To kick off a series of mini-lessons on personal narratives, the students listened to the picture book, Shortcuts, by Donald Crews, read aloud. After the read aloud, the students worked as a class to develop a detailed definition of a personal narrative. Once students had a deep understanding as to what a personal narrative was, our writers began a two day journey through the pre-writing stage of the writing process.
The first day involved reading a personal narrative with a partner and recording information regarding the experience described in the book. All the students then came together as a class and created a list of personal experiences based on the books they read.
The second day allowed the students to hone in on one personal experience they encountered, and begin to think about how they could stretch that memory into a personal narrative. To help students understand how an author takes one moment and stretches it into a book, I read aloud the picture book, Roller Coaster, by Marla Frazee. This read aloud showed students that through the use of figurative language, the five senses, character’s actions, and descriptive detail, one single moment can be stretched into a well-written story.
Check in with your child this week as they begin to draft their personal narratives!