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The Lightning Bug Teaching Portal audience includes teachers in primary and secondary schools, universities and home school educators. I’d like to welcome all of you!

Though Lightning Bug covers many aspects of narrative structure, there are some elements more fundamental than others when teaching writing basics:

Writing Exercises

Like any good athlete, warming up is important. Start students with a simple writing exercise to get their creative juices flowing. This is also a good overflow resource for those students that finish their main task early. Discussions centred on inspiration and story development through mind mapping are also good for preparing students for writing.


Students starting the story writing process with analysis on how a story starts and ends take some control! Synopsis writing is a good practical exercise you can use to get them started.

Evolving Story

Understanding the ways a writer can develop a story using show don’t tell, forshadowing and establishing a sense of place can add depth to an evolving authors work.

A suggested writing program for the classroom – helping you incorporate writing as a daily activity.

Part 1 and Part 2 introduce a suggested outline. Lesson Plans mentioned in the outline are listed below.

Copyright – This can be a very empowering topic for young writers, understanding that their work is protected by law!

Story Synopsis – Writing a story synopsis can be a great way to introduce the mechanics of narrative structure.

Story Synopsis worksheet (Alternate Electronic Whiteboard version)

Workshopping Part 1 and Part 2 – Workshopping is an important part of writing. Exchanging ideas and learning how to recieve and offer constructive critisizm make everyone better writers! Use this lesson with caution however, as it’s a delicate topic ffor many writers, regardless of age or ability.

Workshop Phrases worksheet

Mind Mapping Worksheet – mind maps can be can be a great way to develop ideas. Use this worksheet to teach the process. (Alternate Electronic Whiteboard version)

Character worksheet – great for developing an awareness of what motivates a character in a story. (Alternate Electronic Whiteboard version)

The Digital Narrative

Help students discover what sort of writer they are

Dozens of writing ideas for the classroom


Lightning Bug : You’ll find Lightning Bug excellent both in class and as a homework resource for students.

Blogs from young adult authors, find out what makes them tick!

Penni Russon
Neil Gaiman
Justine Larbalestier
Scott Westerfeld
Lili Wilkinson
Meg Cabot

Resources for young writers.

The Digital Narrative
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The Teaching Portal by Lighting Bug