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Narrative Paragraphs
WHAT IS A NARRATIVE PARAGRAPH?

Narratives tell stories. Everyone has read
narratives, watched them on television or heard
them from other people. A narrative paragraph
tells a short story or describes an event.

In other words, it is a story about a personal
memory.

It’s about a time so important that you don’t
ever want to forget.
What Would Make a Good Narrative
and What Wouldn’t?
 Good Choice
A
house fire
 A car accident
 A death
 Getting lost
 A scary time
 Bad Choice
 Getting
out of
bed
 Eating dinner
 Meeting your
friend
A Personal Narrative is...
a story that really happened ( a true story).
 a story that happened to or observed by the
writer.
 a story that makes the reader think or feel the
same as the writer felt at that time
 a story that shows strong feelings.


a story that is written in the first person. Use
these words:
I, me, my, us, we
A good Narration
It reveals something of importance to you (your
main point)
 It includes all of the major events of the story.
 It uses details to bring the story to life.
 It presents the events in a clear order, usually
according to when it happened.

Common time transitions









Before
After
During
First
Next
Second
Then
Finally
while









Later
At last
Last
Eventually
Meanwhile
Since
Now
Soon
when
Writing a Narrative Paragraph
A narrative paragraph has 3 parts:
1.
2.
3.
The topic sentence – introduces the experience
The body sentences – share details that re-create
the experience
The concluding sentence – reflects on the
experience
Guidelines of a Narrative Paragraph
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Write out the topic sentence and circle the
point of view.
List any background information.
Briefly summarize the incident (write
several sentences telling what happened in
your own words)
Write all of these sentences support your
point of view?
Are the events in the story in chronological
order?
A UFO Sighting
I never believed in aliens before one night
last year. It was a cold, dark winter evening, and I
was walking home from a friend’s house. I stopped
to tie my shoe. When I looked up again, I saw a
round object coming toward me. It was very large
and shiny. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Before I could shout or run, the object suddenly
moved and then disappeared. After the object
disappeared, I ran all the way home and called my
best friend. When she picked up the phone, I couldn’t
say anything. I knew she would think I was crazy. I
never told anyone about my UFO sighting.
Ask yourself questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
When was an important time in my life?
What has happened in my experience that I would
enjoy writing about?
Is there an event in my life that other people
would enjoy hearing about?
How did I feel about a particular experience?
Who was involved?
Why do I remember this event so strongly?
What effect did it have on me?
Did anything change because of this experience?
What interesting experiences do I know of that
happened to other people?
1. Write about a recent experience or
incident you witnessed that left a strong
impression on you.
2. Write about an event when you were
proud of someone in your family.
3. Think of a time when you had to do something
against your wishes.
Or
4. Think of a memorable experience you have had
– it could be frightening or amusing.
Activity: Complete the middle parts of the two stories below.
1)
A Fright in the forest
-
Suddenly I felt very cold and scared.
I grew up in a small town in the countryside. Near my house was
a large forest, and my parents told me not to play there.
After that day, I never went back to the forest.
One day, I was playing in the forest with some of my school
friends.
-
-
2)- A Strange Day in Class:
-
-
I have been studying English for a few years and I really enjoy
the classes.
I heard everyone laughing. I woke up and realized it was a
dream.
One day something unusual happened in class.
The teacher was explaining grammar when I saw something
strange
Verb Tenses in Narration
(1)- Simple Past: It is used to express a completed action at
a definite time in the past. It is also used to describe the sequence
of events in a narrative.
1.Mohammed
was driving along the road when suddenly he
saw a camel run out in front of him. He braked as hard as he
could but couldn't stop in time. The car hit the camel. The
man got out of the car and checked to see if the animal was
alive.
2.The two men were crossing the desert when they heard a
loud bang. It sounded like a rifle but they were not sure.
They heard another shot but this time something hit the side
of the car. Now they were sure it was a gunshot.
Verb Tenses in Narration
(2)- Past Continuous: (1) It is good for setting the scene; it is used to
describe the situation in which the events of the narrative occurred.
1- When I woke up at 8am (1) the sun was shining (2) and the birds
were singing (2). I had a shower (3), ate some breakfast (4) and left
