Story Frames: Everything You Need to Know

These are a listing of the keywords for guiding the order of written stories by generalization, listening, comparing or contrasting, question and answer, or sequencing. Thanks to the order, it is easier for students to explain their understanding of the structure of the narrative. Thus, by helping students analyze and create stories, story frames can enhance their vital literacy skills.

Story frames often use fun, dynamic, and highly visual ways, including icons, storyboards, and quick drawings that make it easy for students to comprehend the narrative structure. With their teacher’s guidance, students will learn how to use the knowledge of story structure to develop basic literacy skills – from reading comprehension and oral language to writing. This, in turn, will enable students to write their own unique tales or personal stories in different genres. 

Typically, teachers should use dozens of different fiction and nonfiction books as vibrant examples when teaching their students various story elements via story frames. Any teacher can start using story frames as they act as effective and accessible pathways to structured literacy. When story frames are used year after year, they will strengthen the students’ reading, comprehension, analysis, and creative skills, among others, and instill an enduring love of reading and writing.

Teachers who are still in a dilemma about using story frames can consider these benefits that the move will bring their way:

  •         Initiate a fun and engaging way to structured literacy
  •         Build core literacy skills, including vocabulary, oral language, syntax, grammar, narrative development, phonological awareness, reading comprehension, and expository writing
  •         Reinforce the existing curriculum with flexible learning activities and lesson plans aligned with the science of reading
  •         Teach narrative structure effectively to both advanced and struggling learners
  •         Teach students in any set-up, with practical tips for virtual instruction and teletherapy
  •         Enhance executive function skills by making the writing process meaningful, comprehensible, and manageable

Story frames are a great way to scaffold instruction and build students’ confidence in writing, especially in writing genres and tasks with which they have nil to little prior experience. Such frames provide students with a structure on which they can base their ideas. They also help students incorporate vocabulary they have newly learned to create more sophisticated sentences and paragraphs. Story frames are an effective way of differentiating tasks to meet the requirements of all students. Thus, they can challenge and stretch more competent writers and even support struggling writers.

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