More about this resource

If teaching writing has ever made you cry, weep, tear out your hair, question your existence, or binge-watch reality television—because it’s just that frustrating and overwhelming—this writing unit is perfect for you. 

If your students dread writing time more than meatloaf in the school cafeteria…this writing unit is perfect for them, too. 

Teaching writing can be tough. Teachers tell me that their district-provided writing curriculum is:

  • too complicated

Or worse, they don’t have any curriculum at all. Yikes! 

But my third grade fiction writing unit makes teaching writing easy . It takes all the guesswork out of teaching writing and gives you the tools you need to teach engaging and effective writing lessons without breaking a sweat.

The ready-to-use lessons and activities in this fiction writing unit will teach your students h ow to use supporting facts, reasons, and examples, consider opposing viewpoints, write topic and concluding sentences, and structure paragraphs . And all you have to do is print and teach . The lesson plans are that simple. Seriously.

The  ready-to-use lessons and activities  in this fiction writing unit will teach your students how to craft an engaging fiction narrative. They will learn how to  write dialogue, paragraphs, and transitions, create strong characters, and craft an engaging problem and solution ! And all you have to do is  print and teach . The lesson plans are that simple. Seriously.

Student-friendly mentor texts  make it easy to provide illustrative examples of new writing skills. You don’t have to waste your time and money hunting down just the right book.   Focused mini lessons  and  daily writing tasks  simplify the writing process helping ALL students, even reluctant writers, experience success.  Preprinted anchor charts  make it easy to model new skills and engage in shared writing without wasting valuable time.

And best of all, my fiction narrative writing unit  makes writing fun  for  ALL  your students – from  reluctant writers  to  excited writers . The  Student Success Path  helps you identify where your students are on their writing journey and plan just-right lessons and  interventions .  Short, focused lessons  keep students engaged. Simple, direct writing tasks help kids develop confidence.  Conference materials,  including outlines and topic cards, you can use to guide small group discussion make it easy for you to  differentiate lessons.

Choice empowers students  to write about things they care about and makes them more invested in their writing. And that’s a big deal because  students who enjoy writing and get lots of practice perform better on standardized testing.

Plus, these materials are  easy-to-use . Everything is organized in folders to help you find just what you need. A  Quick Start Guide  makes it simple to get started and provides tips on how to prep materials for long-term use.

The 2-week  Starting Writing Workshop mini-unit  will help you start your writing instruction on the right foot. Detailed teacher directions show you exactly how to use all the resources and activities.

How Our Writing Curriculum is Aligned with the Science of Reading :

  • Structured writing routine: Our writing curriculum is organized into 4 genres. Each 8-week unit is carefully structured, beginning with foundational skills before moving into more advanced skills. Students are taught a systematic approach to writing including: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
  • Explicit instruction: Daily lessons begin with explicit instruction including access to examples via mentor texts, modeling, and directed practice. Each skill is broken down into bite-size pieces so that students can learn one skill at a time. Students practice skills independently, working on one sentence or paragraph at a time.
  • Differentiation: Writing is differentiated through small group instruction that provides reteaching, additional practice, and support at appropriate levels.
  • Daily opportunities to write: The majority of the writing lesson is reserved for independent writing time, providing students with large blocks of time to write and practice skills every day. 
  • Demonstrates the connection between reading and writing: Mentor texts provide concrete examples of writing skills and allow children to experiment with and apply sophisticated skills and language in their own writing. In addition, constructing their own writing pieces helps students recognize, connect, and understand these strategies when reading.  

What’s Included:

  • Detailed teacher directions and suggestions for simple implementation
  • Unit-at-a-glance calendar for each unit
  • 7 exclusive videos walking you through how to get the most out of these writing units
  • 40 days of lesson plans that include guiding questions, materials, mini lessons, student work tasks, student share tasks, intervention, and several extension activities
  • 14 original mentor text passages
  • 24 fiction task cards (identifying whether a topic is a fiction narrative)
  • 24 fiction writing prompt task cards
  • 12 teacher anchor charts (blank and filled in versions)
  • Student anchor charts and printable for writing notebooks
  • Conference and goal tracking forms
  • Writing grades tracking forms
  • List of 10 additional mentor text books (Remember, using them is optional, because I’ve included all the mentor texts you need) 
  • 6 different writing publishing papers
  • Student writing notebook cover and dividers
  • Teacher notebook covers and binder spines
  • Multiple ideas for author share celebration
  • DIGITAL writing notebooks on Google Slides
  • Conferencing Materials – Conference outlines, a sample conference, and topic cards you can use to guide your small-group conferences
  • Student Success Path – Identify where your students are on their writing journey
  • Starting Writing Workshop Bonus – Two weeks of writing lesson plans to help build stamina and set your students up for writing success

Skills Covered:

Students learn h ow to create strong characters, craft a problem and solution, and write dialogue, paragraphs and transitions to create an entertaining story. Lessons include:

  • Setting goals
  • What is a fiction narrative?
  • Developing Characters
  • Developing Setting (Show- Don’t Tell)
  • Problem & Solution
  • Author Point of View
  • Writing a lead
  • Creating Suspense
  • Adding and Punctuating Dialogue
  • Word Choice (Strong Verbs)
  • Transitions
  • Writing an ending

How to Use it in the Classroom: 

A typical day of writing:.

