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Lesson Plan Template


Unit Title: Crafting a Personal Narrative

Unit Big Idea (Concept/Theme): Personal Narratives

Unit Primary Skill focus: Creating Powerful Leads

Plan type: Full-Detail

Critical Learning Objectives being taught in this lesson:
SWBAT:
Cognitive (know/understand):
1. The student will understand that the first few moments of a book or movie help the audience decide
whether or not to read/watch the story.

Affective (feel/value) and/or Non-Cognitive:
2. The student will value the importance of a strong lead in both movies and books.
3. The student will value having Everything Will Be Okay by Jim Howe as a model for a strong lead.
Performance (do):
4. The student will be able to articulate the relationship between the first few minutes of a movie and the
first few sentences in a book.
5. The student will be able to identify elements of a strong lead.
6. The student will be able to look at Everything Will Be Okay as a model text with a strong lead.
7. The student will be able to incorporate items used in the model text into their own personal narrative.

SOLs: [List with numbers portrayed in the SOL document]
SOL 6.7 The student will write narration, description, exposition, and persuasion.
SOL 6.7b Use a variety of prewriting strategies including graphic organizers to generate and organize
ideas.
SOL 6.7f Write multiparagraph compositions with elaboration and unity.
6.7j Use computer technology to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing.

CCSs: [List with numbers portrayed in the CCS document]
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3a Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a
narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to
develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3d Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory
language to convey experiences and events.

Procedures/Instructional Strategies
Beginning Room Arrangement:
Desks are arranged five groups, each made up of 4-6 desks
Students sit on grey carpet in the middle with journals and pencils

1. [5 Minutes] Bridge: Recap of Personal Narrative Writing & Plan for the Future
Daily agenda is posted on screen behind the teacher
Hey everybody. Who can read over our agenda and tell us what our mini lesson is about today?
Students look at the agenda posted on the board and look to our mini lesson plan
Students raise their hands when they find out the mini lessons topic
I will pull a name from the bucket of Popsicle sticks to choose a student to answer
OkayJane, what are we going to focus on today?
Student will answer
Answer: Writing leads for our personal narratives
Yes. Thank you. Today we are going to talk about ways to start stories so that we capture our readers
attention right off the bat.

But first I want to give you a little overview of our plan for the personal narratives. For the past few weeks we
have brainstormed different topics from our lives that we could write a story about. And last week we filled
out a chart with three different stories. Will everyone turn to your Personal Narrative Choices Chart, which
should be in your Writing Mini Lessons Section of your journal?
Students turn to their chart
Do you all remember filling this out? I asked you to choose one of these topics, then to fill out the purpose
statement at the bottom of the paper. Today we are going to work with that story option in mind.

2. [5-7 Minutes] Step 1: Intro to Leads
Have you all seen a movie where the first scene is really boring? And you heard a lot of people say that it was a
good movie, but you cant get past the first few minutes? Have you ever picked up a book in the library where
the first sentence is so cool or so funny that you immediately say, I need to check this out and start reading it
now!?
Students will raised their hands to tell whether not they have experienced this
Well these first few scenes and the first few sentences in a story is called the lead. And today we are going to
learn some ways we can create cool leads for our own personal narratives.

Authors like John Green who wrote The Fault in Our Stars and Raina Telgemeier who wrote Smile and Drama
experiment with different ways to start their stories so that you will want to sit down and dive into their books.
They may have to try a lot of different ways, but that is what makes them good authors: they are willing to
work hard and decide which lead works best for their stories.

Before we move on, do you all remember the story we read about the girl who was swimming and saw a snake
in the water? Thumbs up for you do remember, thumbs in the middle if you kind of remember, and thumbs
down if you have no idea what Im talking about.
Students will hold their thumbs to show whether or not they remember this story.
I see that we have mixed results but that most of us kind of remember this story. Those of you with your
thumbs up, raise your hand if you can tell me why we looked at that story?
I will call on a student with his or her hand u
Target answer: We looked at it to see what that writer used that we could put into our own writing
o Students will probably say that we read other writing
First to understand what happens
Second to see what stood out to us, and
Third to study it and see how we can recreate that
Awesome memory. We looked at that story by another middle schooler named Ai to see what we liked about
her writing and how we can put that into our own writing.

