How to Teach Children to Write a Story

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, teaching children to write a story is one of the most important tools you can give them. Once your child is comfortable with writing phrases and sentences, Scholastic suggests using exercises to show your child how to start writing a story, create main characters and use correct vocabulary while writing a story 1. Although not all children will be a master storytellers right away, encouraging the child to have fun and write about anything will help develop his writing skills through creativity.

Read three well-known fairy tales aloud. The ideal fairy tales for this exercise are short stories that the children already know, like "Little Red Riding Hood," the "Three Little Pigs" and "Jack and the Beanstalk."

Ask the children to identify all of the characters in each story. For example, in "Little Red Riding Hood," the characters are Little Red, Little Red's Mother, the Wolf, Grandma and the Hunter. Write a list of all of the characters from each story on a chalkboard or whiteboard.

Ask the children to identify the beginning, middle and end of each story. For example, in the beginning of "Little Red Riding Hood," Little Red's Mother sends Little Red to Grandma's house. In the middle, Little Red goes to Grandma's house with the Wolf disguised as Grandma. In the end, the Hunter saves Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood. Write these moments on the chalkboard or whiteboard.

Hand out pencils and paper, instructing that each story must have characters and a beginning, middle and end.

Write story prompts, if desired. Some children may have a difficult time starting a story, so write a few story starter sentences on the board, like "Sweetie Jenkins had always flown first class with her Mummy and Daddy" and "Listening to the weather report on the police radio, the family huddled around a candle in the dark house," as suggested by Scholastic.

Talk to each child about her story and read what she gas written so far. Some children will start writing immediately, while it may take others a longer time. Ask what each child's characters are and what the beginning, middle and end will be. Be as encouraging as possible while guiding the children through their storytelling.


Not every child's story will be perfect right away, and there are no right and wrong answers as long as the child has followed the directions for the assignment.


If a child is unable or unwilling to follow directions, individual help may be required.