Through generations, people have always used storytelling to transfer knowledge, lessons, and ideas. The way we tell stories has changed a lot over the centuries, though. Most of us are familiar with fiction because of stories or programs we have read or watched. However, written fiction requires more cerebral action than passively watching fictional shows on a screen.
Reading fictional stories can help children learn valuable life lessons and more about how people interact with their surroundings. When teaching students how to construct a fictional story, we need to teach them the different genres of fiction and the elements of a good fictional story.
Most of us have the propensity to have vivid imaginations, and we can nurture our imaginations with fictional stories. Since fiction isn't real, it is open to embellishments and reader interpretation. The more detailed the story, the more it will guide the reader to envision what the author intended. But why and how do we teach students the skill of presenting a fictional story?
Why Teaching Fiction To Students Is Important
We teach students about fiction in school because it's vital to feed our imaginations and creativity. The ability to convey your imagination in writing is a skill that benefits the writer. Additionally, a wider audience can even appreciate it. Most of us know that reading a well-written fictional story offers a great escape from the realities of life.
By teaching and reading fiction to young students, those with a natural inclination to creative writing will flourish with the proper guidance. For all we know, we might just have potentially famous authors in our classes!
Related: Teaching Genre Fairy Tale
How To Teach Fiction To Students
Teaching fiction starts with storytelling and reading to our young students. Many younger elementary students love to hear their teacher read a silly story in an animated voice. Or they listen in suspense to a story of a boy who has climbed a giant beanstalk and must hide from a grumpy giant, for example.
But, before we teach students to write fiction, we must teach them the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Fictional stories aren't true, while non-fiction stories are based on actual events and people.
It is important to note that some fictional stories can have elements of truth in them, but the whole story is not accurate. For example, a child can write about his family holiday to the moon. The characters in the story might be real people, but the story is fictional.
Other aspects of teaching fiction include introducing the sub-genres of fiction and teaching the basics (elements) of a fictional story.
The Sub-Genres Of Fiction
Once students know the difference between fiction and non-fiction, we can tell them about the sub-genres of fiction. Examples of sub-genres of fiction include the following:
- Fairy tales,
- Myths, and
When explaining the sub-genres, it would be ideal to have a poster describing their differences and an age-specific example story for each. For elementary students, the teacher can read these books during reading time, or the books can be in the reading corner for students to read during their free time.
The Elements Of A Fictional Story
Apart from the usual structure that includes a beginning, middle, and end, each fictional story must consist of three essential elements, called first-tier elements. These are:
- The plot or storyline,
- The main character or characters, and
- The setting.
Additional elements can include the storyteller's point of view (first or third person), a theme, a problem, and a solution.
Other Features Of A Fictional Story
When we teach elementary students how to author a fictional story, we can point out a few other features characteristic of a fictional story. These features allow for a bit of creative license on the writer's part. In addition, we can teach them that the story's purpose is for fun and enjoyment.
Because of this, fictional stories can be far-fetched and unbelievable. The writers can choose how much information they want to add because the reader will probably infer or "read between the lines" anyway. Additionally, fictional stories can include illustrations if the writer wishes to have them.
How To Make A Fictional Story More "Immersive"
For older students and those who really enjoy authoring fictional stories, there are a few tips that can help them create a more vivid story. These strategies are:
- Creating a whole new story world.
- Writing in the first person.
- Authoring the story in the present tense, not the past tense.
- Using emotions to stir the reader.
- Using vivid imagery by bringing in the senses.
What's In Our Fiction Lesson Slides?
A complete lesson for teaching "What is Fiction" includes categories of Fiction, genres of Fiction, and key features with examples. These PowerPoint lesson slides are designed for teaching elementary grade levels mainly.
Still, it can be used in higher grades with minor changes.
Students should be able to:
Download ppt Slides For This Lesson
Editable Lesson Slides included