True Story Training for K-12 Teachers: Introduction and Overview


Talent, enthusiasm: not required

The evidence shows that explicit instruction in the effective narrative rules boosts K-12 students’ story creation and reading comprehension outcomes and enjoyment. It does this by teaching them to write and read like authors do.

How do authors write? It’s very simple.

They are taught to create the stories they want to tell, but in a way that’s structured to engage audiences.

The science tells us that school-age children can learn to do this too – even kindergarteners and those with additional learning needs.

In fact, this method is proven to help your students:

  • Create stories they care about;
  • Write logical, unique and cohesive stories that are structure to engage audiences from the first sentence to the last;
  • Comprehend the point, purpose, structure and theme of stories they read; and
  • Enjoy reading more.

This video introduces this research-based authorship method in:

Module 1: The Story Engine

In this module, you will learn how great stories are structured around a very specific type of meaning. That is, the type of meaning that authentically engages audiences and writers alike, and is proven to be easy to learn and apply. This is the opposite to teaching story form – the writing approach generally taught in schools.

In Module 1, The Story Engine, you will:

  • Analyse examples of children’s fiction to extract the rules that underpin great fiction across genre and form;
  • Explore the evidence from story industries and education science; and
  • Through practice, feedback and as much support as you need, be confident you can teach the writing and reading comprehension methods you will use in the classroom. These exercises are drawn from the age / ability-differentiated Teacher’s Manual and Student Worksheets (see the Materials tab above).


Confidently apply the practical methods you will use in the classroom for a range of student grades and abilities. Teach your students to both comprehend, plan and create effective stories with a single meaning-based method.

What to do:

Watch the video above.

  • Are you having problems watching the video? Some browsers might need their caches, cookies and browsers cleared to play embedded videos. The first thing to try is, refresh the page. If this doesn’t work, go to your browser Privacy Settings. If you still need help, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] to get the video emailed to you.
  • Want to learn more secrets of Effective Narrative?

    • If you are ready to start learning, enrol now in the full, NESA-accredited on-demand professional development course, The Story Engine – Effective Narrative Made Easy.
    • You get age/ability-adapted teacher’s manual, lesson plans and worksheets, 365-day access and ongoing support of the friendly, highly individualised kind. Remember, if this course doesn’t transform the way you teach narrative writing, we will happily refund your course fees.

    Age/ability adapted SAMPLE Teacher's Manual and Worksheets.

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

    These documents will be available in full after you enrol in The Story Engine. Effective Narrative, Made Easy. Flexible Learning. - Write Magic.