My students and I have been working on writing narratives for the past six weeks now. It has been a slow but steady process, and I’m proud of how far they’ve come (Remember, I have the inclusion room this year. They have come a long way in writing.). We’ve been working on writing a solid beginning, middle, and end to our stories. I would say 95% of my students have mastered this.
My next step was to move from three sentence stories (one sentence for the beginning, one for the middle, and one for the end) to stories with details and purpose. This past week, we started our “Small Moments” unit for narratives. We read the following books and discussed how the authors zoomed in on one small moment, adding lots of details to their story. These examples and units came from a Lucy Calkins book that a wonderful teacher in my building gave me.
We used these mentor texts to talk about moving away from a “big” story to a “small moment” in our lives. First, I took one of my students’ narratives and shared it with the class, celebrating the fact that Reagan had a solid beginning, middle, and end.
If you are looking for ways to stretch your students’ writing, I really suggest writing partners. It is a great way for the students to understand what they could add to their story to make it more detailed. Having another student ask questions about their story gives the students a feeling of ownership and helps them help one another – and have fun doing it! 🙂 Happy Writing!