Narrative Writing: Planning Narrative Techniques | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U3:L5

Narrative Writing: Planning Narrative Techniques

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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)

Supporting Targets

  • I can use the Stars and Steps protocol to give my partner kind, specific, helpful feedback on his or her narrative story map.
  • I can use my partner's feedback to improve my narrative story map.
  • I can incorporate narrative techniques ("Things Good Writers Do") into my narrative.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment story map (from homework)
  • Narrative and Language Techniques: Becoming Visible Again after Internment planner

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Peer Critique of Story Map (15 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

2. Work Time

A. Planning the Narrative: Narrative Techniques (20 minutes)

B. Peer Critique of Narrative and Language Techniques Planner (8 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Previewing Homework (1 minute)

4. Homework

A. Use feedback from today's peer critiques to finalize your story map and your narrative and language techniques planner. 

  • In this lesson, students continue to plan their performance task (Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment). Today, they review the list of Things Good Writers Do that they tracked throughout Unbroken, analyze the use of those techniques in the model narrative they read during Lesson 4, and, finally, incorporate the techniques into the plans for their own narratives.
  • This lesson is bookended by short peer critiques. At the start of class, students give and receive critical feedback on the story maps that they began during Lesson 4. At the end of class, students discuss each other's plans for using narrative techniques. The feedback shared during these peer critiques leads students into their homework, which is to finalize the plans for their narratives before they begin drafting them during Lesson 6.
  • If students need more time for the two peer critiques, this lesson may take longer than 45 minutes. Based on the needs of your class, consider extending it to two periods.
  • In advance: Review the Peer Critique protocol (see Appendix).
  • Post: Learning targets.

Materials

  • Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment rubric (from Lesson 2; one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment model (from Lesson 4; one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Stars and Steps recording form (one per student)
  • Things Good Writers Do note-catcher (used throughout Units 1 and 2; one per student)
  • Things Good Writers Do anchor chart (used throughout Units 1 and 2)
  • Sample Narrative and Language Techniques handout (one per student)
  • Sample Narrative and Language Techniques Teacher Guide (for teacher reference)
  • Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment model, annotated copy (from Lesson 4; one to display)
  • Narrative and Language Techniques: Becoming Visible Again after Internment planner (one per student) 

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer: Peer Critique of Story Map (15 minutes)

  • Invite students to sit with their Iwo Jima discussion partners.
  • Tell them they will participate in two short peer critiques today. Ask for a volunteer to explain why peer critique can be helpful. Listen for: "Peer critique helps writers improve their work by giving them specific feedback." Next, ask for volunteers to remind the class of some guidelines to remember when critiquing a classmate's work. Listen for: "Feedback should be kind, specific, and helpful."
  • Have students take out their copies of the Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment rubric, as well as the Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment model. Display a copy of the rubric using a document camera.
  • Tell students that they will focus on two parts of the rubric during this peer critique. Focus students on the second row of the rubric, within Cohesion, Organization, and Style. In Column 3, highlight or underline "The narrative has a beginning, middle and end that connect to each other to create a unified story" as you read it aloud. Cold call a student to remind the class how the model narrative they read yesterday addressed this part of the rubric. Listen for: "The model narrative started with Okubo leaving the camp, included several events that showed how she was still 'invisible,' and then ended with her seeing her own drawings on the cover of a magazine and 'becoming visible again.'"
  • Next, also within Cohesion, Organization, and Style, focus students on the fourth row. In Column 3, highlight or underline "The narrative's conclusion follows logically from and reflects on earlier events in the narrative" as you read it aloud. Cold call another student to explain how the model narrative addressed this part of the rubric. Listen for: "The model narrative ended with Okubo 'becoming visible again' by seeing her drawings on the cover of the magazine and standing up to the vendor, which made sense because the earlier parts of the narrative addressed Okubo's invisibility and inability to stand up to a racist white woman at the same newsstand."  
  • Tell students that they will give each other feedback on these two sections of the rubric using the Stars and Steps protocol. They will give their partner two "stars" (positive feedback) and two "steps" (areas for improvement).
  • Have students take out their Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment story maps (from homework) as you distribute the Stars and Steps recording form. Explain that today students will record the stars and steps for their partner on this sheet so that their partner can remember the feedback he or she receives. They should write their partner's name at the top of their paper.
  • Invite pairs to swap story maps and to spend 3 minutes reading them in silence.
  • Ask students to focus on just Part A of the Stars and Steps recording form and complete it for their partner's narrative. (Students will fill in Part B at the end of today's lesson.) Circulate to assist students.
  • Have students return the story maps and Stars and Steps recording forms to their partner and explain the stars and steps they wrote down. Encourage students to ask their partner clarifying questions if they don't understand the feedback.
  • With 1 minute remaining, cold call several students to share one piece of kind, specific, helpful feedback that his or her partner gave during the peer critique.
  • Ask students to put the Stars and Steps recording form with their partner's feedback on their story map in a safe place, since they will need it at the end of class.
  • Giving and receiving feedback can be emotionally charged for middle school students. Consider assigning pairs, rather than having students work with their Iwo Jima discussion partners, to ensure that students are paired with peers they feel safe sharing feedback with.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

  • Read the learning targets aloud as students read along silently:

*     "I can use the Stars and Steps protocol to give my partner kind, specific, helpful feedback on his or her narrative story map."

