Narrative writing in primary years: community, collaboration and creativity

Year: 2019

Author: Kitt, Bree

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Narrative writing is important in the primary years in developing students creative and print literacies. The imaginative and written processes, encompassed in narrative traditions, subtly reposition students as authors, capable of considering plot and character. Their capacity to reflect on audience, purpose, theme and word choices in more considered ways, is dependent on the opportunities they have to hone their identities and skills as creative writers. In light of this, it is important to consider how writing practice is enacted in contemporary English classrooms.

The 21st century is exciting in its possibilities for young people; notions of community and connectedness are rapidly changing in response to globalisation and technologies. There is an inherent need for students (across time) to grow in their understanding of worldly ideas and themes, and to be confident in imagining and articulating a response to these. Whilst students’ capacity to fulfil these lofty aims are well beyond the primary years, the foundation for these can be scaffolded in English. Concepts of community and connectedness can inform how students (and their teacher) work together as a community of writers. The processes of creating and collaborating in these environments develops students’ creative imaginations and capacity to articulate ideas.

This paper therefore, considers what happens when students are immersed in a community of writers who intentionally work like authors do. An authors work is adapted to include: imagining stories; using technologies to write and share these; editing in response to an authentic peer audience, and then publishing these for others to enjoy. When students experience these genuine opportunities to be writers and editors, their understanding of authorship and themselves as authors grow.