Welcome to HIT—How I Teach….In this episode (and the next—two parter!), I have a blast teaching about a story writing technique that I came up with years ago (I’m sure others thought of it too!) called the Twice-Told Tale. (Some of my early books call it The Piggyback Story.) This fool-proof story writing technique takes even non-story writers by the hand to create an amazing finished product that they are super proud of!

In this episode, I teach the first half of How I Teach…the Twice-Told Tale Story Writing Approach for junior high and above—while using a lesson from one of my Twice-Told Tale books (a lesson that you get for free in your Teacher’s Notebook so that you can teach it to your awesome students!). (In Episode 23, I will teach the second half!)

Here is what you will learn:

  • How to set expectations for this (or any) writing project
  • The importance of making sure that all of the skills that a project requires of a student are taught and taught and taught (to avoid frustration)
  • How to bridge the gap between story writing lovers and research writing lovers to make those research kids less afraid and more excited about story writing
  • The importance of using a strong, at grade level model that has the same or similar length and detail of what you are asking students to write
  • How to help students learn to match the space for their writing with the detail of a story (and how not doing this can lead to an essay rather than a story)
  • How to use a model to teach scene changes, paragraph breaks, dialogue writing, literary devices, and more
  • What to expect of students in a Directed Brainstorming Box to be sure they come up with enough obstacles, character details, solutions, and more for the assigned project
  • How to get students excited about a project by using suggestions, models, and samples
  • Much more!

 I thought this was going to be one episode, but I had so much fun with it, the HIT will actually take two episodes…and I’m not mad! I love teaching this entire process!

While this particular episode uses a lesson based on The Emperor’s New Clothes at about a 6th through 9th grade writing level (depending on Basic or Extension and experience), I have a couple dozen Twice-Told Tale assignments for grades four through twelve!

 Some FREE lessons with teaching videos:





 AND MANY Downloadable one month books containing these (some out now; many coming soon at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Language-Arts-Lady-With-Donna-Reish

Of course, just like every lesson in my one-month downloadable books and my one-semester Meaningful Composition books, this one also has the invaluable sample story (“piggybacked” off of the model, just like your student will do!).

 And for your convenience, How I Teach…. is available as a podcast (follow along in your TN sheets for that week) and a YouTube video (with Power Point containing the same as the TN)! 

Note: This lesson came from Write for a Month, Twice-Told Tale III, a month-long downloadable book! 

Find everything you need here!

Weekly broadcast episodes with Teacher’s Notebook downloads (and links to listen or watch!) at the Language Arts Lady blog

Master (continually updated) Teacher’s Notebook downloadable booklet

Free writing books and videos of me teaching your students for you for a couple of weeks! 

All of my digital books

How I Teach YouTube Channel

How I Teach Podcast