The Story Engine: Effective Narrative Made Easy

The Story Engine. Effective Narrative, Made Easy. Flexible Learning.

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Certificate 6.5-hour, online course with lesson plans, teacher’s manual, tailored feedback and support. NESA-Accredited.

The surprisingly simple fiction writing and reading comprehension method that works

Imagine if all your students could write great stories that they love, while also easily comprehending the point, purpose and theme of the stories they read. Sound like an impossible dream?

Almost 60 years of learning science has proven a number of key benefits for teaching children a precise and proven story literacy teaching strategy called Effective Narrative. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s based on a method taught to adult authors, but is easy for even very young, reluctant, and less-able K-12 students to learn and apply. This meaning-based authorship method is also very different to the narrative teaching methods you are probably used to.

What you’ll learn

How to quickly and easily teach your K-12 students to compose effective narratives that they love

Writing outcomes

Your students will be able to:

  • Easily create logical, and cohesive stories that are rich with theme and meaning; and
  • Structure their stories in a way that’s proven to authentically engages audiences.

Writing engagement

Learn how the Effective Narrative method gives children precise control over the point, purpose, theme and characters in their stories. This means they can plan and write about themes, topics and characters that have meaning to them.

How to use the same method to boost reading comprehension outcomes and reading engagement

Comprehension outcomes

Effective narrative instruction helps school children of all ages mentally organise, comprehend and recall the point, purpose, structure and themes of stories they read, hear or watch.

Reading engagement

The science shows that children better enjoy reading stories once they understand how good stories really work.

Precisely how to teach Effective Narrative  – in 2 simple steps

  1. Students read a couple of short excerpts from quality published fiction, then analyse them using a few simple, targeted questions. Each question maps to an effective narrative rule.  
  2. Students use these questions on age / ability-adapted worksheets to both plan great narratives and analyse good fiction.

How to make great literacy teaching easier

  • You only need one method to teach narrative writing and fiction reading comprehension. Learning in story creation and comprehension therefore reinforce each other.
  • You also only need this one method for all your creative writing tasks, topics and genre requirements, and most fiction reading comprehension tasks, too. How does that work? The story industry experts tell us that the same simple set of Effective Narrative rules underpin great stories across genre, length and form. That includes novels, short stories, micro-fiction, oral traditions from many cultures, folk tales, plays, TV shows, movies and comics.
  • It’s simple: many teachers are surprised how easy and intuitive adult authorship methods are to teach and learn. Indeed, the effective narrative learning process requires only two steps and about an hour of teaching time.
  • It’s easier for your students, too. Students learn the same fundamental narrative method from kindergarten to senior high school. The science proves that children’s concept of good story doesn’t change as they grow older into adulthood – it just gets more complex and detailed.

Key concepts

  • The truth about what engages young readers and writers – and how to do it.
  • Why narrative writing methods often taught in schools can be unnecessarily difficult and non-engaging – and lead to poorer-quality stories.
  • The surprisingly simple and intuitive effective story rules that the education scientists and story industry experts agree work.
  • A step-by-step recipe to help even young, reluctant and less-able children plan and create compelling, logical and meaningful stories.
  • How to use the age / ability-differentiated lesson plans, templates and worksheets you will use in the classroom.
  • How to extend the Effective Narrative strategy to new fictional texts and writing topics.

What you get

This course comes with everything you need to teach effective narrative writing and reading comprehension, including:

  • Age / ability-differentiated lesson plans and student worksheets
  • 20+ colourful classroom posters
  • 365-day access to course materials
  • NESA Accreditation
  • Certificate
  • Practice with – and tailored feedback on – the tasks you will use in the classroom
  • Quizzes
  • Support tailored to your individual teaching needs
  • Access to a friendly, supported and monitored Face Book group to collaborate and share, and get access to exclusive resources.

Are you struggling to engage your students in writing?

Perhaps it’s time to teach them to write and read like great authors do

Effective narrative is a meaning-based method taught to authors. It has nothing to do with the abstract and difficult-to-apply “story form” narrative writing approaches usually taught in schools. By story form, we mean complex writing models built on hook sentences, consolidation, rising tension, three problems, climaxes and conclusions. This kind of model is hard enough for adults to apply to their writing, let alone young school children. Worse, a focus on story form disconnects the writer from the story they want to tell.  

Effective Narrative is the opposite: it teaches students to write and comprehend stories like great authors do, namely from a place of meaning, not story form. In a nutshell, authors know that effective narrative allows them to create the stories that they want to tell, but in a way that authentically engage audiences. Wouldn’t you like to give your students the same opportunity?

Perhaps surprisingly, considerable cognitive development and literacy research proves that school-age children find writing and reading like good authors do relatively easy – after explicit instruction in Effective Narrative.

Not convinced? Get your first lesson free

If you want to see how Effective Narrative works in the classroom, you can enrol in your first PD lesson for free. You might be surprised how simple this method is to learn and apply to story writing and comprehension.

Money-back Guarantee

This course will transform the way you understand and teach narrative writing. But if it doesn’t, we will happily refund your course fees, no questions asked.




SAMPLE Teacher's Manual and Worksheets

  • with age / ability-adapted worksheets and lesson plans

SAMPLE The Story Engine Posters (20+ Colourful classroom posters)

These are samples only. You will get the full teacher's manual and poster kit when you enrol in this course. 


Course Content

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