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Unit 6: Lesson 11Select Topic & Brainstorm Personal Narrative

Unit 6

Authors and Actors

                

 

 

Purpose

The purpose of this unit is to ignite students’ excitement to write by giving them the tools to explore experiences in their own lives and to communicate those stories to an audience through theater and writing.
 

Unit Description

In this unit, students write personal narratives about experiences in their own lives. To prepare, students will explore writing around three different topics. With each topic, they read real authors’ stories and engage in theater exercises as they apply the writing process. Then as authors, students pick one topic to write a whole story about and use acting to support their progress. As a culminating event, the class creates a theater presentation of the stories for an audience, who can see and hear the students’ stories on stage.

 

                

 

Common Core State Standards

Arts for Learning is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. This Overview describes the scope of the standards and this Quick Reference Guide provides each of the standards fully or partially met within this A4L Unit, followed by the charts that specifically identify the standards addressed in each lesson and step in the Unit. The standards are also coded and listed at the beginning of each lesson in the unit. Arts for Learning also provides a comprehensive student assessment program in each unit. This A4L Assessment Toolkit Quick Reference Chart indicates an overview of the locations of the tasks to be scored in the unit..
 
Each A4L unit is developed on a common framework and contains a 3-part sequence of instruction that educational research suggests will help students become more self-directed, independent learners. There is a gradual hand-off of responsibility--from teacher to students-- that is supported by assessment and teacher help as needed. Throughout A4L units the arts serve as motive and means to advance reading for meaning and writing thoughtfully.
 
 

Part 2

Exploring

Unit 6: Lesson 11

Select Topic & Brainstorm Personal Narrative

Unit 6: Lesson 11

Select Topic & Brainstorm Personal Narrative

 
 

LITERACY OBJECTIVE

By the end of this lesson students will be able to develop an outline for a personal narrative.
 
 

Literacy "I Can" Statements

"I can develop an outline for my personal narrative."
 
 

Lesson Overview

 

 

Standards Alignment

 

Targeted CCSS

Writing & Language       
W 3.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W 3.3a: Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
W 3.3b: Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
W 3.3c: Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
W 3.3d: Provide a sense of closure.
W 3.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.  
W 4.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W 4.3a: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
W 4.3b: Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
W 4.3c: Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
W 4.3d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
W 4.3e: Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. 
W 4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
W 5.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
W 5.3a: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. 
W 5.3b: Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
W 5.3c: Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
W 5.3d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
W 5.3e: Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
W 5.5:  With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. 
 
L 3.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 3.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L 3.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
L 4.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 4.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L 4.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
L 5.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 5.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L 5.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
 
Speaking & Listening        
SL 3.1a: Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 3.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
SL 3.1c: Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
SL 3.1d: Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 3.6: Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.  
SL 4.1a: Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 4.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 4.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
SL 4.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 4.6: Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.  
SL 5.1a: Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 5.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 5.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
SL 5.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
SL 5.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

 

Secondary CCSS

None for this Lesson.
 

TEACHING RESOURCES

 

Classroom Charts

-Co-constructed Personal Narrative Rubric

 

A4L Student Notebooks

-Brainstorms: Pages 4, 13, and 25
-Writing: Pages 7, 9, 10, 18, 19, and 26

 

Life & Learning Skills

Unit 6 includes the following Life & Learning Skills:

-Reflective thinking
-Creative problem-solving
-Critical and analytic thinking
-Collaboration Communication

 

  Differentiation Options  

Differentiation Options will appear throughout the unit to suggest ways to scaffold or challenge student learning. Use the number of helping hands to select the level of differentiation that best supports student learning.

 

    Highest level of scaffolding. Select this option if students are learning strategies for the first time, if the text is challenging for them, or if students require more guidance during activities. The Unit is written for the highest level of scaffolding. 
 
   Moderate scaffolding. Select this option if students require some support comprehending the text or navigating the activity. 
 
  Least amount of scaffolding/Extending the instruction. Select this option if students are ready to work more independently, move more quickly through the material, or are ready for additional challenge.

 

  Leveraging Moments

Key instructional steps where the arts are used to leverage literacy-learning (and vice versa) are marked with Smaller leveraging moments also occur throughout the lessons.

 
 
 

STEP 1: INTRODUCE LESSON 11

 
 
Process: Begin the lesson by walking through the Unit Overview for Students. to review progress thus far. Give an overview of the lesson objectives. Select a topic for a personal narrative and engage in a theater exercise to brainstorm the story; co-construct a personal narrative rubric.
 
