Personal Narratives Why do we write?

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Personal Narratives Why do we write?. Mary Lou Ohnsman West Oakview Elementary School – Third Grade Teacher Northview Public Schools - Grand Rapids Michigan Why do we write…personal narratives? Why do we write?. To reflect To remember To share - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Personal Narratives Why do we write?

Reflecting on Personal Narratives

Personal NarrativesWhy do we write? Mary Lou OhnsmanWest Oakview Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Northview Public Schools - Grand Rapids Michigan

1Good Morning!! Burning question: Why do you write? Whats your purpose in writing? Why do you write? Turn to a neighbor and briefly share why you write. Brief sharing then gather ideas


Why do we writepersonal narratives? Why do we write?To reflectTo rememberTo share To process Frank Kafka, novelist, said Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.

Catherine Drinker Bowen, biographer, said Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before and behind.

Henry Miller, novelist, said Writing is its own reward.

We write in isolation writing is an alone job.

2Why do you write? (I put this in for Dave!) 2My question: What to do with 50+ journals?A personal narrative is not a diary: Today it is raining. We have a substitute teacher. She seems very nice. We are going to have gym right before lunch. Its not a reading journal in which your teacher tells you to summarize the main idea of a book, or write a letter to a character. A writers notebook is different from any journal youve ever kept before. ~Ralph Fletcher A Writers Notebook

3Read page 3-4 not writers. Writers react. And writers need a place to record those reactions. 3 What is a Personal Narrative? A personal narrative is a story about something that has happened to YOU. It can't be about someone you know. A personal narrative has to be at least 5 paragraphs long. It is usually about something good that has happened to the person. However, it can be about anything that has happened to you.Personal narratives allow you to share your life with others and vicariously experience the things that happen around you. Your job as a writer is to put the reader in the midst of the action letting him or her live through an experience.

4Disclaimer: the above thoughts were off the Internet when I typed in writing. As I ask myself: Why do I write? I am coming to appreciate the learning on why we write! Note: italics were added due to great discussion over the past several weeks about the length and format of a good write. Think to yourself about your favorite genre to write. (pause) What is your favorite genre? Raise hand for poetryfictioninformational textscience fictionpersonal narrativeothers? 4What I know by heart is what matters most. Katie Wood Ray

Write whats in your heart, write the truth. Georgia Heard

There is another quality of good writing that matters tremendously: significance. Teach students to write stories that matter to them. Lucy Calkins5Listen to your heart thought and follow your heart! We need to know our students interests and passions!5 * Grade Level Content Expectations *National Core Curriculum *Northview Curriculum Map for Third Grade *October MEAP*District writing prompt


In the midst of GLCEs, individual districts expectations aka my third grade curriculum map and the rubric for writing Add photo of hand-outs as well as include in my packet Add Eagles We learn to be stilland listenBut how do we do it??? Add photo with cafe6National Core Curriculum and MEAP Narrative Writing Rubric

7Highlight the bottom line: Writes routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. MEAP Rubric: 7How does a Third Grader Write?Writers Workshop - 60 minutes CAF Work on Writing 15 minutes Daily Writing in Journal Week 1 & 2 routine and expectations Week 3 Begin focus-lessons: Six Traits of WritingWriting ProcessLucy Calkins lesson What are you working on as a writer? ****************************DAILY CAF - Work on Writing Monday - select a story from journalTuesday self-edit and peer-editWednesday work on final copyThursday title, illustration & turn in Friday Writers Celebration

8Show red journal and students journals. Mon-Thursday, I give them the prompt and Friday is Writers Choice. Following the focus lesson on a particular strategy, they go to their writing spot and write. The question of empowerment: What are you working on as a writer? My fifth grade diary For the next part of my demonstration some of you might experience adverse reactions to the assignment. Please close up your lap top and I-Pad and cell phonesGet out your writing journal aka paper and pencil or pen and write your response to the following prompt: What has been your highlight of the Summer Writing Institute? 8These will not go awayWriting ProcessTraits of Good Writing

9Like multiplication math facts, I tell my students, these will not go away! 9Where do ideas come from?

