Writing Process: Narrative Essay

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12889

Tell about visiting a bakery without describing smells, or a car race without describing action. Your story would be booooorrrrring! Learn to use sensory words to make your stories live for readers!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What images, sounds, or feelings come to mind when you look at the above photo? How would you explain them to others so they can experience them, too?

The above photo is the part of a narrative essay that will be demonstrated for you in this lesson.

However, before the demonstration begins, take a moment to review what you have learned so far in this Writing Process series. All Related Lessons are available in the right-hand sidebar.

In the first lesson of this series, you learned the reason for writing a narrative essay. The purpose of a narrative essay is to tell a story, and it is usually a story from your own experience. You also learned that a narrative essay is organized chronologically, which means it is told in the order the events happened.

  • What are some examples of narrative writing that you can think of?

Take a minute to think about it and share your answer with your parent or teacher. Examples of narrative writing are short stories, autobiographies, biographies, and fictional pieces. You selected a topic for your essay and created a T chart to put the events in the correct order.

In the second lesson, you learned the different ways you can gather information for your essay.

  • Can you think of some ways you can gather information for writing?

You can gather information through observation, research, interviews, and personal memory. Sensory words and descriptive language are used to give the reader a concise and clear picture of what is taking place in the essay. You created a sensory chart and a gathering grid to help describe your writing fully. You will need all of those items — the T chart, sensory chart, and gathering grid — to complete this lesson. If you need to get them now, do so.

At the beginning of this lesson, you saw an image of a pair of eyes.

  • Were you able to determine what or who those eyes belong to?

It is a panther, and it is part of the main character of this narrative. The characters of this story are listed in this gathering grid:

Characters Description
Todd Boy about 13 years old; Mischievous
Brian Younger brother; 12 years old; Gullible
Other Boys Campers same age as Todd and Brian
Camp Counselor Early 20's; Loves to tell stories
Pantherman Screams like a lady; Cries like a baby; Half man, half panther


The story takes place at a camp in southeastern Kentucky. The sequence of events is in the following T chart:

Order the Event Occurred Event that Occurred
1 Boys arrived at the camp.
2 Todd and Brian were assigned to different cabins.
3 Todd teases Brian about the "Pantherman."
4 Camp Counselor tells Todd's group to not go out of the cabin at night.
5 Todd needs to go to the bathroom.
6 Todd hears the "Pantherman."
7 Todd runs back to his cabin.
8 Camp Counselor tells Todd he shouldn't scare his younger brother.


These are some of the things you did when gathering information to write your narrative essay. When this essay is written, you will want to remember to use sensory words that you wrote in your sensory chart, as well as other descriptive words. You will also want to include dialogue if possible to give the reader a better understanding of who the characters are and what they are like. Remember to use transitional words as you go from one event to the next.

Continue to the Got It? section to see how this story unfolds.

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