PARCC Prep: “Extending the Story” for PARCC Narrative Writing Task

PARCC Narrative Writing Tasks tend to fall into two camps: 1) write the story from another point of view or 2) extend the story. This is what the second type looks like:

8th ELA:

Today you will read and answer questions on a story about a man seeking to complete an important mission. When you have finished reading and answering questions, you will write a narrative story using details from your reading….THEN: Write a continuation of the story of Bahauddin Shah using details from the passage. Describe what you think might happen after Bahauddin Shah climbs out of the Salt Caverns. What obstacles might he face, and what actions might he take to overcome them?

10th ELA:

Today you will read a passage from a novel. As you read, pay attention to the interactions between the characters so that you can write a narrative story….THEN: After discovering that his wife has gone missing from the bicycle they were sharing, Mr. Harris returns “to where the road broke into four” and seems unable to remember where he has come from. Using what you know about Mr. Harris, write a narrative story that describes how he chooses which road to take and the experiences he has on his return journey. Be sure to use details from the passage in developing your narrative.

When reading the story, students should annotate for the following:

What has happened?

[List 3-5* MAJOR conflicts, decisions, lessons, causes & effects.]

What will characters do, and why?

[Use DDAT to identify characters’ motivations.]






1. X will ______ because DDAT.**

2. Y will ______ because DDAT.

For pre-writing to map out the plot going forward, they can simply use this template:

Somebody Wanted But So





*Note: This work mimics the use of the What Is Important ORGANIZER  from the TLC Website. We want students to identify more than 3 because a typical story will have 3-5, and we don’t want students to limit themselves to 3 and miss others.

**Note: DDAT (also on TLC) is a simple mnemonic device to help readers remember how writers develop characters. Using it when annotating can help students identify characters’ attitudes, beliefs, and motivations. Here is more information on DDAT:

DIRECT characterization:

Example: He had a great sense of humor. (No inference is required.)

INDIRECT characterization:

Example: “I want to save the whales,” she explained. (We can infer that she cares about animals and maybe that she is idealistic.)

Example: The young man studied every night and earned straight A’s in high school. (We can infer that he is hardworking and perseverant.)

Example: The girl wondered if the boy would ask her to dance. (We can infer that she has a crush on him.)


Many thanks to my friends at Great Oaks Charter High School (Amanda Belden, Kate Piluso, Drew Schuh, and Samantha Ulloa) who contributed to this development of this post.


About theliteracycookbook

In addition to this blog, I am the creator of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK Website ( and ONLY GOOD BOOKS Blog (, and the author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (Jossey-Bass, 2012), LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE: Recipes for Action (Jossey-Bass, 2014), and USING GRAMMAR TO IMPROVE WRITING: Recipes for Action (BookBaby, 2018). Check out my Website for more information about my consulting work.
This entry was posted in Assessment(s), Narrative Writing, PARCC, TLC Website Resources, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to PARCC Prep: “Extending the Story” for PARCC Narrative Writing Task

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