Genre of Narratives and Recounts


Lesson Plan

Before this lesson, you should complete the An Introduction to Genre lesson, so that learners are familiar with key terms discourse structure and register.

Explain that this lesson will focus on how we use genre to describe events. As a warmer, you could ask the learners to discuss what different ways there are to describe events and what makes each one different.

Start with the first slide for Activity 1. Ask learners what they know about narratives and recounts; then, give the explanation. Read the extract in slide 3, and ask the learners whether it is a narrative or recount (recount is the correct answer). Ask learners how could they tell it was a recount (answer: they tend to be factual and relate events in the past tense in order).

Move on to Activity 2 by asking learners to read the narrative titled Nature can be kind. The text is included in the printable document below. Ask learners what makes this different from the recount.

Remind learners of the definition of discourse structure. Ask them to discuss in pairs or small groups what they think the main structural elements of the narrative, and why are they presented in this order.

Next, show the learners the discourse structure slide. They can find their own copy in the handout with more detailed definitions.

To check this knowledge, ask learners to complete the next activity. Without looking back at the original narrative, ask learners to put the six sentences in the correct order. They should use the narrative discourse structure handout to help. Learners can check their answers by looking back at the narrative. (Answer: E, C, B, F, A, D)

In Activity 3, ask learners to recall the definition of register. Tell them that particular features of language are used in narratives. In the next activity, learners must choose the correct grammatical terminology for the four phrases. Next, discuss where each one appears in the narrative and why they think they appear in this order. In the next activity, learners can confirm their ideas by revealing the answers 1-4.

Activity 4 starts by using the hand out. Show the learners the out-of-order sentences that make up a new narrative (if you have time, you could cut these out as a hands-on re-ordering activity). Ask learners to put these sentences in the correct order, following the narrative discourse structure and features of register as guides.

To check the learners' work, reveal the final slide. The learners may not have the exact same order, but it should follow the structure of a narrative and make sense! (Suggested order: E, C, F, D, B, K, J, A, L, G, H, I)

Further Work

As an extension, ask learners to plan and write their own narratives. Make sure they use the discourse structure and features of register as seen in the previous examples.


This series of resources explores how genre relates to grammar. The content of the lessons was devised and kindly provided by Prof. Andrew Goatly. You can find some of his publications for purchase on the Amazon website here.

Full Preview

This is a full preview of this page. You can view a page a day like this without registering.

But if you wish to use it in your classroom, please register your details on Englicious (for free) and then log in!