Identifying Memoir Elements in Short Stories

Identifying Memoir Elements in Short Stories
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This partner activity requires students to find, identify and use evidence to support the multiple types of memoir elements located in short personal narratives. For example, in 8th grade, I used this organizer for two short narrative stories: "Charles" by Shirley Jackson, and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. The two column format challenges students to work together to find multiple pieces of text to support each element, rather than simply finding one. From this organizer, I like to go on to discuss how good writers incorporate patterns of specific elements rather than just use them once in their writing. The memoir elements outlined in this graphic organizer include: dialogue, inner thinking (feelings), narrative form & plot, accurate and detailed account, written in first person, a short event or several related events, and includes an ending that leaves the reader thinking.

This could also make for a nice format in which to peer review student memoirs to be sure all students are able to incorporate these very particular memoir elements multiple times within their own short narratives.

Total Pages
2 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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