When we read a nonfiction text, what is the difference between one that keeps us interested and one that merely informs? Especially when the topic may be a bit, well, dry? The difference is narrative. The writer who threads a story throughout her text – using the tools of human connection, of narrative – is the writer who brings information to life. The argument she makes is compelling and real, because we care about the story within her story. This writer understands the power of narrative.
In Story Matters, Liz Prather provides activities, lessons, exercises, mentor texts, and student samples to help teens learn to seamlessly weave narrative into their nonfiction writing. She provides concrete ideas for using the tools and techniques of narrative, including:
- finding stories within any topic
- using characters
- creating tension
- exploring structure
- selecting details
- crafting words and sentences.
Give Liz’s ideas a try and watch your students’ writing rise to new levels. Because story matters.