Types of Text: Learning About Narratives in First Grade

     I sent a lengthy note to my sons teacher to ask what she had covered in my sons class thus far in the way of types of text and writing.   I like to be “on the same page” when we do activities at home.  Really, we have a monthly goal planner that breaks down into weekly activities to do Afterschool.  And since my son has other things planned Afterschool like sports and speech it really pays to have our Afterschool hours be as productive as possible.  By productive I mean learning what is grade appropriate as well as what is developmentally appropriate for my son.  The task of planning is tricky if you dont keep open communication with your child’s teacher….But that is a blog for another day.



     From his teacher I learned the class had already covered narrative texts.  We are still covering narrative reading/writing at home and I really want him to KNOW what a narrative text consists of before we move into informational text.   Plus, he is already good at pointing out facts in informational science books that we read together.  This made me decide to focus more time on narratives.  So, what is a narrative text in first grade??


Well, if  your children are attending a public school it would be a good idea to start by becoming familiar with first grade Common Core Standards.   The first grade language arts reading can found HERE



****Remember, every state has their own adaptions to common core.  Be sure and check out your states First Grade Common Core Standards, too.****


     ……….Back to reading narrative text.

 A first grader will learn to decipher narrative text from other types of text by remembering a few key characteristics::

  • Narrative text TELLS A STORY.
  • It has a BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END.
  • Narratives have a CHARACTER(s) AND A SETTING.
  • Narrations can be FICTION or NONFICTION. (introductions will begin in Kindergarten)

A Cute visual for characteristics of a Narrative can be found at Fun In First.


is fairly self explanatory.   You want your firster to be familiar with story telling text.  In kindergarten they will be read famous classics, Fairy Tales, Poems, and all the awesome series books like “The old Lady That..” And “Clifford”.   All those types of literature are considered narratives.  So while you are reading to them help them become familiar with the vocabulary term “Narrative”.  They will need to label types of text in first grade and be able to differentiate characteristics of those texts.  



You will also want them to start writing about how they relate to the story.  “What would you do if” types of questions will now be wrote out in sentences.  Your firster will learn how to give supportive reasoning and examples from narratives to form opinions as well.  They will draw from their own experiences as they develop character trait recognition….It is magical to hear my son beginning to compare himself to a character within a book!!  

We will focus in more detail about character traits during our next break……THANKSGIVING!!!  Can. Not. Wait.:)


Supportive reasons activitity for the book "If I Were President"
Supportive reasons activities for the book “If I Were President”.




Sequential Order or BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END……


 Emphasis is placed on pattering, story retell, using words like first, next, last because these skills are the stepping stones to ALL academics!  Later, there is number order/patterning, the scientific process, writing phonetic English patterns…the list is endless.  They are NOT just skills important to reading.   You may want to review those kindergarten story sequencing skills but expect them to point out key details with less prompting…….  More putting thoughts into correctly written words instead of using illustrated retell is what that looked like for my little guy.

The most common way to teach all about narrative reading and writing is to use story maps like these…..

Reading Rockets

Teacher Printables

There are really a lot of FREE printable story maps online at Teachers Pay Teachers if you are a FREE member!!!


At the start of first grade it’s all about using simple sentences to recall key details….

During first grade, children learn to write sentences to describe what is happening in the beginning, middle, and end of a narrative.  They develop more intricate writing patterns as the year progresses.  So they need to use a simple Story Map with say Beginning, Middle, End, character, and setting at the start of first grade.  

Towards the ending of the year the same child may be using a story map that asks the child to describe the plot and conflict in addition to the B/M/E.  For higher learning levels (as leveled by core standards) a story map may even ask them to describe the conflict, peak of conflict, and/or resolution using key details.

***** It is important to remember a story map should be appropriately challenging for each individual child.  AND that it is quite alright for parents to teach with a mixed level story map even if you need to make your own for your children!!  Sometimes my son uses cut and paste or hidden folding story maps for extra writing space. *****




I decided to really target Characters in narratives during break from school.  There is so much more to learn about characters in a story than a story map can cover here.  See how we cover characters using BIG visuals this week (HIS FAVORITE READING AND WRITING TOOL!!) as we step into informational text.  I will come back and post a link to this page!

When you chose to cover characters with a story map you can ask your child to write out the name of the main character with correct capitalization.  If there is more than one character ask them to write each characters name in order of importance.  Most times the main character is who is telling the story but the character telling the story may change at certain points.  Be sure to ask “Who is telling the story?”  

The setting often changes at different times during the story especially when reading firster chapter books.  When this happens my son first does a chapter by chapter story retell with posty notes:)

These are some of his favorite chapter book.  We take turns reading but it is still important that he read chapter books.  He is learning to use features of books like Table of Contents to find chapter title and page number.


Then I help him fill out a simple book report to summarize his notes.  

You can find FREE printable book reports at 123Homeschool4me.


Your firster should already be familiar with story books that are true and not real stories.  At this point they need to know what the vocabulary words Fiction and Nonfiction mean.  These two categories of text will be learned about continually throughout the year and this is why………

Nonfictional and Fictional text can be found in a many types of texts not just Narratives.

  • Narrative text
  • Personal Opinion Narrative text
  • Informational text (is generally nonfiction unless you are reading something like ” The Three Types of  Swap Monsters” 🙂 
  • Opinion text

More Information

Blessed Beyond A Doubt – fREE Fall Writing Prompts

This Reading Mama – Simple Writing Lessons

Fun In First – Narrative text and writing

Hub Pages – Explaining narratives and tons of activities for them




















Published by


Hi! My name is Crystal. I am a mom of two. My daughter is 18. My son ,who attends public school, also needs a little extra help afterschool. This blog is all about how we keep learning fun at home as an extension of his school day and during school breaks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.