Table 103

Types of Fantasy Narrative Elements and Proportion of Children Producing Each at Age 5

Proportion of Children

Narrative Element Example Producing Element at Age 5


Setting there was a jungle and in the jungle they have dark .13

trees and rocks

Highpoint and he went grr grr, and he knocked over all the trees .41

cause he got so mad, and he knocked over this, and he knocked over everything! Resolution then he kills the dragon and she kills the elephant .22

and they live happily ever after Closing the end .47

Genre Specificity

Character delineation the father always gets mad at the little boy .44

Protagonist then he's [the dragon] gonna eat the elephant. .09

Now he's gonna eat him. Now he's gonna throw him again. Now him. Now he's gonna throw the whole jungle and throw the tree No deixis the elephant called the lioness on the telephone .25

Character Voice

Direct speech get off me! .72

Reported speech and the duck said, Stop it! .13


Intensifiers and delimiters the elephant almost stepped on the baby .41

Defeats of expectations the little one tried, but he couldn't do such a big jump .38

Intentions and purposes the dragon roared and tried to get him .41

Internal states the bird got mad at the lion .38

Repetition for effect it began to fire more and more .13

Complex temporal markers sometime, a lot later, the elephant died .31

than using reported speech, less successful narrators often held up an animal to indicate that a story character was talking, and instead of using verbal strategies of story character reidentification, simply turned back to the toy figures after engaging in side conversation with the adult partner. Narrative highpoints and plot resolutions were generally absent from these children's narratives. Most notably, the less successful narrators provided minimal evaluation of the story, reporting few character intentions or internal states.

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