How do I Write a Story in the 4th Grade?

Man holding black reading book.jpg

Writing short stories can be a fun and creative way for children to express their ideas. Unfortunately, some students feel overwhelmed by the process and turn away from writing completely. Make creative writing fun by using these easy-to-follow steps to turn a good idea into a great story that children will want to share with their teachers, parents, classmates and friends.

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Construction Paper
  • Hole Puncher
  • Ribbon

1 How To Write a Good Story

2 Choose your genre

Choose your genre. If you are writing a story for school, the genre may have already been chosen for you. If not, make sure you know the genre, or type of story, you are writing. Know if your story is a fairytale, fantasy, myth, mystery, horror or other genre.

3 Brainstorm your idea

Brainstorm your idea. Brainstorming is the most important step before starting to write. On a blank piece of paper, write down everything that comes to mind when you think about your story -- characters, location, plot points -- everything. No detail is too small. Ask yourself questions like: "Who is the main character?" "Who is the villain?" "What is the conflict of this story?" "How will the conflict be resolved?"

4 Outline your story

Outline your story. Create a story map to organize your ideas. Start with the title of your story on the top, then write down the setting and main characters. Then, flesh out the plot. Make sure your story has a beginning that introduces the characters and the problem, or conflict, a middle that builds the story, and an ending that resolves the problem.

5 Write your story

Write your story. Using your outline as a guide, fill in all the details, dialogue and characters. Remember to write descriptively so the reader will be able to visualize your story.

6 Next

Next, review your story. You can read it to yourself, aloud to a classmate, or have a teacher read it; but it is important to read your story to check for spelling errors or areas where it may be confusing. Doing this may also help you think of new ideas to add to your story.

7 Have someone give you feedback

Have someone give you feedback. Ask questions like: "Is the story clear?" "Did you enjoy the story?" "Does the plot make sense?" "Does the story have a satisfying conclusion?" Ask the listener or reader to give her honest opinion.

8 Revise your story

Revise your story. A major part of writing is rewriting. Once you know what you want to change or add, rewrite your story to include the revisions. You may choose to have your revisions looked over once more before writing the final draft.

9 Have a publishing party

Have a publishing party. Once the final draft is completed, publish your story by making a cover page and adding illustrations. Choose two pieces of colorful construction paper for your front and back cover. Write the title and draw a picture that represents your story. Place the pages of your story between the two covers and bind your book by punching holes in the left hand side of the paper using a three hole punch. Tie your book together using ribbon. Grab some snacks and invite friends over to read each others' stories aloud.

Based in Los Angeles, Bridgett Michele Lawrence began working as a freelance writer in 2008. She is an accomplished screenwriter, teacher and blogger. Her articles appear on the Sixth Wall and other websites. Lawrence holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in screenwriting from New York University and a Master of Science in childhood education from Brooklyn College.