Planning the First Draft of the Character Confessional Narrative | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G8:M2B:U2:L17

Planning the First Draft of the Character Confessional Narrative

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense. (W.8.3)
  • I can create poetry, stories, and other literary forms. (W.8.11b)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze a model narrative to generate criteria for an effective narrative of my own.
  • I can plan for a first draft of my character confessional.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Character Confessional Narrative Planner


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Analyzing the Model Character Confessional to Generate Criteria (25 minutes)

     B.  Planning the Character Confessional Narrative (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Discussion (3 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Take your Character Confessional Narrative Planner home and finish/revise it.

  • Although this lesson and the previous lesson are in Unit 2, they actually represent the kickoff for Unit 3. This allows you time to look over the end of unit assessments before handing them back to students with feedback in Lesson 18.
  • Highlight the fun of this assignment. Consider adding humor and elements of gentle irony to the criteria list.
  • In this lesson, students read and analyze a model character confessional narrative to generate criteria for an effective narrative that they can then apply when writing their own drafts later in today's lesson.
  • The Character Confessional Narrative Criteria anchor chart is based on the Character Confessional Rubric. This lesson serves as a preliminary look at the criteria for a high-quality narrative as revealed on the Character Confessional Rubric, which is analyzed in more detail in Unit 3, Lesson 1.
  • In advance: Read the model character confessional narrative and the Character Confessional Rubric (from Unit 3, Lesson 1). Focus on the features of the narrative to assist students in generating criteria for an effective character confessional.
  • In Work Time B, students use a narrative planner to work on justifying the scenes they selected in Lesson 16 for the purposes of writing the narrative. This document is designed to assist students in planning the narrative and preparing for the mid-unit assessment task.
  • For most students, the end of this lesson will stop the action in the middle of the deep planning work. The discussion in the Closing and Assessment can help students become more reflective about their progress and their strengths and challenges in preparing for a first draft that answers the writing prompt and meets the key criteria.
  • Post: Learning targets. 




  • Equity sticks
  • Performance Task Prompt (from Lesson 16)
  • Model character confessional (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Character Confessional Narrative Criteria anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A)
  • Character Confessional Narrative Planner (one per student and one to display)
  • Evidence of Control note-catcher (from Unit 1, Lesson 10)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets aloud with you:

*   "I can analyze a model narrative to generate criteria for an effective narrative of my own."

*   "I can plan for a first draft of my character confessional."

  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "Why is it useful to analyze a model before writing?"

  • Consider using equity sticks to select students to share their responses. Listen for students to explain that a model is a good example of what a piece of writing can look like, so analyzing it can make us more aware of what we should be aiming for.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing the Model Character Confessional to Generate Criteria (25 minutes)

  • Tell students that before they begin drafting their own narrative, they are going to analyze a model.
  • Ask students to take out their Performance Task Prompts (from Lesson 16). Display the model character confessional using the document camera and distribute a copy to each student. Invite students to follow along silently as you read the model character confessional aloud. Be careful to read the narrative with good delivery skills and expressiveness.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What are some things about this model narrative that make it well written?"

  • Record student suggestions on the Character Confessional Narrative Criteria anchor chart. Make sure the following criteria are included:

-   The writer actively imagines the perspective of the character to answer the three guiding questions.

-   The character and his or her motives are clearly introduced.

-   The narrative is organized so that thoughts flow and big gaps aren't left for the reader to fill in him/herself.

-   The conclusion wraps up the narrative in a way that is interesting and not just a summary, and includes a reflection on what happened when "you" tried to control someone else.

-   The writer uses narrative techniques such as: description and details, pacing, transition words/phrases to link ideas together, precise words and sensory language to capture the action and demonstrate emotion, and reflection.

-   The writing is grammatically correct and adheres to the conventions of standard written English.

  • Tell students to return to the model narrative and reread it. Ask students to work with a partner to find examples from the narrative that illustrates each of the criteria.
  • Ask for volunteer partnerships to share out their examples. Listen for examples such as the following:

-   "Puck's perspective is imagined when the writer says, 'some think I am an evil goblin, but I am really just misunderstood.'"

-   "His motives are introduced when he says that if he thinks something is amusing, he'll do it."

-   "You can see organization in the essay between the end of the paragraph about the assignment from Oberon to anoint the boy with the flower and the next paragraph where he describes the event."

-   "Puck's reflection is obvious in the conclusion because he says he has some food for thought."

-   "Commas and semicolons are used appropriately."

  • Next, ask students where they think each of the three guiding questions from the prompt are answered in the essay. Listen for:

-   "The first three paragraphs address why Puck wants to manipulate or control."

-   "The next three paragraphs answer the question regarding how he gets control."

-   "The next two paragraphs before the conclusion talk about the effects of attempting to gain control."

  • Tell students that it is important to be able to justify the choices they make in their narrative.  Ask the following questions, allowing students to turn and talk before you cold call on students for an answer to each question.

*   "What makes Puck a strong choice for the character confessional narrative?"  Listen for students to recognize the Puck is a strong choice because he is a character who manipulates and tries to control people.  He is also responsible for some of the mistakes in the play and clearly enjoys the results of his magic and mistakes.

*   "What was Puck's motivation to attempt to control or manipulate others?"  Listen for students to say something like, "Puck's motive to control others is to have fun and be entertained, even if it happens to be at another's expense."

*   "Why might have these scenes been chosen?"  Listen for students to recognize that while Puck appears in many places throughout the play, the scenes that were selected relate directly to the theme of control and revealed the motive to have fun.

  • Share with students that they will need to justify their plan for their narrative by answering similar questions on the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment (Unit 3, Lesson 1).
  • Anchor charts serve as note-catchers when the class is co-constructing ideas.

B. Planning the Character Confessional Narrative (15 minutes)

  • Distribute the Character Confessional Narrative Planner. Project a copy with the document camera.
  • Model for students the connection of a scene or scenes to each of the guiding questions of the prompt: "Question 1 is asking about why people want to attempt to control others. I know from Act II, Scene 1 that Puck is really a trickster and in part tries to control others to get a laugh at their expense. In the box for the scenes that answer that answer, I will write Act II, Scene 1. This scene addresses the question because it is very apparent in the conversation between Puck and the fairy that Puck's reputation is quite well known. He likes to scare people, cause people to work harder than necessary due to a trick, or generally cause confusion for a laugh. We also know from later in that same scene that Puck likes to control others' actions so that he can help Oberon. He is willing to 'girdle the earth' for the potion from the magic flower that will wreak havoc for Titania."
  • Invite students to return to their Evidence of Control note-catchers (from Unit 1, Lesson 10) and the scenes they allotted for their character from the previous lesson.
  • Instruct students to use this planning document as a check for whether or not the scenes they have chosen for their character's issue with control actually fit the guiding questions of the prompt.

Closing & Assessments


A. Discussion (3 minutes)

  • Invite students to turn and talk: "How does my narrative develop the theme of control?"
  • Ask students to share their progress toward the goal of planning for the first draft of the narrative, and report any challenges in meeting the goal or effective strategies they've discovered for completing planning work that will lead to a writing piece of high quality.


  • Take your Character Confessional Narrative Planner home and finish/revise it.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up