Narrative Writing: Seed Ideas
Students will be able to think of small ideas to use for writing personal narratives.
- Ask the class, "Don’t you love listening to a good story? Have you ever listened to your friend or family member tell a good story and were so amazed by the story that you didn’t want it to ever end?"
- Tell the students to put their thumbs up if they have ever experienced that before.
- Tell your students, "I love listening to good stories! All good stories have key ingredients that make you want to listen to them."
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain that today, the students are going to write personal narratives, which are true stories that happened in their lives.
- Explain that personal narratives can be very interesting to write and read when they are about a small, specific moment that has happened in someone's life. In a short story, the speaker can include how she was feeling, what she was thinking, and what she saw.
- Compare a personal narrative to a watermelon: the big event is a watermelon slice, and the details are seeds. Ideas about small moments can be called seed ideas.
- To confirm that students understand, ask, "What is a personal narrative?"
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Say, "Let’s make a watermelon and seed T-chart together."
- Draw a T-chart on the board. Label the columns with a picture of a watermelon and a picture of a seed.
- Say, "What are some watermelon ideas you can think of? As in, what are big moments that have happened in your life?"
- Ask, "What is a small moment that happened within that big moment?"
- Record the students' big and small moments on the T-chart. Collect at least 3-4 ideas from students.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Tell students to come up with their own T-charts of watermelon and seed ideas in order to be able to write their personal narratives.
- Challenge students to come up with at least three big moments and three small moments.
- Have them complete this assignment on lined paper.
- Enrichment: Students who are finished with writing the three big and small moments may go on to choose their favorite moments and start writing their first rough drafts.
- Support: Students who need extra support may need sentence stems left on the board: A big event that happened in my life was when... I can remember the moment when...
Before Independent Working Time, stop and ask students to turn and tell one another about personal narratives and the difference between watermelon and seed ideas.
- Walk around and listen to their conversations, then call on two students to share their responses with the rest of the class.
- Assess students based on their discussions.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Tell students that creating stories can be a fun experience, since it helps them remember events from their own lives.
- Ask students, "Why is it important to pick a small or seed moment in order to write a personal narrative?"