"Why has nobody taught us this before?"
Instantly make fiction writing and reading comprehension easy and genuinely engaging for all – with a single whole-school literacy teaching strategy
And instead teach them to compose and comprehend like trained, adult authors do. Authors are trained to create the stories they want to tell, in a way that authentically engages audiences. School students are often taught the opposite, or “story form“. Story form is difficult to learn, and worse, disconnects students from the stories they want to tell. It also doesn’t help them comprehend the books they read.
"Why has nobody taught us this before?"
Teachers are often surprised at how even young, less-able and reluctant K-12 learners find it easier and genuinely engaging to both compose and comprehend quality stories like great authors do. And the science proves it. Help ALL your students:
Would you give10 minutes to make writing and reading comprehension easier?
The best way to see how True Story Training for K-12 Teachers works is with a free 10-minute PD lesson. You might be surprised how easy this method is to teach and learn.
What teachers, parents and students said:
"They loved it."
"Truly transformative approach to teaching narrative writing"
I think goal-driven storytelling is a truly transformative approach to teaching narrative writing and I wish I had done the course sooner!"
"I can't believe this approach isn't taught in schools."
"Improved my writing."
"Easy and fun."
Effective Narrative Writing and Reading Comprehension: The Author's Way is the Easy Way
This video was presented as part of the Australian Council of Education Research 2021 Research Conference Showcase
What is effective narrative writing and reading comprehension, and how does it work? Your questions answered
Write Magic offers online professional development in true story learning for K-12 teachers. It’s one evidence-based method that helps students unlock the deeper meaning and purpose of stories they read and write.
This type of method is proven to help boost story comprehension and narrative writing engagement and outcomes.
Actionable: Your course comes with everything you need to teach these methods in the classroom, including teacher’s manual, and student worksheets.
Engaging: Course content is presented in animated video format (like the video above), which is proven to boost learning and recall.
Supported: Trained authors provide feedback on your assignments and quizzes. We provide ongoing, highly individualised support (of the friendly kind). This means you can confidently implement Write Magic’s methods in your classroom.
Collaborative: Our participants work in monitored, supported class forums so you can learn with other educators.
Risk-free: If Write Magic doesn’t transform the way you understand and teach narrative, we will refund your fee, no questions asked.
Evidence-based. Write Magic marries learning science with creative writing industry expertise.
All courses align with professional teaching standards.
NESA Accredited PD: NSW Teachers
Completing The Story Engine: Effective Narrative Made Easy will contribute 6 hours and 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Delivery and assessment of NSW Curriculum/Early Years Learning Framework addressing standard descriptors 1.1.2, 1.5.2, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 3.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
For Australian Teachers
The Story Engine: Effective Narrative Made Easy meets the following Professional Teaching Standards at the proficient teacher level: 2.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.5.2, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 2.3.2, 2.5.2, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 6.2.2, 6.4.2, 7.4.2.
Contact us if you require details on how it meets the requirements.
For USA teachers
Courses are aligned with Common Core professional teaching standards. Contact us if you require details on how it meets the requirements.
Contact us to to enquire how our courses meet your ongoing professional development requirements.
The answer is yes – and here’s why. There’s a surprising confluence between two bodies of knowledge on what makes a great story – and how to most easily understand and create one.
Namely, the story industry experts give us the narrative rules that are required to create a great story. The literacy and learning scientists tell us that those same rules allow children to mentally organise, comprehend and recall stories.
Plus, research shows children find these rules comparatively intuitive to learn and apply to reading and story creation – if they are taught in the right way. Doesn’t it make sense then, to use one set of story rules to read and create fiction?
Indeed, researchers have found that teaching narrative reading and writing together using this type of meaning-based story method makes learning easier and more engaging.
We’ve proved that even third graders can quite easily plan and create cohesive and logical stories that are rich with theme and meaning.
Learn more about our pilot study results and the knowledge that underpins our method below, under the question: How is Write Magic “evidence-based”?
