Constructing Narratives

The Constructing Narratives is a photocopiable teacher and student resource. It is an upper level and is suitable for 5th and 6th Class. The book is part of a 3 book series – there are lower, middle and upper levels available to cover the whole primary level. There are full lesson plans and photocopiable pages for the child to keep in their Creative Writing Folder or Copybook.
This publication contains your long term plan for one genre, the narrative genre and it does a pretty good job of covering this. There are 7 sections based on the different components of the writing process, character, dialogue, genres&setting, planning, drafting, revising and presenting.It is highly important that the writing genres are taught properly and if the entire contents of this resource were taught well and learned well, then the teacher could safely say that each child in their class can write a cracking story! The English Curriculum lays out the various genres to cover in 5th and 6th Class and I chose to focus on narrative and poetry for Term 1 with the present 5th Class I have.
Relevance to curriculum aims:
This publication is based on the English curriculum and gives direct links to the Key Stage curriculum that is taught there. However, there is much scope to link in the English Curriculum (NCCA) under the strand headings of oral, writing and reading. There was no reference to differentiation and I had to differentiate the lessons and activities myself. Some children who were at a lower ability did find some of it challenging, I adapted each section to suit their needs and worked more closely with them.There were “additional activities” available for each lesson but these were aimed at the “fast finishers” and not necessarily aimed at focussing on the higher order thinking skills.
I think there could have a section in each lesson plan for Oral Discussion and ideas for children to talk about their ideas. Again, this is something I added and I think most teachers would add these introduction to their lessons.  2.5/5
Teacher usability:
This was extremely easy to use as each child could have their own personal writing process guide to look back over throughout the year. The lesson plans were written clearly but the teacher would have to read over them before hand and check their links with the English Curriculum here in Ireland. The children really enjoyed the lessons and the activities and it really helped all the levels to improve their writing skills and gave them something to hang their own ideas on. It also was really good for developing and dragging their imagination out onto the page! 5/5
Value for money: It is extremely good value for money, in my opinion. It costs €18.95 for the book. This is worth a full years teaching in the writing genre and also you could use this for many ideas for the following year! 5/5
The extras are built into the publication, there are 21 photocopiable sheets for the children to use. I would have loved this publication to be available on CD-ROM as I would be able to print the worksheets out on my own printer. Also, if you purchase this book over the internet, you can receive a discount of 15%. 2/5
Overall, this book would make a great inclusion to any English School Plan as a resource and guideline for the teacher and child. Excellent value for money too!

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