Personal Narratives

Recently, we posted about our Writer’s Workshop sessions.

For the past couple of weeks, our Writer’s Workshop sessions have been devoted to working on our personal narrative drafts. A personal narrative is a text written about a personal experience. All students chose an entry from their Writer’s Notebooks as inspiration for their personal narrative. Students then worked through the writing process to draft, revise, edit and publish their work.

Drafting personal narratives

Drafting personal narratives

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

During this process, we spent time learning about the Six (+1) Traits of Writing. Learning about these traits helped the students to build their writing skills and focus on crafting their writing.

The Six Traits of Writing are:

  • Ideas
  • Organisation
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions

The +1 trait is:

  • Presentation

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Throughout the writing process, Miss Jordan conferenced with students to give them feedback on their work. All of the 4B students did a terrific job and worked very hard on their personal narratives. Miss Jordan is very proud of the students’ finished products!

Some of our personal narratives are presented below. Enjoy!

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To celebrate this writing cycle, 4B interacted with Miss Campbell’s grade, 1B, and the students shared their writing with each other. It was wonderful to read the personal narratives written by the grade ones, and it was great to see the students giving each other feedback about their work.

 Here are some photos from our sharing session.

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What did you think of the personal narratives?

How does writing and drafting improve your writing?

Can you explain one of the Six (+1) Traits of Writing?

Did you enjoy sharing your work with the grade one students?

Writer’s Workshop

In 4B, we love our daily Writer’s Workshop sessions.

In our Writer’s Workshop, we use Writer’s Notebooks and then the Writing Process to produce pieces of published writing.

A Writer’s Notebook is a tool that is used to help students collect ideas for writing. To personalise the Writer’s Notebooks, students decorated their books with colourful collages. They look fantastic!

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Last week, we wrote entries in our Writer’s Notebooks. This week, we are working on writing personal narratives. A personal narrative is a text about a personal experience or memory.

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This is how the Writing Process in our Writer’s Workshop works:

1. We generate ideas for writing on an ideas page in our Writer’s Notebooks. Ideas can be recorded at any opportunity.

2. We write short entries in our Writer’s Notebook to expand on our ideas.

3. We read through our entries and select one entry to draft.

4. We complete a brief plan prior to drafting to map out our personal narrative.

5. We draft our personal narrative in our draft books. We capture the essence of the text from the entry but the draft is more detailed. It also zooms in on the key idea.

6. We revise our draft by making changes to the content to improve the writing. This stage is all about working on the craft of writing. We can draft as few or many times as necessary to achieve the best possible draft.

7. We edit the final draft by checking the punctuation, grammar, spelling and ensuring it makes sense.

8. We publish the draft to turn it into a complete, polished piece of writing.

Our first writing genre for the year is personal narratives. We will complete other cycles of writing focussing on different genres throughout the year.

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We brainstormed the key features of a personal narrative and made a class anchor chart.

To learn more about personal narratives, we read some mentor texts that are examples of personal narratives. In particular we analysed two great texts, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.

We then discussed the importance of selecting a “small moment or memory”. We used the analogy of a watermelon to ensure our personal narratives would be focussed on a small “seed” idea, rather than a broad “watermelon” topic.

watermelon

 Here is our class watermelon with our small moment “seed” topics.

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What are the elements of a personal narrative?

Can you provide a tip for writing a quality personal narrative?

How have your writing skills developed so far this year?

Publishing Our Writing

Recently, we posted about how we use our Writer’s Notebooks during our writing sessions.

After spending time working on our  drafts, last week we published our writing! To get to this stage, all students chose an entry from their Writer’s Notebook to draft as a personal narrative. During this process, we spent time learning about the Six (+1) Traits of Writing. Learning about these traits helped the students to build their writing skills and focus on crafting their writing.

The Six Traits of Writing are:

  • Ideas
  • Organisation
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions

The +1 trait is:

  • Presentation

All of the 4A and 4B students did a terrific job drafting, revising, editing and then publishing their writing.

Here are just a few of our personal narratives

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What did you think of the personal narratives?

How does drafting and revising improve your writing?

What is your writing goal?

Can you explain one of the Six Traits of Writing?