Using Narrative Text in the Secondary Classroom

UsingNarrative Text in the Secondary Classroom

UsingNarrative Text in the Secondary Classroom

Narrativeliterature refers to any written work that incorporate retelling of afiction or non nonfiction story or something that happened in thepast. Narratives play a vital role in recounting various eventspresent in a story. In order to achieve this objective, literaturenarrative makes use of a setting, beginning, reaction, attempt,outcome, as well as an ending (Mandler and Johnson, 2004). Thenarrator of a story may be a direct participant of the recountedevents hence, he or she tells the experiences and events as afirst-person narrator. However, sometimes, the narrator may onlyobserve or see the recounted experiences as a third-person beforegiving his or her point of view. This paper focuses on the advantagesand advantages of narrative texts, possible uses of narrative textsin school, as well as graphic organizer incorporation in practicumactivities.

Advantagesof using narrative text

Itoffers an increased and detailed insight into the experiences of thenarrator through the help of an inner dialogue and explanation.Narrative texts recount a story in a first-person perspective hence,allowing the reader to connect to the character in an emotionalmanner. This is in contrast to an outside perspective that onlyallows readers to assume or interpret the emotions of thecharacter(s). For instance, readers experience various emotionalturmoil, physical pain, as well as familial love that Katnis undergoand endures in TheHunger GamesTrilogy (Collins, 2014). The narrator vividly expresses personalreactions and further offers a deeper insightful glimpse intoreactions of other characters. This, in turn, helps readers to have aclear understanding of how various events affect differentcharacters.

Again,narrative text offers a distinctive and evocative voice. Readers areable to experience the recounted story from a particular and personalpoint of view since narrative texts paint pictures and set the scenein a clear manner. Undeniably, narrative texts incorporate clearobservations and emotional experiences, like tastes, smells, andinner feelings. Such observations and emotions have a high likelihoodof going unnoticed by a third party. In fact, narrative textsshowcase various traits, like emotional responses, culture,personality, and physicality, in a full manner. Readers are able toconnect with the character as well as events on a personal levelrather than as a passive observer since the language and thoughts ofthe character can come through in a distinct manner. ToKill a Mockingbird isa good example that shows how distinctive voice comes through. Inthis narrative, Scount expresses a distinctive voice while describinghow her, Jem’s, and Dill’s feelings towards Boo Radley and theirchildish games are based on their fascination with him (Lee, 2015).

Disadvantagesof using only narrative text

Oneof the demerits of narrative texts is that they limit the reader tothe interpretation of the narrator since they are written from afirst-person perspective. Unlike other texts written from anomniscient perspective that provide extra information or multiplestory lines that mostly have a coincidence with the main plot,narrative texts make readers discover information only as thenarrator does. For example, in TheGreat Gatsby,the reader comes to know of the history between Gatsby and Daisy onlywhen the narrator-Nick Carroway does (Fitzgerald, 2015). Undeniably,narrative texts offer one view of the story.

Narrativetexts tend to give information that is not always verifiedespecially when the narrative text is nonfiction. This is becausesuch text is mostly related from the perspective of one person.Undoubtedly, the reported information may not always be accuratewithin context since the readers only learn what the narratorcommunicates. For instance, if a narrator interprets an event orsituation based on his or her personal experience, and then there isa high likelihood that such an interpretation would be different fromanother narrator who has passed or encountered different lifeexperiences.

Additionally,narrative texts may pose as a challenge as far as social studiesclasses are considered. Since narrative texts are involving and a bitvoluminous, teachers may not have enough time to cover all materialsnecessary for state assessment as well as for students’ fullyunderstanding. If only narrative are used in school social studiesclasses, concrete facts and concepts may be overlooked. Consequentlysuch concepts have a high likelihood of lacking specific instructionto be cemented in the minds of the students (White &amp Doran,2010). This, in turn, would make the students lack proper preparationrequired in social studies state exams. Again, some students havelearning difficult and disabilities hence, it is quite hard for themto grasp one subject area. In connection to this, it is nearlyimpossible to for them to understand further work, like literaturetexts or literary devices and recognize the purpose of the author.Trying to understand historical content for such students may be hardleave alone comprehend learning themes, characters, and plots innarrative texts.

