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Unit Plan: Personal Narrative

Rationale:

This is a personal narrative writing unit intended for eleventh grade English
students. This unit is intended to serve as an introduction to personal narrative writing
within the context of college entrance exams, scholarship application essays, and so
forth. I have selected November as an appropriate time for this unit because, in all
likelihood, eleventh grade students will begin to review requirements for college and
scholarship applications shortly thereafter.
The first week is intended to be a brainstorming week. Students will begin this
unit by reading a college entrance essay written by a recent high school graduate.
Throughout the week, students will also log entries in their writers notebooks using
personal narrative prompts provided by the teacher. Students will be asked to pitch a
short list of topics, which will be due on Monday of week two. Students will receive the
final summative assessment description at the beginning of the unit, so they have a clear
understanding of what we will be working toward.
At the beginning of week two, students will begin drafting their personal
narrative essays. At this point, students will have selected one of their three narrative
pitches for the purposes of this assignment. The teacher will cover basic elements of
personal narrative this week, including plot, setting, characterization, and theme.
The first rough draft will be due on the Tuesday of week three. This week, we will
conduct a lesson on proper revision and editing techniques as a refresher before our
revision and editing activities. Students will participate in a revision circle activity on
Tuesday to correct mechanical and grammatical errors. On Wednesday, students will
participate in a peer editing activity to edit content.
During the final week, students will participate in teacher conferences, as a final
check for content and mechanics. Final papers will be due on Wednesday, November
30th.

Key Learning Objectives:

Students will produce multiple topics for a personal narrative essay using in-class
brainstorming activities.
Students will develop their essay throughout the course of the unit by
participating in brainstorming activities, peer revision activities, and peer editing
activities, producing multiple drafts, and attending teacher conferences.
Students will actively apply elements of personal narrative from class lessons.
Students will reflect on the significance of their personal narratives by connecting
the narrative to their values and/or perspectives.

Key Dates and Deadlines:


Monday, November 7th: Unit begins
Friday, November 11th: No class, Veterans Day
Monday, November 14th: 3 Personal narrative pitches due
Tuesday, November 22nd: Personal narrative (rough draft) due
Wednesday, November 23rd: Personal narrative (revised rough draft) due
Thursday, November 24th: No class, Thanksgiving break
Friday, November 25th: No class, Thanksgiving break
Monday, November 28th: Teacher conferences (day 1)
Tuesday, November 29th: Teacher conferences (day 2)
Wednesday, November 30th: Personal Narrative (final draft) due

Assessments

Formative:
Participate in lessons and class discussions
Complete daily entries in personal class journal
Complete three Twitter pitches for a personal narrative essay; select a
personal narrative essay topic using these pitches
Complete a rough draft; participate in peer revision activity
Complete a revised rough draft; participate in peer editing activity
Sign up for/participate in teacher conference meetings

Summative:
Using your selected narrative pitch, produce a 1200-1500 word personal
narrative essay that answers the following question: how has a past
experience helped you become the person that you are today?
November 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7 8 9 10 11
Lesson #1: Lesson #2: Costco Lesson #3: Types Lesson #4: NO CLASS:
Introduction to essay Twitter of personal Selecting a topic. Veterans Day
personal activity. narratives.
narrative. Journal entry:
Journal entry: Journal entry: Who do you
Provide Explicate a What can older admire most?
assignment favorite quote. generations learn
sheet for from you?
summative
HWK: 3 Twitter
assessment. Group annotation
pitches for
activity.
Costco essay: personal
annotation and narrative.
HWK: Browse
class discussion. NYT article, 650
Prompts for
Narrative and
personal Writing.
14 15 16 17 18
Lesson #5: Pitch Lesson #6: Lesson #7: Lesson #8: Lesson #9:
sharing activity. Elements of Elements of Elements of Elements of
personal personal personal personal
Journal entry: narrative: Plot. narrative: Setting. narrative: narrative: Theme.
5-minute free Characterization.
write. Journal entry: Plot mapping Identifying
How is your worksheet due. HWK: continue theme handout.
personal narrative drafting personal
Personal
progressing? HWK: continue narrative. HWK: Finish
narrative
drafting personal identifying
pitches due. HWK: Plot narrative. theme handout,
mapping continue drafting
HWK: begin worksheet, personal
drafting personal continue drafting narrative.
narrative. personal
narrative.
21 22 23 24 25
Lesson #10: Lesson #11: Peer Lesson #12: Peer NO CLASS: NO CLASS:
Revising vs. Revision Circle editing swap Thanksgiving Thanksgiving
Editing Activity. activity, sign up break break
(mechanics vs. for teacher
content). Personal conferences.
Narrative
Identifying (rough draft) Personal
theme
due. Narrative
handout due.
(revised rough
HWK: continue HWK: complete draft) due.
drafting personal revised rough
narrative. draft. HWK: Complete
revised, edited
draft for teacher
conference.

28 29 30
Lesson #13: Lesson #14: Personal
Teacher Teacher Narrative (final
conferences. conferences. draft) due.

