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Choose a Topic_NE

Description 

What makes for a strong narrative essay topic?
Students will choose a topic for their narrative essay and write a paragraph explaining why this is a significant story to tell.

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.W.5

I Can Statements 

I can choose a topic that

  • is clearly and accurately defined.
  • Is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable writing process.
  • requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation.
  • I will know if my topic is of high quality if it:
    • is something I feel strongly about.
    • is clearly and accurately defined.
    • is specific or narrow enough to support a manageable writing process.
    • requires critical inquiry and higher-order thinking, such as analysis, questioning, and evaluation.

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their topic to gauge how well the topic meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to state their topic and explain (orally or in writing) how it meets the quality criteria for a high quality topic.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below.

 

 

Possible Activities 
  1. Model your own writing process by showing how you brainstorm about significant life events. Demonstrate how you connect events in your life to major times of growth and change.  

  2. Have students create a timeline of major events in their lives in a graphic organizer that gives space next to each event to list its significance and what they learned about life from the event.

  3. You may choose to give students a list of narrative essay prompts to choose from or have students brainstorm as a class what might be a strong narrative essay topic. 

  4. The Brainstorm Exploration activity guides students towards exploring several possible topics in order to determine which topic is “thickest” or most substantial and interesting.  This activity works best when there is a fairly open range of possible topics.

  5. ABC Brainstorming can be adapted to help students come up with topics for their writing. Begin by asking students to focus on a specific theme or idea, then ask them to brainstorm a related person, place, personal possession, or anything else they can connect to their lives that begins with each letter of the alphabet.

Downloadable Resources 
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