Character-Driven Short Stories

Why do this project?

You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader – Nancy Kress

We tell stories all the time and so it is natural for apprentice writers to want to write them.

Children at this age can, however, have the misconception that engaging stories are simply based on action and plot alone.

Our writing projects for Year Four show children how writers think carefully and deeply about their characters – and also about their settings. One should develop children’s ability to write stories which focus on creating a vivid setting, while this one focuses on character-driven stories. When children get to Year Five, they will be able to combine what they have learnt in our developed short story project.

In this project, children will learn that settings can be treated as additional ‘characters’ and take on human traits and emotions. They will learn how characters can be developed through sensory description and dialogue, but that there is much more to it than this. For example, they will learn that writers associate their character with a specific emotion or quality. The children can also use what they have learnt about comparison, simile, metaphor and symbolism in our poetry projects to develop their characters further.

This class writing project provides you with:

+ Comprehensive teacher notes:

  • Suggestions for both year group and whole school writing progression
  • Advice for teachers on how to write great mentor texts
  • Over 50 writing study and functional grammar mini-lessons
  • Suggested book list for your classroom library

+ Our popular and photocopiable child-facing Genre Booklet which includes:

  • Year 4 purpose and audience writing wheel
  • Publishing and performance menu
  • 5 exemplar texts
  • Idea generation techniques
  • Dabbling and drafting advice
  • Revision checklist
  • Editing checklist

+ Our quick guide to teaching writing


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