HWK: complete HWK: complete


final draft for final draft for
personal personal
narrative. narrative.
Lesson #1-2 (November 7-8) Introduction to Personal Narrative

Subject: 11th grade English language arts

gined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (11-12.W.3)
details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. (11-12.W.3)
which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (11-12.W.4)
hrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices o
articularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (11-12.RL.4)

ty word choice in the provided handout by participating in the opening activity.


word choice in their own words.
of effective word choice by composing teaser Tweets for longer pieces of writing in groups.
of effective word choice by independently composing three Tweets that pitch potential personal narrative topics to the teacher.

3 pitches for their own personal narrative essays (in the form of Tweets) completed by the start of class on Monday, November
lity word choice.
rger unit on personal narrative, wherein the evidence of mastery will be a personal narrative essay.
to complex):
ces of quality word choice in the provided handout.
portance of word choice in their own words.
quality word choice by participating in the guided practice group activity.
Materials/Technology Resources to be Used:
Word choice Prezi
Projector
Costco college essay handout
Class Twitter page
Example Tweet for guided practice activity (co

tco college essay handout. We will begin by reading this handout aloud as a class. Afterward, I will instruct students to take 3-5 m
ey read. Teachers will point out questions to consider while reading independently (these questions will be displayed in the Wor
Student Will:
a class discussion on the importance of word choice in the provided After independently reading and high
l go through the discussion questions posted on the instructional participate in the class discussion on t
class. Students will share examples of qualit
and discuss the effects that word choic
iation:
, they will work individually with students who need additional help.
nt levels of questions to ensure equal opportunities for participation in class discussion.
Student Will:
ain that this lesson is the start of a unit that will eventually end with the In groups of 3-4, students will compose one T
personal narrative essay. a reader want to follow their link to Stinsons
phasize that, when writing a personal narrative, it is especially important One group member from each group will post
ntain the attention of the reader. Stinsons essay, to the class Twitter page.
vide real-life examples by displaying Tweets and news headlines for
writing that make the reader want to know more.
gn students to groups of 3-4 and explain the guided practice activity.
composing Tweets of 140 characters or less that would make a reader
a link to Stinsons Costco essay. Students will post their Tweets @ the
e using the Twitter accounts they have previously created for the
class and include a link to Stinsons essay in their post.
vide an example of a Tweet about Stinsons essay (which she wrote
what is expected of the guided practice activity.
have submitted, teacher will display the class Twitter page on the
t all groups have the opportunity to display their Tweets.
iation:
able to work individually with students who need additional help.
ble, the teacher will still be circulating throughout the classroom to assist groups who need further instruction.
Student Will:
ain that the homework activity will be to come up with 3 potential Student will come up with three poten
wn personal narratives, and pitch these topics in the form of Tweets. Student will compose one pitch for e
students the option of posting their Tweets to the class Twitter page or the form of Tweets (three Tweets total
ir Tweets for submission at the beginning of class on Monday, Student will turn in their Tweets eithe
or by hand-writing them and submitti
d out the personal narrative assignment sheet and rubric, to assist 14.
ulating their Tweets.
iation:
be asked to come up with at least one idea for a personal narrative assignment. Teacher will be available to assist struggling stud

ns:
ents thinking about word choice when writing personal narratives. The provided handout is intended to demonstrate a real-wor
when writing a personal narrative, almost any piece of writing can be meaningful and enjoyable to read, so long as it is written
s came up with for Stinsons essay, which will be submitted to the class Twitter page during the guided practice activity.
Lesson #9 (November 18) Elements of Personal Narrative: Theme

Subject: 11th grade English language arts

or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one
f the text. (11-12.RL.2)
concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a com
s well as its aesthetic impact. (11-12.RL.5)
g point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or u
or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (11-12.W

me in their own words.


concepts of topic and theme.
Brittany Stinsons Costco essay.
wn developing personal narratives.

ying themes present in the Costco essay with their group members.
dependently identifying theme(s) present in their own developing personal narratives, and the topic(s) they use to develop these
to complex):
ept of theme in their own words, and explain how theme differs from topic.
present in the Costco essay handout, and identify the topics that the author uses to develop these themes.
mes present in their own developing narratives, and the topic(s) they are using to develop these themes.
Materials/Technology Resources to be Used:
Theme Prezi
Costco college essay handout
Theme worksheets
Projector

tco college essay that we annotated during week one. The teacher will ask students to reread this essay and come up with their b
d not worry if they have difficulty doing this, because we will be going over this during the lesson today.
Student Will:
lecture on theme within the context of personal narrative, making sure Students will participate in the class lecture a
e topic and theme. asking/answering questions throughout.
dents to follow along and take notes to assist them in completing the

iation:
le, they will circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.
s questions frequently throughout the lesson to check for understanding, using different levels of questions to ensure equal opp
dically for questions from the class.
Student Will:
dents to form groups of 3-4, then hand each group one identifying Students will form groups of 3-4.
In groups, students will discuss the theme(s)
dents to discuss potential themes present in the Costco essay handout, author uses to develop these themes.
r uses to develop these themes. Students will complete the identifying theme
h group to pick a scribe to complete the handout on behalf of their each group will record answers on the handou
ed in at the end of class as the groups exit ticket. Students will participate in class discussion.
class discussion, asking each group what theme(s) they identified in the

iation:
circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.
s different levels of questions to ensure equal opportunities for participation in class discussion.
Student Will:
ry student with their own identifying theme handout. Students will use the remaining class time to
dents to identify at least one theme in their own developing narrative, independently.
sed to develop this/these theme(s). Students will complete these handouts as hom
dents that this handout will be due at the beginning of class Monday. class.
Students will submit these handouts at the be
iation:
circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.

