Narrative writing unit



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  • DAY 1:
  • ANALYZING

Why Do We Tell Stories? (prompt)

  • Part A
  • Think about the many reasons why people tell stories, then write about one of these reasons in your writer’s notebook.
  • (“The best reason to tell a story is _________ because stories __________.”)

We Tell Stories Because…

  • “The storytelling self is a social self… who declares and shapes important relationships through the mediating power of words. ---Dyson and Genishi
  • “Narratives help us live our lives, and they help us do our work.”
  • ---Friedricksen, Wilhelm, Smith

We Tell Stories Because…

  • -to entertain the reader (laugh, scare, amuse)
  • -to express our feelings/emotions
  • -to learn from our mistakes
  • -to share our experiences
  • -to create a new world
  • -to have fun!

Why Do We Tell Stories? (prompt)

  • Part B
  • Now think of an example of a story you have read, heard or viewed (TV, movies are allowed) that would be a good example for this reasoning.
  • (“__________ is a good example of this reasoning because _________.”)

Why Do We Tell Stories? (prompt)

  • Part C
  • Describe which narrative element you liked best about this particular story---plot, character, conflict, theme, setting, POV---then explain why.
  • (“I chose this story because it ________.”)

Elements of a Narrative

  • *After watching the video, we will take notes on the elements of a narrative.
  • Flocabulary Video (3:25)

Elements of a Narrative

  • These are a critical part of any short story, novel, or drama!!!
  • 1) Plot - The sequence of events that make up the story.
  • 2) Characterization - The characters involved in the story and how they contribute to the story.
  • 3) Conflict - The struggle between two opposing forces;
  • there are 4 types of conflict.
  • 4) Theme - The message the author wants you to know.
  • 5) Setting - The parts of the story’s location, including: time, place, weather, and atmosphere.
  • 6) Point of View - How the story is told and by whom.
  • Now we will listen to a story. Find some space to write down notes about the elements appearing in chapter 1 of…
  • (audio link)
  • Plot -
  • Characterization -
  • Conflict -
  • Theme -
  • Setting -
  • Point of View - First Person

House on Mango Street (prompt)

  • Describe in detail the place that you call home (house, apartment, or other). Include the sounds and smells typical of your home, and perhaps how certain structures or objects feel in or outside of it.
  • Finally, embed one brief anecdote, or experience, that shows something that happened in or around your home (like the nun and the apartment in Cisneros’ book).

Walk & Talk Activity

  • Okay, stand up and start walking around the room in no particular fashion.
  • Don’t stop until the music does!!!

Walk & Talk Activity

  • With your partner, discuss a favorite character from any story (ex. novel,
  • movie, or TV series).

Walk & Talk Activity

  • What movie should your partner go home and watch tonight?

Walk & Talk Activity

Narrative Reporting Activity

  • *Find a partner: one is storyteller, one the reporter.
  • *Storyteller - tell the story of your favorite birthday celebration ever!
  • *Reporter - write down all of the story’s elements:
  • What happened? When did it happen?
  • Who was there? Where did it happen?
  • Why it happened, or what was memorable?
  • *NOW, switch roles and do it again!!!
  • DAY 2:
  • RESEARCHING

Nonfiction Group Analysis

  • *VIEW THE SECOND POWERPOINT!!!
  • DAY 3:
  • BRAINSTORMING

Writing Well

  • Okay, so maybe you haven't lived the life of
  • Helen Keller, Malcolm X or Maya Angelou. Or
  • maybe you are thinking, ”My life is as exciting
  • as watching drying paint.”
  • Well, you are wrong! Your life is actually tremendously exciting. That's because even mundane events are fascinating in the hands of a good writer… And that's you!

Writing Well

  • When you write a personal narrative, you relate
  • a meaningful incident from the first-person
  • point of view. The story might
  • describe a conflict that you untangled
  • a discovery that you made
  • an experience that moved you in some way

Writing Well

  • A personal narrative has the same elements as a
  • short story—plot, conflict, characters, setting,
  • theme, and point of view.
  • But when you write a personal narrative, you aren’t creating these elements from your imagination. Rather, they come from your own experience.
  • Consider interviewing family, friends, and neighbors about the incident which can help shed light on your memories and enable you to view the incident from several different vantage points.

Book Credit

  • The previous slides were excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.
  • http://www.infoplease.com/cig/writing-well/life-line-personal-narratives.html

My Example

  • Now view Mr. McDonald’s “Stealing Home” writing plan and full essay on his website!
  • Writing Situation:
  • New beginnings can take many forms. For many, a new beginning comes with the start of a new school year. For others, a new beginning could be starting a new sports season, moving to a new home, or changing a habit. Think about a time when such a new beginning affected you. Your school newspaper is going to include a series of essays that captures these “New Beginnings.”
  • Writing Directions:
  • Write an essay for your school newspaper in which you tell about a time when you experienced a “new beginning.”
  • DAY 4:
  • DRAFTING

Drafting Tips

  • - Skip the introduction and write the body paragraphs—the story—first .
  • (Paragraphs #2, #3, and #4).
  • - Give your reader some background information in the beginning .
  • (What was going on BEFORE the event?)
  • - Include the required elements from your Writing Plan as you write.
  • (plot, character, conflict, theme, setting)
  • DAY 5:
  • EDITING

Editing Activity #1

  • Grab your Narrative Rough Draft, stand up and start walking the room in no particular fashion.
  • Don’t stop until the music does!!!

Editing Activity #1

  • With your partner, discuss the CHARACTERS in your narrative:
  • What are they like?
  • Did you describe them well?

Editing Activity #1

  • With your partner, discuss the SETTING, or location, of your narrative:
  • Where did it take place?
  • Did you use good descriptors for it?
  • How did it affect your story?

Editing Activity #1

  • With your partner, discuss the PLOT, or action, of your narrative:
  • What was going on BEFORE this?
  • Or DURING this?
  • Or AFTER event took place?

Editing Activity #1

  • With your partner, discuss the THEME, or a lesson you learned, through this narrative:
  • How did this event impact your life?
  • Did you learn anything?

Editing Activity #2

  • Step 1
  • EDITING means adding, taking out, re-phrasing, re-writing, or moving things around in the paper to make it more readable and interesting. Read through the paper and make three specific suggestions for editing it. (Include examples of what? Which anecdote? What details? Move this paragraph to what location?)

Editing Activity #2

  • Step 2
  • PROOFING means locating and correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence errors in your paper. Using proofreading marks, proof your paper using the bottom-up method. Answer the following questions:
  • DAY 5 & 6:
  • FINAL DRAFT

Final Draft

  • Today we will spend time in the computer lab typing your Rough Draft into the first stage of your Final Draft.
  • This is NOT the end… more revisions ahead!!!
  • DAY 6:
  • REVISION

Peer Review & Revisions

  • DAY 7:
  • UNIT TEST

Unit Test

  • DAY 8:
  • CELEBRATION

Celebration!

  • Publishing Party Ideas:
  • Air-guitar contest
  • Lip-synching contest
  • Chair dancing contest
  • TV series episode
  • Movie (Freedom Writers, Dead Poets Society, Mean Girls)


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