Suggested Dialogue
 
Beginning the Writing Process
"The moment has finally arrived. You are going to take the skills you've gained as authors and actors and use them to write your own story. In the next series of lessons, you will draft, revise, and publish personal narratives and use theater exercises to help strengthen your story beginnings, descriptions, and story endings. Remember, we'll end our unit by publishing our work in a class book and presenting our stories in the Authors and Actors Performance for an audience."
 
"Today we are going to review the brainstorming you did around our three topics: "A time I broke the rules," "A time I lost something or someone special," and "A time I learned something about friendship," and pick one topic that you want to write a full narrative about. Then, we'll do a theater exercise called Walking Stories to help you think through the story you want to tell."
 
"By the end of today's lesson, you will be able to say, 'I can develop an outline for my personal narrative.'"
 
 
 

STEP 2: SELECT TOPIC FOR WRITING

 
 
Process: Guide students to review their brainstorms for the three topics explored in the unit by looking back through the brainstorming and writing they have done in their A4L Writer's Notebooks. Students select one topic and, within that topic, the one memory they want to write a full story about. This does not need to be the same memory they worked with earlier in the unit. Students should turn to page 29 in their A4L Writer's Notebooks, circle their topic, and record their memory. Tell students they will come back to brainstorm their story after they do the theater exercise Walking Stories.
 
 
 

STEP 3: DEVELOP STORY OUTLINE THROUGH A THEATER EXERCISE-WALKING STORIES

 
 
Process: Model the theater exercise and then lead students in Walking Stories. The purpose of this exercise is to help students develop their personal narratives from beginning to end on their feet-a "walking" story. By walking and talking, students orally narrate what happened, who was there, where they were, and how it felt in preparation for writing their stories. Read the menu below for the Walking Stories instructions.
 
The Walking Stories Exercise
Students line up along one side of a room and walk in unison to the other side and back. They walk back and forth two times, or set a timer for about two minutes. As students walk, they tell their stories. The reason they walk in unison is to avoid eye contact, which might make some students lose focus.
 
Students do the exercise three times:
 
First, a warm-up to get the story out, to get the sillies out, and to notice where there are story gaps or maybe too much information.
 
Second, a walk that helps students hone in on major plot points. After they complete this round, they should sit down where they are and start to make notes on page 29-My Personal Narrative Outline-in their A4L Writer's Notebook about what happened in the story.
 
Third, students go through the exercise, this time with prompting to focus on who's there, what people are saying, where they are, and what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. After this round, students sit down to add details and notes on pages 29-30 in the A4L Writer's Notebook.
 
The recommended space is the gym, cafeteria, cafetorium, large room, or move desks to have enough open space for students to walk back and forth. Students will need A4L Writer's Notebooks and pencils easily accessible. Have students plug their ears if they need help focusing.
 
Step Alternatives: Mini-Lesson on Transitions
If students would benefit from additional instruction on effectively using transitions when writing, pause here to incorporate a mini-lesson. Students can then develop their own transitions during the Walking Stories exercise.
 
Teaching Tip: Prompts for 3rd Round of Story Walk
For the third round of the exercise, prompt students to focus on the following:
 
-What happens in your story?
-Get yourself closer to the story you want to tell.
-How do you feel?
-What are you feeling at different parts of your story?
-Who's there?
-What do you hear?
-What do you see?
-What do you smell?
-What do you feel?
-How were you feeling?
 
Use these prompts if students get stuck in Round 2 to keep them storytelling. Have students plug their ears if they need help focusing.
 
Suggested Dialogue
 
Introducing the Exercise
"Now that you know the topic and memory you want to write about, we're going to do a theater exercise called Walking Stories to help you think through the story. You'll walk from one side of the room to the other a couple of times (or until the timer rings), and as you walk, you'll talk out loud about what happened in your memory. We'll all do this at the same time. Everyone will walk together and talk together. I'll show you what this looks like. (Model walking and talking the story back and forth.)"
 
"We'll do this three times. Once to get the stories out, the sillies out, and to notice where there are gaps in your story or too much information. Second, we'll do it again to hone in on what happened in your story. After that round, you'll sit down and make notes in your A4L Writer's Notebook on pages 29-30. Let's take a look at these pages. (Students open their A4L Writer's Notebooks.) You can see you have space to make notes about what happened at the beginning of your story, details and events throughout, and what happened at the end. We'll do the exercise a third time, and I'll prompt you to focus on details. You'll sit down again and add details to your story outline."
 
