The Fictional Narrative: An Introduction

Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10531

Have you ever met Snow White? Do you know any pigs or wolves that can talk? These characters live in the world of fiction, or make-believe. You will learn to write and even illustrate your own story!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Do you recognize these little guys? Watch this Snow White - Meeting the Dwarves Clip:

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Are these guys for real?

This is the first in a series of lessons where you will learn about the elements of a fictional story, then use what you have learned to create your very own first-person fictional narrative!

  • Did you recognize the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

If you are unfamiliar with the fairytale, or have not heard the story in a while, here is a shortened version of the Disney Princess Snow White's Story.

  • Do you have a favorite dwarf?
  • Is there one with whom you can relate?
  • Are you always sleepy, or are you super-shy?

Pick your favorite and keep his name in your mind. You will come back to your dwarf later. For now, think about this:

  • Is this real or is it make-believe?

You're right, it's make-believe. There are no magic mirrors or sleeping curses in real life.

Stories that are completely make-believe are called "fiction." Fiction can take place anywhere — even places that you create in your imagination. Fiction can take place during any point in time: past, present, or future, and they can be about any thing, any creature, or anyone you (as the author) would like.

Fiction is the opposite of non-fiction. Non-fiction is about things that are true or real. For example, a book about the life cycle of frogs is non-fiction. A biography (a book of facts about someone's life)about George Washington, and a documentary (movie about something real) about penguins are also forms of non-fiction.

  • When you read the story, who is telling the story?
  • Is it Snow White?

No, we hear things about Snow White, and we listen to her as she talks to other characters, but she does not tell the story.

  • Does Snow White's evil stepmother tell the story?

Watch The Evil Queen orders the Huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her!!! (ends at 0:42) and decide if she is telling the story:

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She sure is mean, but she isn't telling the story. Maybe it's a good thing that the story isn't written from her point of view.

  • So, if Snow White doesn't tell the story and the Evil Queen doesn't tell the story, then who does?

If you said, "The narrator," you are absolutely, positively, one-hundred-percent correct!

That's right, none of the characters tells the story. The story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is told in third person point of view. That means an unknown narrator who knows and sees EVERYTHING is telling the story. Most fairy tales you know are in third person.

Take a moment to think of some other stories you know that are told in third person, where you don't see things from one specific character's point of view.

Now, think about stories you may know that are written in the FIRST PERSON point of view. First person point of view is when one character tells the entire story from his or her perspective. When you write in first person, you use the personal pronouns "Me" and "I."

When writing in first person, you need to focus on the character's personality and traits that make him or her special. You need to know how that character acts, thinks, feels, and talks. Think about how that character would respond to other characters and in different situations.

  • Do you remember the story of The Three Little Pigs?

The original story is told in third person by a narrator. The narrator tells us how the pigs do whatever it takes to keep the Big, Bad Wolf from huffing and puffing and blowing their houses down!

However, what the narrator fails to give the audience is any good reason to feel bad for the wolf.

  • There are two sides to every story, right?

Watch this video, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, written by Jon Scieszka, told in first person point of view from Mr. Wolf:

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  • Did you like that story?
  • Do you believe the wolf?
  • What are some things you noticed about that story compared to the original?
  • Did you like hearing a popular story from one character's point of view?

Discuss the differences between this version and the original version with your teacher, then continue on to the Got It? section to practice writing in first person!

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