Empowering Students through Fantasy Fiction Writing in Sixth Grade English

In sixth grade English class, students recently wrapped up a Fantasy Fiction writing unit that culminated in writing narrative stories. Students followed a creative process of pre-writing, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing, even creating book covers for their stories. 

A highlight of the unit was a visit from Shipley parents Loryn and Pete Schiffer, of Schiffer Publishing, who delivered an interactive presentation for sixth graders. They shared Amelia's Story by the Brothers Minor, which teaches children about the publishing process. Students excitedly left the presentation inspired to continue their journeys to young authorship.

For Lila Corgan, teaching writing to her students is one of the best parts of being an English teacher. “I really believe that all children have ideas that are ‘right’ but they're sometimes misinterpreted as ‘wrong’ because those ideas may not be clearly or effectively communicated,” she says. “My writing instruction centers around providing my students with tools to deconstruct their own thinking and organize it in cohesive ways. My hope is that kids leave my class with a greater command of the written word and thereby feel an increased sense of agency and power!”

Indeed, students were empowered and inspired by the unit, sharing the following feedback:

“Writing is truly powerful. You can change the outlooks and beliefs of people.” – Eli D.
“This unit taught me that you can make an interesting and cool story that you never knew you could create.” – Ben F.
“I enjoy how you can be as creative as you want when you write. During this unit, I discovered that I really like writing fantasy fiction stories. Now it is my favorite genre.” – Anya A.
“Fantasy pulls me in to write more with no limits. I can just type anything on the computer and a masterpiece is born.” – Sydney K.
“In Mrs. Corgan’s class, I’m able to write stories from my imagination, which I think is fun. I’ve discovered that I like making stories and I should keep making more on my own time.” – Alton T.


The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.