Writing Personal Narratives Using Small Moments!!

October 13, 2012

How do you write narratives?!
I already mentioned this before, but I am piloting Being a Writer this year and while I am loving the community feeling, I feel like my writing is pretty basic right now. I know we are building the foundation, but I am itching to just dive in and get to our interesting openings and “juicy” details. I am also missing Lucy Calkin’s small moments as a starting point to our narratives.
Thankfully, Being a Writer has some “off” weeks that I can use to supplement and that is exactly what I will be doing. First things first… I will introduce a small moment!
We always talk about a small moment as being one, small, isolated incident in our lives. For example, a small moment would be eating a ball park frank during a baseball game – not the baseball game as a whole. This can be a tricky concept for my firsties to narrow down, so after we brainstorm together, I send them off to fill out their own small moments maps.
Once I see that they can narrow down small moments, I have them choose one and we start writing our narratives! We go through the following steps:
Circle map: 
Students think of as many details as possible about your small moment.
Draw it out:
Using detailed pictures, students draw out what happened before, during, and after their small moment.
Stretch it out:
Students take each picture and write what is happening.
Book Study:
We use Froggy books to add some fun writing features to spice up our stories!

Editing/Revising:
We use different checklists to help us self-edit and peer-edit our stories.
& finally publishing!
Well… I wasn’t planning on giving you all the full run down on my narratives process, but it actually worked out well for me because now I feel more prepared for next week! Thanks for letting me talk it out with you all!
If you’d like to see my narratives pack in more detail, just click on the picture below:
 
Happy weekend & happy writing!
-P.S-

Sweet Lisa, over at Growing Firsties, has a new narratives pack you should all check out too! I’m all about finding what is best to meet YOUR needs!!

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  • I just found your blog and this post and I was so excited! This is my 2nd year using Being a Writer. Last year I followed it to the T…this year, I'm feeling like it is going way too slow. So I too have been working on small moments on the off weeks. So far I've been able to blend the 2 together. I like how Being a Writer provides a "road map" to make sure that I'm hitting necessary skills, but I miss the feel of Lucy Calkins. Thanks for these great resources. I'll definitely be using them.