for work at 9am.(5)
(2) It is used for an action that was in progress for some time and is
usually used with an action in the simple past.
1.
2.
3.
Mohammed was driving along the road when suddenly he ran out of petrol.
As the two men were crossing the desert, they saw a camel.
When the lights went out, I was talking to my brother.
Verb Tenses in Narration
(3)- Past Perfect Simple: It is to show an action or situation happened
BEFORE another event in the past.
1.
2.
3.
When I woke up at 8am (1), the sun was shining and the birds
were singing. I had slept (2) really well the night before. I had
a shower (3), ate some breakfast (4) and left for work at 9am.
(5)
The car was speeding down the deserted highway when the
accident happened. The driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and
driven straight into a tree. Another car passed by. The driver saw
what had happened and stopped his car. He called the police and
said that he had witnessed an accident.
I woke up at 7am and left for work after I had had a shower and
eaten some breakfast.
Verb Tenses in Narration
(4)- Past Perfect Continuous: It is used for longer activities that
were happening continuously up until a specified time in the past.
1.
He looked very tired (1) because he had been working
very hard (2) over the past three weeks.
2.
He hadn't heard the telephone ring because he had
been reading.
Activity 1: Change the verbs in brackets to the past tense: simple, continuous, or
perfect
1.
2.
3.
While I _______________________(play) football I_______(hurt)
my leg.
The police _____(go) to the bank after a neighbour ______(phone)
to tell them what __________(happen). They soon ____________
(discover) that the robbers _____________ (escape) in a stolen car.
The men _________ (kill) one of the guards who _________(try) to
stop them as they _____________ (drive) away. The guard
______________ (jump) out in front of them but they just
_________________ (run) over him.
Suddenly they _________(hear) a strange noise and _______(look)
at each other in terror. All evening they ___________ (play) cards
and ____________ (watch) TV without thinking of the ghost.
Activity 2: Change the verbs in brackets to the past tense: simple, continuous, or
perfect
The Unlucky Burglar
One evening Paul (watch) ____________ the television and
(eat)____________ his supper when the door suddenly (open)
____________ and a burglar (come) ____________ in. He (wear)
____________ a mask and (carry) ____________ a sack. Before
doing anything else, he (tie) ____________ Paul to the chair. Then
he went upstairs to look for money. Although he (not find)
____________ any money, he (find) ____________ a lot of jewelry,
which he (put) ____________ into his sack. In his rush to get
downstairs, he (not see) ____________ the dog that (lie)
____________ at the bottom of the stairs, and he (fall)
____________ over it, losing his glasses. ____________ the burglar
(look for) ____________ them, Paul (try) ____________ to free
himself. Finally, Paul (manage) ____________ to escape and he
(phone) ____________ the police. When the burglar (find)
____________ his glasses, he (run) ____________ out of the house.
However, unfortunately for him, the police (wait) ____________
for him at the end of the garden.
Activity 3: Complete the following with a suitable past tense:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
My landlord threw me out of my flat because (not pay the rent for
six months and break all the windows)
When I eventually got to the meeting, I was bad tempered and
exhausted! I (sit in traffic jam for 45 minutes, a motorist bump
into me, and get completely lost)
By the time 5 o'clock arrived, Brenda was furious. She (wait for an
hour, drink six cups of tea, and they not arrive.
I was so depressed that I couldn't do the exam. I (study every day
for two months and give up see my friends)
After I (finish) my lunch, I went back to work.
When the police (interview) me, they let me go home.
As soon as I got home my brother (go out).
The children had to stay in until the rain (stop).
Activity 4: Correct the mistakes with the simple past and the past continuous tense:
When I am a university student about two years ago, I
enrolled in a scuba diving course. My scuba diving teacher
was having a big surprise: I wasn’t knowing how to swim. In
fact, I had a big fear of water. When I was a child, my
parents try to help me, so they make me take many
swimming lessons. Although I try hard, I didn’t learning to
swim. When I enrolled in the scuba diving course, I was still
afraid of water. Everyday I entered the swimming pool, I
battle my fear. Fortunately, my courage won every time.
Finally, one day while I practicing my dive, I realized I was
do very well. So, finally, after six months of hard work, I
completed the course. It is true that I was always the worst of
the group, but in my own evaluation, I was a champion
because I conquer my fear of water. For me, this experience
was very important. It was a test of courage, and I pass it.