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Explore the Genre of Narrative Writing_NE


In this activity, you will develop a clear enough understanding of the characteristics of this genre to be able to explain your understanding to others.

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.5
  • CCRA.R.6
  • CCRA.L.5
  • CCRA.L.3

I Can Statements 

  • I will know my exploration of personal narrative writing is of high quality when:
    • I can identify the elements that define personal narrative writing, such as main idea or theme, conflict, and vivid details.

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students to check their understanding of the elements of personal narrative writing.
  • Provide students an anchor text and ask them to code or otherwise identify the elements of personal narrative writing.
Possible Activities 
  1. Conduct a mini-lesson on narrative essays, describing the key organizational structure, form, and approach, as well as noting what a narrative essay is not. It’s not merely a story or a series of random events, but a description of a significant event in which a lesson was learned. 

  2. Provide several exemplars and ask students to select 2-3 to examine and create a list of similarities in structure, craft, and form. Or use a jigsaw format, where students work in groups, and each group reads texts about the genre of narrative essays and examines a different exemplar. Then reorganize the groups so that the new groups each have one representative from the former group, and each representative shares their learning with the others in this new group, to create a collective understanding of the genre.                                      
  3. Coding the Text: Ask students to read two exemplars and code them with key features that you want them to include in their narrative writing (this may vary by grade). For example, codes for lower elementary may be:

    • B=Beginning
    • M=Middle
    • E=End

    Codes for upper elementary may include:

    • VD=Vivid Detail
    • ML=Moral or Lesson

    Codes for middle school might include:

    • CF=Conflict
    • RA=Rising Action
    • CL=Climax; Resolution
    • ML=Moral/Lesson 

    Codes for secondary school might extend to:

    • V=Voice
    • LD=Literary Device (Students would name the device such as LD-Irony or LD-Suspense.)
Downloadable Resources 
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