Today we are going to do that some thing but focus on a very specific thing: a storys lead.
3. [10 Minutes] Step 2: Model Text: Jim Howes Everything Will Be Okay
Now I am going to show you the opening the lead for a story called Everything Will Be Okay. Lets read
this together. Please follow along as I read it out loud.
I will read the story out loud.

Raise your hand if you can tell me what this paragraph is about.
Students will raise hands to recap the story.
If students are struggling, I will ask these questions:
o What is the author describing?
o Does the kitten seem healthy? Why? Why not?
o Who does he talk about in the end?
o Do we know his relationship with them?
This is a personal narrative, so we know this is a moment from Jim Howes life where he found a little kitten
that did not seem so healthy. Did it pull you all into the story?
I will pause to see students reactions.

It pulled me in, too. I want to know more! Will Claude or David find this kitten? What is going to happen?
Will Jims parents let him keep the kitten?! This is a good lead. Lets read over this again to see what Howe did
in his writing that really pulled us in.
I will read the story again.

What in this story do you think Jim Howe did well? What pulled you in as a reader?
Students will raise their hands to say what they like
I will acknowledge their answers and try to rephrase their statements in a way that we can create a list
of things (later) that make a powerful lead
I will annotate the text to pick out the cool things Howe did as the students notice them
If necessary I will show students the optional bolded slide for Everything Will Be Okay
Scaffolding questions:
o What do you notice about the way he writes? He is writing in past tense? Like I saw a kitten in
the woods?
o So we notice he is writing in present tense. How does that make you feel as a reader?
o We realize that Howe is telling the story like he is still there in the moment. Its like hes
zooming in on this moment in time and tries to tell us as many details as possible.
o He must have had to replay that scene over and over in his head to get all those details right.
Thats what good authors do. They work hard and replay the scenes in their minds so
that they can include as much information as possible for their readers.
o What are those words in italics? What does that show us?
o The italics show us his inner thoughts. What do we learn about him from his inner thoughts?
Its cool that Howe showed us his inner thoughts when he wrote the lead for this story. Its like hes talking.
The inner thoughts show us what he is saying to the kitty he finds. That definitely gives us a lot more
information about the story, doesnt it?

4. [7 Minutes] Step 3: Creating Lists with Techniques for Writing Memorable Leads
Weve pointed out a few pretty cool things that this author used when creating his lead for this story.
Remember when we made a list of ways to write powerful personal narratives? We are going to do the same
thing but change it to Ways to Write Powerful Leads. We pointed out earlier that Howe told his story like he
was in the moment as he spoke. So lets write something about that. How should we phrase that to help us
when we write leads?

Students will raise their hands to suggest ways to phrase this


I will take a few suggestions and guide them toward the phrase that works well while also staying close
to their phrasing
Target phrase:
o Write like youre in the moment (use is, looks not was, looked)
o Zoom in on the moment, which could mean replaying the moment in your head a lot
o Use inner thinking or actual words that characters say (dialogue) to hint about what the
story is about
5. [3 Minutes] Step 4: Assignment for Writing Workshop
We have come up with a good list of ways to write good leads for our personal narratives. Lets keep these
things in mind Ill leave the poster up for you to look at as we move into writing workshop.

I know that we have been working on a few drafts with different personal narratives. It is now time to focus on
that one idea you had and circled on your Personal Narrative Choices Worksheet.

During writing workshop, work on writing a strong lead into your story so that anyone who picks up your
narrative will want to read all of it. This is a key aspect that all authors think about when writing a book and
all directors think about when creating a movie. Now you get to be like them!