Possibleuses of narrative texts

Teacherscan make use of narrative literature to represent and communicatescientific-based information in a captivating manner. According toIrvin (2007) use of narrative literature in science classes wouldplay a key role in helping and making science meaningful andapproachable to all students. Good narrative offer and createexcellent models that will play a significant role in helpingstudents collaborate with one another hence, creating a highlikelihood of sharing ideas and thoughts among them. Further, goodnarrative will help the students create proper meaning of what theyare taught through their own imaginations and experiences.

Besides,narrative text can be of immense significance if incorporated ingeography teaching and classes. It will help stimulate theimagination of the students hence, promoting their geographicalknowledge in a deep manner. For instance, the novel ThingsFall Apartcan be used by Geography teachers to help student gain a deepunderstanding of the contemporary Africa geography. The novelcontains maps of how Africa looked before any colonist penetratedinto Africa, during the process of being colonized, and aftercolonization period.

Inaddition, narrative texts play a key role in helping adolescentshandle various situations and points that aim at dealing withempathic questions. In fact, studying and use of narrative texts willbe of enormous significance in helping students in middle and highschools have sustained and deep insight into any character at anyspecified moment during the analysis of the text. Again, narrativetexts will help students acquire analysis skills and tactics, whichthey can use to analyze various voices in the text hence, they willbe able to write informed and detailed personal responses that engagewith the tasks in a direct manner (Mandler et al., 2004).

Narrativetexts can further be used by teachers in clarifying instruction-bothpre and pro- of content. Some concepts, sometimes, can be difficultto understand among students especially in the initial stages.However, incorporation of narrative texts, likeshort story, helpstudents picks up on several vital facts that may prove hard tounderstand without prior knowledge. Indeed, narrative texts have ahigh likelihood of helping students understand other texts.

Inaddition, narrative texts may play an enormous role in helpingstudents review various reading materials in a deep manner. Forinstance, student taking historical classes can make use of narrativetexts, like historical fiction. This would expand their exposure andimagination as well as immerse them in a different world thatincorporates various events and settings similar to what they wouldhave taught (Mandler et al., 2004).

Agraphic organizer

Graphicorganizers play a vital role in supporting reading and writing. It isof enormous significance that teachers construct graphic organizersto be used together with various narrative literatures within thepracticum activities. Students in middle school are able tounderstand concepts and abstract thinking in a clear manner thanksto graphic organizers. Besides, students are able to organize in aformat that can be understood in an easy manner. In fact, use ofgraphic organizers help students compare and contrast differencesamong various characters. Undeniably, graphic organizers act as vitaltools in helping adolescents understand and analyze various narrativetexts.

of the Plot

Characters involved in the story

Setting of the plot (where the events took place)


Any problem arising in the story

Best solution to the problem noted

Any conflict that may arise within the story

Climax of the story

Falling Action

Character who opposes the protagonist-Antagonist


The main character/Protagonist

Point presented/Theme

Setting of the plot

How the story ends


Undeniably,teachers who want their students to excel in their class work shouldincorporate narrative texts in their class work. This is because bothfiction and nonfiction story appeals or have a strong effect on theemotions of the students. In other words, when students understandthe structure of any narrative texts they improve their comprehensionof other classwork as well as increase the consistency in theirwritings.


Collins,S. (2014). TheHunger Games Trilogy.New York: Scholastic.

Fitzgerald,F.S. (2015). TheGreat Gatsby.Oxford: Oxford University.

Lee,H. (2015). ToKill a Mockingbird.Viterbo:

Mandler,J.M and Johnson, N.S. (2004). Remembrance of things Parsed: StoryStructure and Recall. Cognitivepsychology,9, 1, 111-151.

White,H and Doran, R. (2010).TheFiction of narrative: essays on History, Literature, and Theory,1957-2007.JHU Press.