When we first teach about Narrative Writing, we focus on something we’ve done…usually a whole event: Our Pumpkin Patch Field Trip or Going to the Post Office. We help students craft sentences that start with predictable text or repeated sentence stems. Early narratives might sound like: “I went to the zoo. I saw a lion. I saw a giraffe. I saw a tiger. It was fun.” Introduction sentence: check. 3 details: check. An emotion sentence: check. I wrote about Narratives at the beginner level in the post: Let’s Got to the Zoo: Narrative Writing with Emergent Writers.
Focusing the Topic
When students understand the broad concept of writing narratives, (late first grade and second grade) we need to “up the game” and get them to focus in on a “small moment.” One of my favorite mentor texts for small moments is Jabari Jumps. Oh my goodness, this is one of the best books. So many topics…so many ways to use this…and such a good story. The main reason this is perfect for small moments is that the book isn’t about being at the pool all day with his sister and his parents…it’s about jumping off the high dive diving board. Yep, just that one moment…jumping off the high dive.
Not the Puzzle, Just the Piece
One of the best ways to focus their attention is through play…or at least they think it’s play. Providing students with cards containing a broad topic and a recording sheet to create the “small moment.” First, using a VERY broad topic picture and help them narrow the topic to discuss the “small moments.” We aren’t talking about the barn, we’re talking about the hay loft or the cows or the stalls or the hay or the sheep or the ladder…but not all about the barn. Next, provide students with cards containing a broad topic and a recording sheet to find the “small moment.” They tell the class or a friend what their small moment will be. Then, they record it on the provided sheet. “Not the pizza, but the pepperoni…or the crust or the sauce or the mushrooms or the cheese…you get the idea.
Writing Narratives can be fun and easy and as they progress in their knowledge, they can find the “small moments!” My Narrative Writing Set has been expanded to include Anchor Charts, Narrative Writing Strips, and “Not a Piece” Small Moments Set.
This Narrative Writing Bundle has 4 Parts:
- Acnhor Charts and Additional Lessons
- Narrative Writing Strips
- Small Moments Lessons
- Narrative Writing Digital Files.