I teach 11th graders who are preparing to write their Common Application Essays over the summer. While many of them have had experience writing personal narrative, they often do not make the connection between intentional author strategy and purpose. I use this lesson to focus their brainstorming for the Common App essay and model some great strategies for writing personal narrative.
The lesson is designed to expose students to three personal narratives by well-known authors (George Orwell, Eudora Welty, and Joan Didion) and ask students to analyze what personal information we learn about those authors through the strategies they use. Then, students will discuss the epiphanies these authors reveal about themselves.
Embedded within the lesson is a Common Application rubric that I created for my students to help them understand how to write a strong Common Application essay.