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Writing a frightening story - narrative
Upper-Intermediate level


The learners will write a short narrative about a frightening experience. They will learn a logical structure to write a short narrative, and they will have the opportunity to provide feedback to each other.


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Main Aims

  • To provide process and product. A frightening story–writing narrative.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To introduce and revise vocabulary used to talk about frightening or horror stories. • To give students some writing practice and develop students’ writing skills utilizing story cues, guided questions, and parts of a text: beginning, middle, and end. • Encourage students to help each other in providing feedback and evaluate their partners’ work.


Warmer/Lead-in (4-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Warmer/Lead-in (5-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students. ELT will provide a visual and some vocabulary on a slide. Before giving out the text, pre-teach the vocabulary. Everybody has a story, […] Write frightening and horror on a slide. Include some visuals. Ask students if they know what it means. Have you ever have been frightened or scared about something? Do you enjoy spooky movies/films or stories? Do you have an anecdote from a friend? Of course, everybody has a terrifying or scary story or anecdote to tell, right?

Exposure (9-10 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

Text analysis/ Pre-Writing Task (5-7 minutes). I have a real experience to share with you. (Example of narrative with the different sections/parts). ELT will get the learners to read the text (quickly/gist) and answer the question in the exercise. • To give the learners an idea about structure in a narrative and prepare to write their story. ELT will explain to learners that they will be writing their own story about a frightening experience. ELT can Elicit a few ideas on what a frightening tale could be, giving a personal example. Provide information about the narrative structure. Let me tell you my story, but first I want to ask you: • Do you know what the Ouija board is? • Have you ever played with the Ouija board?

Useful Language (9-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

• Identify the different sections in the text with questions. Answer the following questions. • Is the language formal or informal? • Identify tenses, pronouns, adverbs, nouns, and adjectives in the story, sequencing words Beginning/Introduction (Context) – Where were you? How old were you? Who was with you? For example, “The scariest thing that has happened to me is […]. “The first time I […].” When I was […]. “It happened a long time ago, [a while ago], or recently.” • When did this event occur? Are we talking about the past? • Where did this event occur? • Who were the main characters? Middle/Action/Situation – Highlight the situation and people. What happened next? How did you feel? “I/we felt […]” Then, […]. Later that day, […]. After that, […]. The next day, […]. “Later on […].” • What happened that night? • How did everybody feel the morning after? End/Results – What were the results? What happened at the end? What was the learning experience? “In the end, […].” “As a result, […].” “Finally, I/we […].” “Long-story-short […].” • What was the decision at the end? • How did to story/anecdote ended?

Productive Task(s) (14-15 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Writing Task (15-15 minutes). Work individually, write your story or anecdote—a maximum of a150 words following the cues and guidelines.

Feedback and Error Correction (4-5 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

When finished, ask individual students which story they thought was most frightening. Feedback will be from the learner’s opinions on the stories. Once students have completed, check the answers as a class. The T will put the learners into groups and let them continue with the table in the analysis box. The T will then ask them to discuss the question in their groups. The T will hand out the answers and clarify if there is anything which they do not understand.

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