Education :: Conflict and Resolution

Okay, our younger writers (really any school-age writer who isn’t inclined to being a writer) can often fail to write with a point to their stories. They tend to write their stories as if they’re mundane and real life. The means there’s no tension, no movement, no point. Getting a story on paper is a good starting point, but there’s way more our young writers can do.

Now, obviously our primary writers aren’t here yet. We’re still working to get their letters written correctly and the Big Books and many of the ‘stories’ they read are simple and don’t have conflict/resolution. However, many TV shows do include conflict and resolution. That may be a good place to start! If they can name the conflicts and resolutions from their favorite shows and moves, that gives them a foundation. We can do the same practice with our older students.

Since our students aren’t going to be writing novels in our classrooms, we’ll simply focus on resolutions being the end of a story. This is where you want to start.

As your students to brain storm and then write down how they want the story to end (this should just be a single sentence; they’re not writing the story yet). Once each student has an end point (the resolution), have them brainstorm different problems that can keep the end from happening. They can settle on more than one, but remind them they’ll have to write about all of it. This is their conflict.

Once they’ve settled on a conflict (again, a single sentence will do for now) have them brainstorm how they get from the problem (conflict) to the ending (resolution). [Another single sentence will suffice. They’re not writing the story yet!]

Now that we know how a story ends and what leads to the ending, the students need to figure out where/how their story starts.

Once they’ve got everything figured out, it’s time for your students to write their stories!

Share your favorite stories here!

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