Don’t worry, if Write Magic’s training courses don’t meet your expectations, we will happily refund your course fees. But we believe they will work, and here’s why:
Our story strategy is based on a single story method the education, literacy and cognitive development scientists, and the story industry experts, agree works.
Engaged and unengaged writing students who took part in our pilot studies agreed: 100% found writing a story easier using Write Magic’s methods compared with the “story form” approach they were used to.
These students were in grades 3 to 8.
Perhaps more importantly, all students created solid, logical and meaningful story premises, regardless of age, engagement level or ability.
Most wrote compelling, themed and logical stories.
To do this, the students:
- Analysed a few short examples of published children’s fiction.
- Completed simple planning templates that even very young school students can master.
- Were given 20 minutes to write freely.
- And finally, used simple checklists to rewrite and edit their stories.
And that’s it!
Learn more about our pilot studies below under the question: How is Write Magic “evidence-based”?
Write Magic aligns with test criteria that require effective narrative writing in any form, genre, or length, including stories, personal narratives, and specific test prompts.
Think of Write Magic as teaching your students to more easily create the effective narrative structure upon which great stories are built.
This structure provides:
- An authentic method to engage audiences, harnessing both narrative drive and deeper meaning and themes.
- An easier and faster way to structure cohesive and logical stories from beginning to end.
Another way to think about this is an analogy with composing music.
All music – from opera or hip-hop – is built on a finite number of notes. Yet the possible combinations is endless!
It’s the same with effective narrative. Indeed, great stories are often built on a finite number of simple, proven story rules. We help you teach your students these rules so they can create unique, compelling and meaningful narratives.
The evidence base comes from three sources:
1. Story industries.
As you can imagine, industries that make a living from stories – such as fiction publishers, and Hollywood and TV show producers – don’t want to invest time and money into a flop. Therefore, these industries have put time and effort into discovering precisely what is needed to makes a good story.
We drew on this knowledge and then we marry it with:
2. The learning sciences.
Interestingly, there’s 60 years of learning science from multiple disciplines including literacy, education, and cognitive development that tells us how children best mentally organise, comprehend and recall stories – and write fiction.
Now, what astounded us when we started looking into the research was this:
The marriage between the scientists and the story experts is almost perfect.
In other words, the narrative rules that authentically engage audiences in stories also engage young readers and story creators – and can be used to boost comprehension and writing outcomes.
That makes sense when you think about it, right? In the classroom, children are readers and they are story creators – although they don’t always want to be. Yet when they aren’t in the classroom, they become keen story consumers and creators. They go to the movies, read a book, or watch tv shows for fun; they create and share stories with their friends.
The trick is then, to get them to love story reading and creating in the classroom.
Guided by the story industry and scientific research, Write Magic does this in a few main ways:
- Show students how to analyse short examples of good published fiction so they can learn the proven narrative rules. This information allows students to access the meaning and purpose of stories they read AND write.
- Help them discover the stories they want to write within the context of your learning requirements.
- Use simple planning and writing methods that are proven to boost creativity and confidence.
- For students’ second drafts, use simple question-based checklists.
3. Write Magic’s Study Results
Write Magic trialled this method with 3rd-to-8th graders.
Some were confident, capable writers, and some were the opposite.
Main findings include:
- Most participants reported they found it easier to come up with a story idea (93%), and start (86%) and write their stories (100%) using this method compared with the “story form” approach they were used to. None (0%) reported they found these metrics more difficult.
- All wrote compelling and meaningful story plans, regardless of age, confidence or interest level.
- Most wrote compelling, themed and logical stories.
- A wonderful – and unexpected finding – was that some participants who reported they did not like writing loved this approach most of all.
- Why? Because it gave them a set of defined rules with which to structure and write their stories. It made the writing process concrete and clear.
- Students’ grasped the narrative rules extremely quickly and could apply them to their own story planning and writing. By quickly we mean within an hour of lesson time and after being shown a few short examples of good published fiction.
If you want to see these students’ work, sign up for your free professional development lesson. It is designed for busy teachers, and only takes 10 minutes.