1010Teach a Calkins Strategy Make a list of favorite: PeoplePlacesThingsMy List of Favorite Places:

The Rockford DamLake MichiganMy front porchMy back yardBike trail

11Over several days and mini-lessons, I share my list of favorite people, favorite places and special objects. On your sheet of paper make a list of five favorite people, five favorite places and five favorite objects. With my class, I ask them in an interview fashion, what do you want to know more about? Consensus is the back yard (before I have shown any picture). They zoom in and ask lots of questions only to want to learn more about11Zoom in


Due to recent overindulging on the watermelon to the seed analogy, I have selected the flower to seed mantra12The jarthey want to know more about the jar! I hadnt thought about the jar of marbles for quite some timeThe Jar and it made me realizePretty marblesNear my jars of Lake Michigan rocks and polished sea glassSmuckers jar brings back memoriesI am ready to write!

13So what did my students want to know??? More details! By them asking me about an ordinary every day object, I realized there was a great story in a jar of marbles! Smuckers lid was a connection with my two years in junior high in which I had perfect attendance and I ate a pb&j sandwich every day with Smuckers Strawberry jam.13The Power of the Interview. You know what you are thinking and writingbut when someone listens to you, and interviews you, you realize you have many details to add!Write a quick write about one of your favorite object (from your list)Read it out loud to a neighbor.Neighbor asks questions for further understanding. Thank your neighbor then reverse the above procedure!


Product or Process

15Have you ever seen a poster that says Writing is a Product?One student, Caleb, was a very reluctant writer at the beginning of third grade. Toward the end of the year he made me poster that read Wrighting Workshop WRIGHTING. I thanked him then gently encouraged him toward his spelling. 15

16Since my third grade colleagues did an excellent job on showing third grade work, I want to spend a bit of time looking at first through fourth grade writing. With a grant we were able to work with some of our at risk students in the first grade. This fall we will have a Writing Club for students who had low writing scores on the MEAP test. A special ed student, first grade, who happens to be a twin.16

17Hard of hearing student who has an interpreter! We must know our students and the culture in which they live!17

18First grader who moved here mid-year from China. Notice his PEER response: Prompt restate Example (or reason) Example (reason) Restate the prompt.18September 2010A Fall Walk on the Nature TrailGrowing Green Writers

19Analogy of student change and growth Connection with our Science Unit Changing on the Surface of the Earth Like a seed, they appear to look much like a second grader!

19They arrive looking (and writing) like second graders

20Writing is developmental. I asked first, second, third and fourth graders to write what they liked best about our school. 20December 2010 A Winter Walk on the Nature Trail The earth is changing and so are the amazing group of third graders at West Oakview School!

2121Growing Third Graders

2222Length is part of the process but not the focus

23How long should my story be? As long as it takes to cover your topic!23April 2011 A Spring Walk to the Nature Trail We are heading into the end of the school year and some of the students are starting to check out especially as the weather begins to get nicer. At this point in the year, there are several students I am highly concerned about and I really push the 1-1 time with them! Most of the other students are showing significant progress in their independent writing!

2424Fourth grade student has blossomed into a writerTeach the process, add the heart (or significance) and the product will emerge!

2525June 2011 One more walk to the nature trail Yeah! We made it!Changes on the surface of the earth and within the lives of 23 amazing students. Each student received a copy of each of the walks and wrote about what their memory was. I tell my studentsWrite it down, add a lot of details; otherwise, you will forget!

26Read 1975 journal without date. Mention the date and make the connection with my current life style choices. Simple! So I ask..why do we write? Why do I write? Why do we spend so much time with our students working on the craft of writing? 26Why do I write?I write for inside me is mu