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ERIC Number: ED471630
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1442-603X
In the Past...I Was Clueless: Writing Scary Stories in the Middle School. PEN.
Williams, Monica
For one middle school teacher, the "functional grammar" approach to narrative writing promised to offer students explicit instruction in how to structure a narrative text to build up suspense, and it could give focus to the types of descriptive language that further engage readers. Her classroom research was built on the teacher resource, "Write It Right: Spine Chilling Stories," developed in New South Wales (Australia). It provided the teacher with the background knowledge she needed in the deconstruction of narrative texts. Her Year 7 students were a mixed-ability group of 31. Before they began the unit, the students wrote a narrative which involved the supernatural. Next, the topic was opened up through class discussion. Then the class viewed "Ghost Dad" and focused on narrative segments and devices: orientation; foreshadowing; complication; resolution; and special effects in the film. While they studied the film, the teacher introduced new concepts as "stages" in a narrative. They then studied short written narratives and deconstructed them into "orientation,""complication,""temporary resolution,""reappearing complication," and "resolution." The last narrative feature discussed was "evaluation." The next deconstruction phase was to look at some of the important language features of narratives with the focus on processes (verb groups) and nominal (noun) groups. Besides the deconstruction of narrative texts, this digest discusses the language features of narrative texts and reviews a sample narrative text. The digest ponders what allowed this mixed-ability class to engage in complex discussions about language and what kept their motivation high. It finds that functional grammar has given the teacher a new tool to explore the literacy potential within every student. (NKA)
Primary English Teaching Association, P.O. Box 3106, Marrickville NSW 2204, Australia. Tel: 02 9565 1277; Fax: 02 9565 1070; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Primary English Teaching Association, Marrickville (Australia).
Identifiers - Location: Australia