December 6, 2015

Planning a Personal Narrative - YOU need a plan!

Personal narratives are a great way to get kids writing. Students just need to tap into their own experiences and they have a story "nugget". Over the years, I've found a great way to get kids revved up about a personal narrative. Ask them to write about a time they got hurt. A personal tragedy. Those stitches. That scar. The cast. Oh, the trauma!  Little do those cuties know, as they explain their story, you'll be plugging in all sorts of writing practice! Frankly, this project has supported some of the best writing to that point in the year. Like all writing projects, quality writing begins with a plan. Note: Everything I'm sharing today is directly from one of my favorite personal narrative projects, Ouch! A Time I Got Hurt, a Personal Narrative. Click to check it out in my TpT store.

Before beginning ANY piece of writing there has to be a plan. YOU need to plan. YOU need to be prepared! When teaching writing YOU must model everything you expect your students to do.
For this project, remember a time YOU got hurt? If you have some scars to share even better! Tell them the basic story to generate enthusiasm. The next day remember some more details about the story. (Don't have a story? Make one up!)
Ask your students about a story they have. Tell the story to a classmate. Assign it as homework to talk to their parents to gather more details about their horrible trauma. The goal is getting your writers to commit and get enthusiastic about their story.
YOU fill out the OUCH! planning graphic organizer and share it with your kids. Model writing in note form and talk about how/why you did it. Modeling how to plan the story you've shared is key. Pass out an OUCH! graphic organizer to each kid.
Give students about 10 minutes to plan their story and that's it. Quick notes and a quick sketch.
Now stop. Do not go on. Supporting students to craft quality writing is a step by step process. Trust me, some students will begin writing the entire story on their planning sheet - but you don't want that! Walk and redirect as needed. It is helpful to have another adult during this stage to help. To achieve the desired end result, planning is critical and YOUR plan will set the stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think!