So during writing workshop, begin writing your lead for the personal narrative youre working on. This may
take a little time because we mad a list of a lot of things, and it could require you to replay the moment in your
head. What questions do you have?
Students will ask questions
I will answer and clarify
6. [1 minute] Closure: Dismissing for Workshop
I am going to dismiss you all by table in a moment. If you feel ready to work by yourself, go ahead! I will come
around and conference with some of you. But if you feel like youre stuck and you would benefit from having a
little extra time brainstorming lead ideas, stay here. We can work together until you feel comfortable.
I will dismiss students by table.
I will work with students in a small group who feel they need more help.
7. [25-30 minutes] Writing Workshop
I will walk around and conference with about four or five students
8. [5 minutes] Exit Slip
Okay boys and girls, please finish writing the sentence you are working on. I am going to pass out a piece of
paper. Please write your name and the very first sentence of your story on here. Then please place it on the
coffee table on your way back to your seat.
Students finish writing
I pass out slips of paper
Students fill out exit slip
Students place completed exit slip on coffee table

Methods of Assessment:
[How will you know if the intended learning occurred?] List all methods of assessment used in this lesson or
which are related to this lesson and come in a future lesson. After each assessment, indicate in brackets the
number(s) and letter(s) of the unit objective and the related lesson objectives that the assessment is
evaluating.
Exit Slip

At the end of writing workshop, I will have students write their name and the first sentence of their
story on a piece of paper. This will allow me to assess whether or not theyre writing in present tense,
the amount of details they add, and if they included other elements that we talked about during class.
Differentiated Instruction to accommodate one or more of my students:
I am allowing students to stay on the carpet and work with me for a little bit longer if they need more
assistance before writing on their own.
I will walk around and conference with students to focus on their individual needs during workshop
time.
Materials Needed:
Projector
Leads Mini Lesson PowerPoint
Student copies of Personal Narratives Choices Worksheet

Materials Appendix: (e.g., supplementary texts, Ppts, overheads, graphic organizers, handouts, etc.)

Completed Example of Personal Narrative Choice Worksheet


Leads Mini Lesson PowerPoint

Writing Mini
Lesson: Leads

Leads
The$rst$few$lines$in$a$book$
Need$to$be$exciting $
Make$a$reader$want$to$get$the$book$

Everything Will Be Okay


By#Jim#Howe#
#The#ki.en#is#a#scrawny#thing#with#burrs#and#bits#of#wood#
caught#in#its#coat#where#it#s:ll#has#fur,#and#pus#coming#out#its#
eyes#and#nose.##Its#big#baby#head#looks#even#bigger#at#the#end#
of#such#a#s:ck#of#a#body.##I#found#it#in#the#woods#at#the#end#of#
my#street#where#I#play#most#days#with#my#friends.##This#:me#I#
was#alone.""Lucky"for"you"I"was,#I#think.##Otherwise,"David"or"
Claude"might"have"decided"youd"be"good"prac?ce"for"their"
slingshots.""Those"two"can"be"mean,#I#think#to#myself.##I#dont#
like#playing#with#them#really,#but#they#live#at#the#end#of#the#
street#and#some:mes#you#just#play#with#the#kids#on#your#same#
street,#even#if#theyre#mean,#some:mes,#even#to#you.#

#

Everything Will Be Okay


By#Jim#Howe#
#The#ki.en#is#a#scrawny#thing#with#burrs#and#bits#of#wood#
caught#in#its#coat#where#it#s:ll#has#fur,#and#pus#coming#out#its#
eyes#and#nose.##Its#big#baby#head#looks#even#bigger#at#the#end#
of#such#a#s:ck#of#a#body.##I#found#it#in#the#woods#at#the#end#of#
my#street#where#I#play#most#days#with#my#friends.##This#:me#I#
was#alone.""Lucky&for&you&I&was,#I#think.##Otherwise,&David&or&
Claude&might&have&decided&youd&be&good&prac>ce&for&their&
slingshots.&&Those&two&can&be&mean,#I#think#to#myself.##I#dont#
like#playing#with#them#really,#but#they#live#at#the#end#of#the#
street#and#some:mes#you#just#play#with#the#kids#on#your#same#
street,#even)if)theyre)mean,)some3mes,)even)to)you.)

#

Writing Powerful Leads


Write&like&youre&in#the#moment&(use&is,&looks&&
not&was,&looked)&&
Zoom&in&on&the&moment,&which&could&mean&
replaying#the#moment#in&your&head&a&lot&
Use&inner#thinking#&or&actual&words&that&
characters&say&(dialogue)&&to&hint&about&what&the&
story&is&about&