I recommend you set aside 30-45 minutes for writing each day (or more if you have it). Check out the sample schedules below. Each day follows the same plan:

  • Mini-Lesson (8-10 minutes):  The day kicks off with a mini-lesson to teach a particular skill. The mini-lesson uses mentor text (remember, it’s included in the unit) and anchor charts. For the teacher version of the anchor charts, you can project and fill them out with the class, or print and display them in your classroom. The student versions are smaller so they can fill them out and keep them in their writing notebooks for reference.
  • Work Time (18-20 minutes) : Students will apply the skill they just learned into their writing each day. The included writing tasks make it crystal-clear what to do during independent writing time–for you and your students. By the end of the unit, they will have completed two full masterpieces and many other independent writings.
  • Share Time (2 minutes) : Students are encouraged to share a piece of their writing with a partner or with the entire class. This makes writing more meaningful to kids and holds them accountable.

Organization Made Easy:

  • The fiction writing unit is organized into multiple folders and files so it’s easy for you to find what you need.
  • A 40-day daily schedule so you know exactly what to teach each day.
  • Detailed daily lesson plans make teaching writing easy.


There are many ways to differentiate writing assignments:

  • Use the Student Success Path to identify where students are on their writing journey and use the suggested interventions to modify lessons.
  • These daily writing prompts are intentionally short and sweet so that all students, even those below grade level, can feel successful. Most tasks can be completed in 1-2 sentences.
  • More advanced writers can write longer responses, or work on a second masterpiece if they finish early.
  • Students can complete fewer task cards or work with a partner; you can also provide support to students as they work on task cards.
  • The process for teaching writing includes group conferencing time. These groups should be based on ability so that you can individualize your instruction to meet the specific needs of the group. Use the topic cards to guide your small group lessons.

❤️❤️  Why You’ll Love This Writing Unit!  ❤️❤️

  • You’ll save hours of prepping and planning time. The daily lesson plans are easy to implement. All you have to do is print and teach.
  • Mentor texts are included. You do not need to hunt down or purchase any additional books! (Unless you want to. Far be it from me to stand between a teacher and new books.)
  • Digital anchor charts project onto your white board-so you don’t have to be Picasso or Renoir to anchor your kids in the lesson.
  • Pre-printed student anchor charts make it easy for students to follow along without having to write every word and draw complicated diagrams.
  • Digital student notebooks are perfect for 1:1 classrooms and a great way to save paper.
  • These lessons work for all students, even students below grade level.
  • Task cards incorporate movement, reinforce concepts, and make learning fun. Daily share time encourages students to take pride in their writing.
  • Direct writing instruction provides a solid foundation of writing skills that leads to increased test scores.
  • Aligned with the Science of Reading .


More Third Grade Writing Units:

Personal Narrative for Third Grade

Informational Writing for Third Grade

Opinion Writing for Third Grade

Frequently Asked

Yes. I also have personal narrative , informational essay , and opinion writing writing units available.

This fiction writing unit is available for grade 3. I also have fiction writing units available for grades two , four , and five .

I prefer composition notebooks because they are sturdy and easy to use and store. But other teachers have used spiral bound notebooks or three-ring binders.

Yes. These writing lessons are based on Common Core standards.

The lessons for consecutive grade levels are very similar because the standards are similar. The biggest difference is that the reading level on the mentor text passages is modified to meet the specific grade level. Other differences include new examples in the lesson plans and anchor charts and new task cards. It is generally fine to use units that are one level above or below grade level. You might want to select the lower grade level to ensure that the mentor texts are easier for students to read.

Each unit includes eight weeks of materials. I recommend spending 30-45 on writing each day. The lesson takes 8-10 minutes and the rest of the time would be used for independent writing.

Students complete two masterpieces in each unit. But they may work on additional pieces if they finish daily assignments early.

My writing units are a standalone curriculum. They are not based on or aligned with any other curriculum. However, they are based on the writing standards. My curriculum is organized into units of study and formatted in the workshop model and hundreds of teachers have successfully used my writing units with their district provided curriculum.

My writing units are a standalone curriculum. They are not based on or aligned with any other curriculum. With that being said, I have hundreds of teachers who have chosen to use my units as a supplement to their Lucy curriculum because it is more manageable and engaging for students.

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