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

Personal Narrative Homework for October 15

Write a great lead!

Choose a technique (either the one from Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon or the one from Sandra Cisneros’s “Eleven”).  [Picture of the poster we made in class  is posted below to help you.]

Sample leads from Mr. Danielson’s class:

It was in the middle of a sunny, cool October day.  My literacy class and I exploded out the door for our favorite part of school: free time! There was a slight fall breeze and the fallen leaves crawled around the grass.  The sky was so blue it seemed like a robin’s egg or like you could see forever.  We had slaved for five whole days to earn this precious ten minutes of freedom.  We swung from the monkey bars like primates and were disgusted by the pile of deer scat waiting for us by the swings.


I feel like I know what to do.  It’s on the tip of my tongue.  I just don’t understand why I’m not doing it.  Class starts in Ms. Stark’s room but usually I would start with Mr. Danielson.  It’s weird Wednesday so we are all confused.  Kids are walking into the wrong rooms, other kids are bossing each other around saying, “You’re going the wrong way!” Some kids are just standing in the middle of the room with puzzled looks on their faces. There are lost classmates out wandering the halls.  I hear one thing and then another and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing.

Sample leads from Mrs. Bodin’s class:

It was one fall afternoon at Geneva Elementary School, just past recess, when my literacy class and I had a lockdown drill.  Mr. Whitten’s concerned voice blasted over the loudspeaker, “This is a lockdown drill!” Silently, we all dove under our desks with excitement.  The lights went out.  Ms. Stark struggled and juggled the blinds, trying to protect us from outside eyes.  Just as she locked the door, a hand grabbed the knob to test if it was locked.  All of a sudden, Valerie sneezed!  We knew we were supposed to be invisible and silent, but we just couldn’t help bursting with laughter.


 The teacher shocked my class and I.  She started class that day by telling us she promised we would not learn anything from what we were about to do. Everyone had a puzzled look on their face. She told us today we would play a game called “the Note Game.”  Then she said, “It’s not really a game.”  Ms. Stark told us we would have to write a note to somebody we knew in the building, but not in our class.  We would also have to deliver it.


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