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What is a narrative structure?
A narrative structure or, what can also be called the story-form, organizes facts, ideas, concepts, etc. in a coherent and emotionally engaging way. In discussion of the tools of oral language and the imaginative dimensions of Mythic understanding, we identify the story as crucial in early learning; it is the tool that enables us to bring curriculum content and emotion together to make knowledge more fully meaningful to the student. That remains largely true for older students, but the kind of story that engages them is different from the basic story structures more common in early years. The term narrative is now used to refer to the story-form shaped by the emotional and imaginative features of literacy.
A narrative is a continuous account of a series of events or facts that shapes them into an emotionally satisfactory whole. It has in common with a story that shaping of emotion, and so the words are often used synonymously, but it is different in that narratives can be less precisely tied into a tight story, less concerned with emotion, more varied, more open, more complex. That is, the term narrative is used to indicate the greater variety and openness of the stories that prove most useful as students become fluently literate. Like story, narrative preserves the importance of shaping events and facts to affect emotions.
How can we evoke a narrative structure in teaching?
For examples click here.
Why does a narrative structure engage our imaginations?
For more theortical background on this cognitive tool click here.