To help students get used to creating a plan for a narrative, we did a bit of practise.
We began by creating massive lists for "setting", "characters", and "plot" and all students in the class contributed their ideas to our class posters. This helped generate ideas of what you could write a narrative about.
In the next session when we introduced the planning template to the students, our class completed the following activity. I wrote each different idea for characters (ex. cowboys, astronauts, doctors, aliens) and each different idea for settings (ex. beach, archeology dig, museum, bank) on little slips of paper.
One by one, each students came up and selected one paper for setting and one paper for characters from a jar. They then had to create a plot and storyline that involved the settings and characters they selected and complete a planning document for that.
An example is the following:
Setting: Outer Space
(Students had to create their own plots related to those items)
Plot: Cowboys get trapped in outer space as punishment for losing a rodeo.
Resolution: The cowboys use their lassos to catch Earth and drag themselves back to Earth.
This activity was wonderful and students had so much fun coming up with all their amazing creative ideas. Also, this activity is great for EAL students as it forces them to think outside of what they are familiar with. An EAL student in my class picked "ocean" as his setting and "soccer players" as his characters. He knew what soccer players were as he loves soccer but had to ask what the "ocean" was. After explaining to him and showing him a picture, he knew exactly what it was and was then able to plan a story.