By definition, all writing taps into the creative side of the brain. My nearly-seventh grade students believe that narrative writing, however, is much more right-brain that persuasive. As Nitya says, “Some students may feel that persuasive allows for you to express your opinion; however, most students agree that narrative writing lets your imagination run wild!”
Expressing feelings, through inner dialogue or actions, has been something we worked hard on this year. Anthony says, “Narratives are a better way to express feelings and communicate at the same time. People can easily tell about events that already happened, or make up fantasies that others can enjoy.” Albert goes on to say, “Unlike persuasives, which are limited to only one side and keep you constrained to a single style of writing, narratives can be used for a wide variety of expressives; pushing opinions, emotions, and other things that make something real.” Rheya praises the two types of narratives that we wrote this year when she says, “Personal and fictional narratives are both equally fun and have their own style. You can make your own stories and get lost in their wonders when you write fictional narrative and you can remember old memories in personal narrative.” The last word on expressiveness in writing has to go to Sahith. He says, “Fictional narratives allow writers to express their creativity and emotions through a fictional form of writing that shows others how you are feeling. Persuasive does not give you that kind of luxury. This kind of writing makes writers forced to write about the topic given, attempting to persuade the reader of a topic they have no clue about.”
“Narrative lets your imagination go free!” says Aline, and Fernando agrees, “Narrative is the best form of writing because it unleashes your imagination.” Imagination is a big factor in their approval of narrative writing. Samantha claims, “Narrative just goes with the flow. It can bend your mind. It can do amazing things with your personality if it’s good enough!” Anaisha compares the two types of writing by saying, “If you are doing narrative you can make up whatever you want! From characters, to setting, to plot, anything you can imagine can be a narrative. But in persuasive, it’s all the real life, which is boring.” According to Kassandra, “In narrative, you can look at the world as something more than just a piece of paper. You can look at it as a world that you created.” Chris adds, “You can stretch the story from being really realistic to a story that is about aliens invading the world.” Michelle sums it up by stating, “Narrative is so complex, and you can do almost anything you want. You can let your imagination soar, and there are huge varieties of ideas. “
My students also like the creativity of narrative writing. “Most people feel this way,” Catherine explains, “because it expands student’s creativity, it helps students use their imagination, and it helps students with their use of descriptive words.” Raymond says, “Creativeness can allow you to express your feelings. You can be free in writing and jot down whatever pops in your mind. While persuasive, you have to focus on the prompt limiting your ideas in your brain.” Caitlin agrees, saying, “Narrative is more creative and enjoyable,” and Tyler adds, “It brings out your creative juices.” This time the final statement is Sean’s. He says, “It’s like you’re in your own creative world of fantasy when you write a narrative.”
Clearly I have my work cut out for me. Next year, my challenge is to create students who love writing expository essays as much as they enjoy narratives! Do you think I can do it?