ns:
ps handout from the guided practice activity. Teacher will conduct a brief discussion with the class, asking students to identify t
eers to explain in their own words the difference between topic and theme.
Lesson #12 (November 23) Peer Editing Activity

Subject: 11th grade English language arts

gined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (11-12.W.3)
which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (11-12.W.4)
ed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a spec

s of personal narrative in their peers personal narrative essay using the content checklist handout.
peer editor when editing their own papers.

g the content checklist handout for their peers paper that they read during this lesson.
he feedback received from their peer editor on the content checklist handout to their own paper.
to complex):
al elements of personal narrative in their peers personal narrative essay.
ack received from their peer editor when editing their own personal narrative essays.
Materials/Technology Resources to be Used:
Editing for content refresher Prezi
Content checklist handout
Projector

nsure that all students have a revised rough draft prepared for the peer editing activity today. Students who do not have their rev
udents will lose points for the peer editing activity.

Student Will:
rief refresher lesson on proper editing techniques. Students will follow along in the lesson, aski
content checklist handout and peer editing activity to the class.
iation:
le, they will circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.
dically for questions from the class.

Student Will:
he content checklist handouts and assign students to groups of two. Students will trade papers with their partner.
udents to exchange papers with their partner. Students will read their partners paper and a
udents to read their partners paper and answer the questions on the handout.
out. Students will staple the content checklist han
udents to staple the completed content checklist handout to their when completed.
urn it when the content checklist handout is completed.
iation:
circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.

Student Will:
dents to review the feedback received from their partner, and apply it to Students will work independently to apply the
al narratives. developing personal narratives.
n-up sheets for teacher conferences, which will be held Monday and Students will sign up for a 5-minute time slot
week (during class time). Tuesday of the following week.
dents to sign up for a 5-minute time slot on the sign-up sheet (for either Students will complete a revised, edited rough
following week.
iation:
circulate throughout the classroom to assist students who need additional help.

t handouts to the teacher and sign up for a 5-minute teacher conference on either Monday or Tuesday of the following week. The
lass discussion, asking students to explain how revision and editing are different (at this point, students will have completed sep

Culminating Writing Project

The World as I See It: Personal Narrative


We all are capable of recalling people, events, and experiences in our lives that have
helped us in becoming the people that we are today. These experiences can be positive,
negative, life-changing, or seemingly inconsequential. We are all unique individuals
with insightful stories to tell. For this project, you will tell a story that is of personal
significance to you.

Using your selected narrative pitch, produce a


1200-1500 word personal narrative essay that
answers the following question: how has a past
experience helped you become the person that
you are today?

During the first week of this unit, we will complete a variety of brainstorming activities
to assist you in developing a topic for your essay. The goal of this assignment is to
create a personal narrative that provides some genuine insight into the
person that you areyour beliefs, values, and/or perspectives that you will
take with you as you progress into adult life.

Please include the following in your response:

An introduction that clearly states the value(s) you are explicating, and where
these values come from.
A narrative portion that demonstrates the components of personal narrative
discussed in class (plot, setting, characterization, and theme).
A reflective portion that demonstrates a clear connection between the value(s)
listed in your introduction and your personal narrative.
A concluding paragraph that indicates how you will utilize these values as you
progress into adulthood.
Final drafts should be typed and submitted in MLA format.

Arizona College and Career Ready Standards Addressed:

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective


technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
o Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or
observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of
view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth
progression of experiences or events.
o Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection,
and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
o Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one
another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and
outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).
o Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to
convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or
characters.
o Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced,
observes, or resolved over the course of the narrative. (11-12.W.3)
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and
style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (11-12.W.4)
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,
rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most
significant for a specific purpose and audience. (11-12.W.5)

Grading Checklist

_____/15 Introduction: Your introduction clearly articulates the value(s) you are
explicating, and where these values came from.

_____/30 Narrative: Your paper includes a narrative portion that clearly


demonstrates the elements of narrative discussed in class (plot, setting,
characterization, and theme).
_____/30 Reflection: Your paper includes a reflective portion that demonstrates a
clear connection between the value(s) listed in your introduction and your personal
narrative.

_____/15 Conclusion: Your paper includes a conclusion paragraph that indicates


how the experiences and values you articulated will benefit you as an adult.

_____/10 Conventions, spelling, grammar: Your essay is free of spelling,


citation, and grammar error patterns (2 points will be deducted for every error pattern,
up to a maximum of 10 points).

_____/100 Points Total