*     "I can use my partner's feedback to improve my narrative story map."

*     "I can incorporate narrative techniques ('Things Good Writers Do') into my narrative."

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Planning the Narrative: Narrative Techniques (20 minutes)

  • Ask students to take out their copies of the Things Good Writers Do note-catcher while you display the Things Good Writers Do anchor chart. Ask students to talk with their partners:

*     "Why do authors use these techniques in their writing?"

  • After a few moments, cold call several pairs to share out their thoughts. Listen for: "These narrative techniques make texts more engaging by appealing to readers' senses," "They clarify authors' ideas," and "They help the story flow in a logical way."
  • Have students take out their copies of the Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment model (from Lesson 4). Tell them that they first will analyze narrative techniques used in the model before trying to incorporate them into their own narratives.
  • Read the model narrative aloud as students follow along silently in their heads.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with a partner about the gist of the narrative:

*     "What is this story mostly about?"

  • Tell students that they now will focus more on author's craft. Distribute the Sample Narrative and Language Techniques handout. Review the instructions together. Draw students' attention to the final question at the top of the handout:
  • "In other words, why did the author choose to use this technique here?"
  • Tell students to pay particular attention to that question as they work; they should remember that authors use these techniques for specific reasons. Determining what those reasons are will help students decide how to best use each technique in their own writing.
  • Tell students to work with their partner to analyze examples of these narrative and language techniques from the model narrative. Circulate while pairs work to check for understanding. As you circulate, make note of the passages they seem to be struggling with so you can review those as a class.
  • After a few minutes, draw students' attention back together. Review several passages from the handout as a class. Pay particular attention to the final question after each passage, helping students analyze why the author may have chosen to use this technique at this point in the narrative. You may want to frame this in terms of "snapshots"; ask students to think about why the author "zoomed in" and "took a snapshot" of this particular moment in time. (See the Sample Narrative and Language Techniques Teacher Guide for sample responses.)
  • Use the document camera to display the Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment rubric again. Ask a student to read the 3 box in the third row:
  • The narrative consistently employs narrative techniques, like sensory language, dialogue, and details, to develop experiences and events."
  • Ask students whether the model narrative meets these criteria. Listen for them to say that it does, because it incorporates all of the narrative techniques they just analyzed using the handout.
  • Display the annotated copy of the Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment model from Lesson 4 and add brief notes about this section of the rubric as students do the same on their own copies. (For example, you might underline one of the passages from the Sample Narrative and Language Techniques handout and write, "Narrative technique" or the name of the specific technique beside it.)
  • Tell students that next, they will work to incorporate these narrative and language techniques into their own narrative plans. Distribute the Narrative and Language Techniques: Becoming Visible Again after Internment planner. Explain that students should use their story maps from their Lesson 4 homework to think about where in their narrative they want to incorporate each technique. Although it can be difficult to plan every aspect of a narrative before writing, thinking about how to use each technique will help students understand them better. If their plans end up changing as they write, that is okay. Remind them that they do not have to write whole sentences on this planner; this is just a tool to use while they write the full narrative draft during the next lesson.
  • While students work, circulate to check for understanding and help them find logical places to include the various techniques. (Again, the language of "snapshots" may be helpful framing for students here; ask them to identify the moments in their narratives where they could "zoom in" and "take a snapshot" to help the reader see what is happening in more detail.) 
  • Some students will not have time to work through all of the sample passages on the Sample Narrative and Language Techniques handout. Encourage these students to analyze the first five passages only; these five passages hit all of the techniques they need to use in their own narratives.
  • Depending on your class, you may want to have students move back to their own seats before they begin working on the Narrative and Language Techniques: Becoming Visible after Internment planner so they do not become distracted by their partner. As an alternative, encourage students to check in quietly with their partners if they become "stuck" while working.

B. Peer Critique of Narrative and Language Techniques Planner (8 minutes)

  • Have students take out the Stars and Steps recording form they used earlier in this lesson. Focus them on Part B. Tell them that they will repeat the peer critique protocol, offering their partner stars and steps specifically related to narrative and language techniques.
  • Invite pairs to swap planners and to spend 3 minutes reading them in silence.
  • Ask students to record stars and steps for their partner on Part B of the recording form.
  • Have students return the planners and Stars and Steps recording forms to their partner and to explain the stars and steps they recorded. Invite students to ask their partner clarifying questions if they don't understand the feedback.
  • With 1 minute remaining, cold call several students to share one piece of kind, specific, helpful feedback that his or her partner gave during the peer critique.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Previewing Homework (1 minute)

  • Tell students to put the Stars and Steps recording form with their partners' feedback in a safe place, since they will need it for tonight's homework.
  • Explain that students should revise their Narrative Writing: Becoming Visible Again after Internment story maps and their Narrative and Language Techniques: Becoming Visible after Again Internment planners, because they will draft their narratives using those resources during the next lesson. Encourage them to talk to someone else about their ideas; telling the story aloud can help them find places to incorporate narrative techniques because they will naturally add in more details as they tell the story. 

Homework

Homework
  • Use feedback from today's peer critiques to finalize your story map and narrative and language techniques planner.

Teaching Note: In Lesson 7, students will do a book review related to their independent reading. Preview the Lesson 7 Teaching Notes for information about a model you will need to prepare in advance. 

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