Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Personal Narrative Journey

Today we'll start our month-long effort to learn about and write wonderful personal narratives.

As I watched Erin's self portrait poetry movie last month, I was reminded of the power of the story board.  Erin used thoughtful illustration after illustration to depict the story told in a poem that spoke to her.

Today, I'll ask students to do the same.

First, I'll model my thinking, listing and choosing a "small moment story" that I want to share with the world--a story so important to my life that I don't want to forget it, and a story that I want to tell others about.  It's got to be a topic I want to spend many hours recreating with words and images.

After I choose my topic, I'll model the story board process.  First, I'll show the story mountain model and tell students how most stories follow that pattern.  Then, I'll recreate my topic using a storyboard planner that provides space for pictures and words.

After that, I'll let students start their lists and story boards.  I circulate asking questions, answering questions and guiding student work.  This is the start of a new learning journey; one that will end with 25 wonderful personal narratives that tell stories with organization, craft and voice.  The mystery of this journey lies in what stories will unfold?  What stories will children choose to tell?  When will we laugh, and will some stories make us cry?  Will the class tales follow a similar theme, or will there be a great diversity of topic and time?

We've laid the path, and now we'll start the journey, the excitement and challenge lies in the mystery and surprise these young authors will reveal.