Friday, September 2, 2011

Personal Narratives

After going to a FABULOUS writing workshop this summer {it wasn't one of those, "Why am I here when I could be laying out" kind of trainings.  It was actually good!} I knew that I needed to become a better writing teacher.  I find myself stressing reading skills because let's face it, I love to teach reading.  I so much enjoy seeing my little ones fall into a novel, so I've neglected the writing aspect many times before.

As I was making plans for language arts, I noticed that my district has personal narratives at the beginning of the year.  I decided not to ignore that little concept, and to hit it head on during the 2nd week of school.  I did, however, tie it into our reading unit over Amber Brown.  Here's how I did it...
After reading these 2 books:

 we talked about the friendship that Amber shares with her best friend, Justin Daniels.  From there, we began writing our personal narratives about our best friends.  Here is the story that I modeled {I showed it to my friend, Sarah, and she cracked up :)}:
I had the students close their eyes and imagine their best friend:  what they look like, things they like, what they do with their best friend, why they are best friends.  We spent a lot of time talking about things to include in their papers.  First, I had the kids write a rough draft in their journals.  Then, I helped them edit the spelling and punctuation.

Here are a few of the finished stories/pictures!  I am busy gluing them onto construction paper right now, but I can't wait to hang them up on Tuesday!

I was pretty impressed with how well my kiddos did.  I chose the topic of "My Best Friend" because it is very personal for them, and they LOVE talking about their friends.  I knew that it would be easy for my students to brainstorm ideas to write about with this topic.  I would definitely suggest starting with a topic that is near and dear to the students because writing can be very intimidating, especially when you just can't think of anything to say!  Since this one turned out so great, I just may be doing more in the weeks to come!

Here are a few documents that I used during our writing project:

Writing Rubric- I showed this on my projector so that the kiddos knew what to include while writing.
I left off a cute title because I wanted my kiddos to practice including a title on all of their stories!


Have a fabulous and restful 3 day weekend!!!


19 comments:

mrspierce0515 said...

So cute! I LOVE your rubric and how you color coded your model writing! Great ideas!

I feel like I need to work on becoming a better writing teacher, too. What workshop did you attend?

Tiggeriffic 2nd Graders said...

Very cute idea! I struggle with writing with my kiddos a lot too. Every year, though, I feel like I get a little better and get more comfortable with it. I like this idea and may have to steal it :) Thanks so much for sharing!
Stacee

Colleen said...

I LOVE this!! Thanks so much for sharing it! I'm going to steal it for sure!!

-Colleen

Jill said...

This is a great idea! I also love the color coding. We'll be starting our first writing piece at the end of next week and it's a descriptive paragraph, but I am so borrowing some of your techniques! Thanks!! :)

Marvelous Multiagers!

PJ said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the clock numbers posted earlier. I hung them in my classroom today, and I'm loving them!

Mrs. Lamb said...

very nice. you've really saved me with your great lessons over the past week! We've done the sunflowers and the faces to go around of mission statement. They are too cute for words!
Rachel

Lory said...

Amy, thank you! This is darling and a great way to jump into writing. I'm going to try it out next week!
Lory
Lory's Page

Amanda K. said...

Love it! Thanks so much!

Amanda
Third Grade Meanderings

Tara said...

I nominated you as a Top 10 recipient of one of the awesome blogs that make me smile:) Here is the link for that

http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2011/09/some-of-my-top-10.html and this link to get your award button http://bit.ly/rtHPbL. Thanks for the inspiration!!

4th Grade Frolics

luckeyfrog said...

I love how you color-coded your example for the students. I am SO stealing that! Can you tell us which workshop was so great?

Tima said...

OMG, I love this. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

SSH said...

THANK YOU so much! I love this lesson and will be using the lesson this week! Can you please tell me what workshop you went to? T

amy.lemons said...

It was a workshop in my district called "The Writing Academy" and we focused on expository writing!

Ms. Vidal said...

I LOVE THIS!!!!!! I have been so worried about teaching writing (I'm a first year teacher), and my introductions on personal narratives have not gone over so well :/ I love this idea, thank you so much for sharing!

Jen R. (The Teachers' Cauldron) said...

thank you!!! I did this with my students (and blogged about it!!) and they turned out SO super cute!!! My students even became addicted to the Amber Brown series - double yay!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am excited about using this with my kiddos. Do you have material similiar to this for other writing genres? Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. Very cute. Kids are definitely interested in their friends, thus letting them enjoy an assignment built around that theme. Anyhow, there is one thing to clarify.....I am using this for the common core standard of writing an opinion piece. This is listed as a personal narrative but a narrative is a story so a personal narrative is a story of something that happened to you. This is more of a description or in my opinion, an opinion. Thought I'd share.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I do a lot of descriptive writing and I am always looking for cute ideas. Love your website.

Karina said...

Thank you so much for this idea! It's a wonderful way to get kids to write. You are so right! They love talking and writing about their special friends! I like the face template because it "forces" the kids to fill the page versus a little drawing…
Thanks for making this a freebie!