write on!

Introductory Workshop
Classroom Materials
(for use before artist’s visit)
Writing a story is as easy as telling a story. We tell stories all of the time. We also hear stories
from other people. Usually, the stories well tell are about events that have occurred in our lives.
Other times, stories we tell are what other people have told us. Many of us tell and re-tell the
stories that our family members have told us.
In the course Write On!, we allow ourselves to share a personal story of our own on paper.
Then, we will learn a process of bringing this story to life in the form of a scene from a play. By
the end of the class, you may realize that storytelling, writing a play, and performing is as
simple as riding a bike or playing a game of tag.
Are there stories that people in your family tell over and over? Is there a favorite story that you
have heard a family member tell? Is there a story that you like to tell describing an event that
has happened to you or your friends? Can you share this story with the class?
For this introductory course of Write On!, we will call a story a narrative. A narrative is a story
that describes a sequence of real or make-believe events.
The word narrative comes from the Latin verb narrare, “to recount”, which is very similar to
Spanish verb narrar.
The Hare and the Tortoise
By Aesop (620-560 B.C)
The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. "I have never yet
been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with
The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."
"That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all the way."
"Keep your boasting till you've beaten," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at
once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap.
The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the
Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race. Then, said the
Tortoise: "Plodding wins the race."
Remember, a narrative is a story that describes a sequence of real or make-believe events.
What is the sequence of events in this narrative story, The Hare and the Tortoise? Draw the
events from this story in the order in which they took place in the following squares.
Remember, that one of the coolest things about stories, or narratives, is that many people can
tell the same story in their own way. Don’t worry if you choose to draw events that are
different from what your classmates choose. Have fun and appreciate the differences in the
way you “recount” the story, The Hare and the Tortoise.
Now, think of a story, or a narrative, that you like to tell. Or, think of a story that a friend or a
member of your family likes to tell. If you have trouble thinking of a story, ask your parents
when you get home tonight. Or, ask your teacher to tell you a story from his or her own life.
Draw the major events of this narrative in the boxes below like you did for The Hare and the
Now, write the story you have drawn in paragraph form. Make sure your story has a clear
beginning and a clear ending. Include all of the events that take place in your story and write
them in the proper order. Describe each event with as much detail as possible. Very
importantly, describe each place WHERE the story takes place, describe WHO is participating in
the story, and describe WHAT is happening during each event.
Write at least half of a page. If you are inspired, try to write one full page. If you are really
inspired, write three pages using as much detail as possible!
My Uncle Pedro and Uncle Braulio were teenagers living in Mexico when they were
walking from my great uncle’s house late at night and they heard a loud scream. My uncles
looked at each other and then looked back at where the scream came from. They couldn’t see
anything but they heard a weird sound like La Llorrona. They heard a voice crying, “Mis hijos!
Mis hijos! Mis hijos!”
They tried to walk away but they felt like something was pulling them from behind. It
was difficult for them to walk. Pedro was too scared to turn around to see what was pulling
them but Braulio looked. He saw a dark, womanly figure following. He shivered and told his
brother to run.
Uncle Pedro and Uncle Braulio ran home. When they got home, they sat at the kitchen
table where their mother served them hot atole. She said, “You two look like you have just seen
a ghost!”
My uncles said, “We have!”
Congratulations! You have learned how to write a narrative! Now, you are ready to bring your
stories to life! In the introductory workshop with Cara Mía Theatre Co.’s professional
playwrights and performers, you will learn how to bring your stories from the page to the