This narrative writing packet is a sample of one of the weekly packets that are included in my Narrative of the Week Writing Packet Bundle. That resource contains over 240 pages of printables designed to guide your students to be amazing writers! It is divided into 36 "paragraph of the week" formats. Each contains a cover page with prompt, graphic organizers, paragraph templates, draft and final copy pages. I've included an outline of how to easily use this throughout the week, but it can also be easily used as an independent work packet for self-paced writing projects.
Common Core Aligned: W.2.3 W.3.3 W.4.3 and W.5.3
On Monday I send home the entire packet. The cover sheet includes the prompt, the “criteria for success,” and a space for student reflection. The criteria for success is a checklist of expectations for the finished product. It mirrors the enclosed teacher scoring rubric. I ask the students to self-assess their work (either alone or with parent support) prior to turning in the completed packet. The student reflection box has space for “a glow and a grow.” They complete this section at the end of the week as well. I ask them to note something about the work that makes them proud and a goal for next time.
While the students have the option to manage the project themselves, I do provide them with a recommended pacing guide. On Monday night they are responsible for completing the first page. They read the prompt and brainstorm a collection of ideas/experiences they could write about in response to the prompt. They then reread their list and select one specific topic that can be best developed into a paragraph, That topic is recorded it on the organizer as the main idea for their writing. They then use the right hand side to record 4 details to support the main idea. These do not need to be written as complete sentences,
On Tuesday they begin writing the paragraph using the template. The template includes space for the supporting details as well as an area underneath each detail for an explanation or elaboration. This step has truly helped my students measurably progress as writers.
In my experiences teaching K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd, I always found that writing a topic sentence and a closing sentence were challenging concepts for my young writers. The struggle to write a topic sentence would often cause a child to become frustrated from the start. A few years ago I began having them write the supporting details first and then use that content to compose a topic sentence. MAGIC! I kept that strategy in mind when designing this template and created the layout using brain-based research.
On Wednesday the students revisit the paragraph template. I have them use a yellow highlighter to identify the common nouns and an orange highlighter to identify the verbs. They must then add in adjectives before the nouns to make the writing more descriptive. They analyze the verbs and work to replace them with stronger word choices if necessary. It has been wonderful to see how this step has improved their writing. Over time there has been less and less orange and yellow highlighting on the paper because they have naturally begun to be more descriptive authors with stronger vocabularies as writers.
On Thursday they use the template to write a draft, assess it using the Criteria for Success, and self-reflect to compose a “glow and a grow.” They turn in the packet to me on Friday. I assess their work with them using the teacher rubric. At times we publish a final copy on the enclosed paper.
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