Gnomes Read, Write, and Think

"Yeah, I've seen those things they think are gnomes," said Ron, bent double with his head in a peony bush, "like fat little Santa Clauses with fishing rods…” -JK Rowling

Choosing a Personal Narrative Topic

Students have now committed to a topic for their personal narrative.  Each student has had a short, public conference with me in which he/she has reported the answers to these questions:  (I’ve inlcuded examples here to help illustrate where students should be headed.)

What small moment will you be writing about?

“I’m writing about the moment when I scored my first hat trick in a hockey game.”

What is the importance of that moment?

“I had always wanted to score a hat trick but had never been able to do it.  I had made it my goal to do it.  This was the moment when it finally happened!”

What was/were the overwhelming feeling/s at that moment?

“I felt really, happy, even ecstatic.  I also felt proud.”

Our next step is to begin looking at quality leads, and then we will be moving on to our first drafts.

Many students have been asking if they need to type this at home.  They can type it at home if they wish, but we will also be taking time in the computer lab or with the laptops to publish this piece after we revise and edit.

Your child may say that he/she is done with the personal narrative.  You can:

  • ask him/her to show you where the narrative contains details that SHOW DON’T TELL the importance of the moment
  • ask him/her to show you where the narrative contains details that SHOW the emotions and thoughts that were present for the child at that moment
  • ask your child to check to make sure he/she is using paragraphs
  • ask your child to edit the narrative (you can help with this by finding a pattern of errors — say, end punctuation–and asking the child to fix all the mistakes in that area, with your assistance if necessary
  • ask him/her to start a new personal narrative (We want students to be writing numerous personal narratives during this unit, but publishing one.)
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