If you are interested in learning more about the pilot studies, or the scientific and story knowledge on which Write Magic is based, please contact Write Magic Founder Alice McTyer. She’d love to discuss these results further.
The research is clear on one thing:
Preschool students’ concept of “story” doesn’t change in a qualitative way as they grow older into adulthood. It just gets more complex and detailed.
In fact, Write Magic is based on methods taught to adults. Perhaps surprisingly, the science tells us that these methods are intuitive and easy to learn – even by very young children.
Write Magic showed in it’s pilot studies that all participants – regardless of age, ability, confidence and interest – could create compelling and meaningful story plans. You can learn more about the pilot studies under the question: How is Write Magic “evidence-based”?
The science proves that learning and applying the effective story rules makes fiction easier, meaningful and engaging to both write and comprehend. That holds true even for young, non-confident and ESL students, and those with learning difficulties.
Another layer of proof is that the narrative elements required for adults to rate a story as a “good” story are the same as the ones children use to rate a story as a “good” story.
Some researchers argue that our ability to comprehend and recall stories is innate. Others argue that we are immersed in stories from a young age, and we are somehow predisposed to make sense of the world through stories.
Either way, stories are a singularly powerful method of transmitting information – if we learn to harness them.
Did you know, many great stories follow the same narrative rules? This holds true for narrative essays, personal narratives, micro-fiction, novels, plays, movies, comics, oral traditions – or any story form you can think of.
Why? Because good writers know these rules unlock the purpose and themes of the stories they want to write. And these rules are very specific: They are the rules that are proven to authentically engage audiences and writers alike.
Doesn’t it makes sense, then, to teach children one set of true story rules to both write and comprehend fiction – especially when the science tells us that children find it engaging and relatively easy to do so?
Write Magic adapts these proven story rules to authentically engage the young writer and reader – and the audience.
Yes, you can adapt this single, universal method to all your story writing and reading comprehension task, test, topic and curriculum requirements. And you can still cater for your students’ individual interests and abilities.
First by understanding that many great stories follow the same narrative rules. This holds true for narrative essays, personal narratives, micro-fiction, novels, plays, movies, comics, oral traditions – or any story form you can think of.
Because good writers know these rules unlock the purpose and themes of the stories they want to write. And these rules are very specific: They are the rules that are proven to authentically engage audiences and writers alike.
Indeed, the learning science tells us that even very young and unengaged writers can learn and apply these rules to their reading and writing.
Here’s how you do it:
First, teach them the enduring rules of great fiction.
And second, learn how to teach your students to find the stories they want to write, within the context of the story genre, form, or setting you require.
Keen to know more?
Sign up for your free lesson.
Great writers know that humans connect to meaning, not literary devices like hook sentences. And young writers are humans too, of course. The science tells us they will love writing their own stories – if they are taught how to build them around the themes and ideas that have meaning to them.
After all, when was the last time you read a good book that started with a hook sentence?
Further, you can help them discover the stories they want to write, while still meeting your topic, task and curriculum requirements.
Finally, the research shows that children will enjoy reading stories more – and improve their comprehension – if they are taught how to unlock the deeper purpose and themes of these stories.
The simple answer is, meaning engages all humans in stories, regardless of age. Always has, always will.
More specifically, it means they never again have to learn, master and apply abstract concepts such as hook sentences, consolidation, character descriptions, rising tension, problems, climaxes or conclusions.
Many children find such abstract concepts difficult to master.
This level of abstraction also disengages students from the meaning and purpose of the stories they want to write.
Exactly the same meaning-based techniques allow children to unlock the point, purpose and theme of books they read. And the research shows that when they can do this, they will enjoy reading more, and be better at it.
Stories are a fundamental part of being human — always have been, and always will be. Good stories are also better comprehended and remembered than any other form of information.
So why would we deny our students the keys to unlocking the true purpose and themes of the stories they read and write?
Good authors write from a place of meaning. School children usually learn story form. In other words, we often teach children to write what we think a story should look like, not what a story truly is. And that’s something with true narrative drive.
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