Narrative structure. Know it, love it, live it, teach it! Narrative structure is arguably one of the most important complex language skills one needs to be successful in school, relationships, work, and life.
Story grammar is the typical flow or schematic of a story. Most oral language and written stories follow a similar pattern. This pattern may also be called story grammar or story structure. They all mean the same thing!
Understanding this pattern is very important for oral language abilities (ability to tell a coherent story), for the ability to understand oral and written stories, and for the ability to write a good story.
Through my clinical practice, I now believe this skill might be the most important for academic success!
Children with language delays often have an incomplete mental schema of story structure. This can create many problems for learning in school, participating in conversations, and telling stories.
For example, if a child does not have a solid grasp on story structure, he or she has less resources to learn new vocabulary, understand deeper language themes, and/or even remember the story.
Most children need not be taught narrative structure at a young age. After hearing many stories, they naturally form the structure themselves.
When they reach elementary school, they are ready to directly learn it. They are primed and ready to go! All they need is the words to be paired with what they already know.
However, children who have more difficulty learning language rarely pick up on story grammar indirectly. One red flag is their storytelling abilities. Their stories tend to be disjointed, start in the middle, or do not end properly.
These children NEED extra practice.
This is a bit dry if you ask me, I am going to teach you an easier way to remember and teach story grammar.
I will ask these questions as we read a story or play house/farm/school, etc...
The key is to identify the problem with a “what” question. With my older kids, I like to “predict” what is going to happen.
Therapy techniques to teach story grammar while retelling stories:
VISUALS VISUAL VISUALS!
Good luck practicing!
If you need visuals, we got you covered (2 options)