Transitioning to a Starting Place
"When I say 'Go,' walk to the wall and line up. Stand next to someone you won't be distracted by. You have 10 seconds. Go! 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. I'll know you're ready when it's silent."
 
Facilitating the Exercise
"When I say 'Go,' start your walking story. Start your story from the beginning, and try to get to the end by the time we need to stop. Go." (Students walk and story-tell.)
 
"Let's reflect. What was that like? (Perhaps 'weird,' 'hard to focus,' 'fun.') The goal of this theater exercise is to tell the story verbally and to find the major parts to write about--from the beginning to the end. You're writing about one event in your life. The story must have key events and details within those events. You may not be able to tell everything. Some parts are more or less important than others. This time, try to find and tell the juicy parts of your story--what do you really want your reader to know?"
 
"When I say 'Go,' start your walking story. Start from the beginning of your story and try to get to the end by the time we stop. Go." (Students walk and story-tell.)
 
Taking Notes in Story Outline
"Sit down where you are and make notes in your outline on pages 29-30 of your A4L Writer's Notebook. Before writers spend a lot of time and attention working on specific parts of their stories, they often write quickly to get the story out. Jot down what happens in your story. You do not need to write complete sentences--these are notes to yourself for writing a draft later." (Students write in their notebooks.)
 
Facilitating Students Walking and Story-telling
"Now, we'll do the exercise one more time. This time, I want you to focus on the details of your story. Who's there? What are people saying? Where are you and what do you see? What do you see, smell, taste, and feel? Go." (Students walk and story-tell.)
 
"Sit down where you are and add details to your story outline on pages 29-30 of your A4L Writer's Notebook. You can add details to each part of the story, write in the margins, or make notes for yourself for later on."
 
Facilitating Pair-Sharing Reflection
Right where you are, find a partner and sit. Tell your partner something you discovered during this exercise, something you really want to include in your story, or something you realized doesn't fit. You have 2 minutes. Go. (Give each partner 60 seconds to share.)
 
Transitioning to Desks
"In 10 seconds (or longer if the class is not in the classroom) let's return to our desks. 10-9-8-7-6-5..."
 
 
 
 

STEP 4: REVIEW & FINALIZE PERSONAL NARRATIVE RUBRIC

 
 
Process: Review the rubric created throughout the unit. Discuss the criteria and whether anything should be added or changed to reflect what students know about writing good personal narratives. Add in an "editing" section and tell students they will refer to this section after drafting and revising.
 
Incoporate additional criteria, such as sentence fluency or grammar, as appropriate. See sample Personal Narrative Rubric. Post the final rubric on wall as a reference and/or make a copy for each student.
 
Suggested Dialogue
 
Reviewing What We Learned
 
"Now that you have a draft outline of your story, let's review what we've learned about writing good personal narratives. Let's reread our rubric and see if there is anything we think we need to add or change to reflect all we now know about writing good personal narratives. We are also going to add an 'editing' section to our rubric. We'll refer to this section after drafting and revising our narratives. What do you think we should check for editing?" (Elicit ideas from students, such as checking for spelling and captialization, writing in complete sentences, and attending to punctuation. Review and finalize rubric.)
 
 
 

STEP 5: CLOSE LESSON 11

 
 
Process: Students return to their story outline and circle one word that represents the story they will write. Close the lesson with a Word Whip. Select a facilitation and variation option. Close lesson with a look forward describing the next lesson and an optional closing ritual.
 
Teaching Tip: Word Whip Facilitation & Variation Options
Facilitation Options
-Students stand in a circle and share one at a time.
-Students are anywhere in the room-desks, reading area, open space-and everyone shares all at the same time on the count of three.
-Students are at their desks and share one at a time, visually cued by the teacher.
 
Variations
-Students say one word.
-Students show a gesture without voice.
-Students say one word and show a gesture simultaneously.
 
Suggested Dialogue
 
Closing with a Word Whip
"Let's close with a Word Whip of something from your outline. Look at your story outline and circle one word that you think represents what you wrote. (Explain facilitation and variation selected for the Word Whip.) Let's begin."
 
Looking Forward
"When we come back together, we'll draft our stories."
 
Performing the Closing Ritual (Optional)
"To close our theater lessons, we'll appreciate our work and each other with a unified clap. 
On three we'll all clap once and say, 'Huh!' 1-2-3 (clap) Huh!"
 
 
 
 

CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING LESSON 11! YOU ARE NOW READY TO MOVE ONTO LESSON 12 OF UNIT 6.

 
 
 
 

You've now reached the end of our ArtsforLearning Curriculum preview.