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Narrative - Grades 6-8

Write narratives to create real or imagined events using story structure, details, and descriptive writing techniques.

  Score 4 Score 3 Score 2 Score 1
Introduction and conclusion Introduction engages the reader and orients them to point of view, narrator/character and events

Conclusion connects/reflects to previous events or experiences and resolves all conflicts
Introduction gains the reader’s interest and introduces to point of view, narrator/character and events

Conclusion is related to previous events or experiences
Introduction lacks details about what is happening and/or where and/or lacks clarity; point of view is unclear

Conclusion is inconsistent with previous events or is too sudden to be a reasonable story ending
Introduction lacks sufficient detail and focus making it difficult for the reader to understand what is happening

Conclusion is irrelevant to previous events or there is no conclusion
Organization and progression Follows a natural and logical sequence of events from beginning to end

Paragraphs are used effectively to separate events, show passage of time, or shift of dialogue to a different character while maintaining a focused piece

Transitional language (e.g. suddenly, since, after a while) connects paragraphs smoothly and conveys shifts in time and setting
Follows a logical sequence of events from beginning to end

Paragraphs are used to separate and distinguish between earlier and later events while maintaining a focused piece

Transitional language (e.g. suddenly, since, after a while) connects paragraphs and is used to indicated change in time or setting
Events are told in order from beginning to end

Paragraph formation is inconsistent resulting in a lack of clarity in the order of events

Linking words or phrases (e.g. then, suddenly, later that day) connect paragraphs but often create a list of events rather than a description
Events are out of order or inconsistent, or piece needs reorganization

No evidence of paragraph formation; all ideas appear in one body of text or paragraph separations occur at illogical points in the piece

Basic linking words (e.g. when, then, finally) are used repetitively or not at all
Plot & Story Development Plot or story structure effectively creates a cohesive and fluid story

Pace is used effectively to speed up or slow down the story (e.g. used to build suspense)

Descriptive details focus and elaborate the main idea, problem or character with clarity and focus
Plot or story structure connects events in a story

Pace varies but not purposefully (i.e. change of pace does not match the events)

Descriptive details elaborate the main idea, problem or character with writing techniques and clarity
Plot or story follows generic, linear structure

Inconsistent or no variety of pace throughout

Details on minor events/ideas weaken the clarity and focus of the main idea
No evidence of story structure; events described in isolation

No evidence of varied pace, piece reads like a list of events

Details are inconsistent and describe a variety of events that are not connected or too minimal for a main idea to develop
Descriptive writing techniques Characters and their motivations develop through integrated use of dialogue, action, thoughts and feelings; character personality emerges through details

Voice/tone of the piece is created, sustained and appropriate for the audience or purpose

A wide variety for concrete, figurative and sensory language are used to develop experiences and events that the reader can picture
Characters and their motivations are developed through the use of dialogue, action, and/or thoughts and feelings; character personality is described

Voice/tone of the piece is created, sustained and appropriate for the audience or purpose

Occasional use of concrete, figurative and/or sensory language describe experiences or events that the reader can picture
Character descriptions are minimal; details of dialogue, actions, thoughts or feelings are irrelevant to the events and character personality is inconsistent

Voice/tone is generic or inconsistent for the audience or purpose

Primarily concrete, literal language and descriptions are used; events are told rather than described
Character is introduced, but no further description or development of the character occurs; characters’ personality and motivations are unknown

Voice/tone does not align with the purpose or audience

Basic and literal language is used and with minimal use of adjectives and adverbs
Language, Vocabulary and Conventions Effectively uses a wide range of sentence structures and a variety of vocabulary

All spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate
Uses a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary

Minor spelling, grammar and punctuation occur; errors do not impact meaning
Uses simple sentence structures and generic vocabulary

Frequent errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation do not impact meaning
Sentences are incomplete and basic or repetitive vocabulary is used; language skills are limited

Multiple errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation impact the meaning