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Personal Narrative Teacher Resources
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What is the difference between a news story and a personal narrative? This plan has learners write a personal narrative using the topic of service projects in their community. Consider completing a cross-curricular extension by bringing in a speaker or sketching scenes to accompany the narrative.
Personal narrative writing is usually a favorite form of writing for youngsters because they get to write about a personal experience. The lesson here asks pupils to take a piece of narrative writing and improve it by following guidelines in a revision checklist. The checklist has them focus on word choice, sentence structure, and ways to eliminate details that don't really need to be in the story. Upon completion, everyone reads their revised stories to the class.
Binoculars are used as a metaphor for good descriptive writing. Class members first view a small picture and then an enlarged view of the same image in which the details come into focus. Next, learners examine a paragraph lacking sensory details and one rich in description. Finally, class members craft their own personal narratives. Prompts, story ideas, check lists, and assessments are included in this richly detailed plan.
Teams select a society to investigate and create a chart comparing and contrasting the status of girls in that society with their own. They then craft and illustrate a personal narrative written from the point of view of a girl living in that society. Richly detailed, the lesson also includes a list of bookmarked sites.
Don't just teach your ELA class about point-of-view, get them writing! Read the illustrated book I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket to your class and discuss how the story is told from the first-person point of view of an inanimate object: a basket. Use the included worksheets, pictures, and research activities to get your class further exploring this style of creative writing. By the end of these four days of planned activities, your young writers will be able to tackle their own first-person narrative!
What are the elements of a personal narrative? Get your class talking by reading "The Necklace" and "A Dangerous Game." The lesson focuses primarily on defining certain vocabulary terms (like context clues, plot, conflict, climax, etc.) and identifying components of a text. Unfortunately, no specific questions or prompts are provided for the teacher, just a few paragraphs summarizing what the teacher will discuss.
Students learn characteristics of an effective personal narrative. In this personal narrative instructional activity, students discover ways to show rather than tell, adding richness and detail to their writing. Students evaluate a news article for effectiveness and write their own personal narrative.
“First-Person Narratives of the American South,” a collection of primary source materials, offer class members a chance to compare the views of two women who experienced Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea. Using the provided worksheet, groups focus their comparisons on the women’s views on slavery, their experience of the march, or their beliefs. For the male perspective of this event a link to the journal of George Washington Baker is provided.
Kids will think of a special time they spent with a special person as inspiration for their personal narratives. They'll read and then create a flow map for the story Owl Moon. Then they will brainstorm their own narrative using the flow map as a guide to writing their finished piece.
Picture books provide the impetus for a study of how authors make plots seem real and characters interesting. After reading several books, class members list the techniques the authors used to enliven their stories and then craft their own. A list of picture books you can use to launch the lesson as well as a personal narrative planning sheet and a personal narrative checklist are included.
Introduce your class to fairy tales with this lesson. After reading the fractured fairy tale, "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig," third, fourth, and fifth graders write a personal narrative as a response to the fairy tale. They compare and contrast the classic fairy tale with the fractured story, completing a graphic organizer to showcase their thoughts.
Students read and analyze a personal narrative written about a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in Guinea-Bissau, Africa. They discuss the concept of crossing cultures, analyze maps, complete worksheets, and develop a writing assignment that describes events from two perspectives.
Use the Peace Corps to explore a different place and different perspectives. Your class reads the personal narrative "Cross-Cultural Dialogue" by Roz Wollmering, completing an attached story frame sheet in preparation for a class discussion. There are four days worth of activities provided here, and learners are encouraged to complete a daily journal entry to reflect on the difference of perspective.