I developed this unit, “Narrative Success,” by Melissa J. Donovan, because of all the Core Curriculum State Standards addressing the narrative and my successful experience teaching it--fifteen years to fifth graders, sixth graders and seventh graders. However, I have to admit, I seemed to always be scrambling the night before instruction to put together narrative examples for either modeling or guided practice, because I never had time to put together something like this product—I sure wish I had this all those years. Bits and pieces of “Narrative Success” evolved through those years, but definitely, not as fine-tuned as this newly developed product.
This purchasable unit-of-study has everything that I researched and could think of that we instructors need to teach the narrative from the very beginning to the well-polished product. An important instructional tool provided is my three-page narrative, “My Selling Success,” about a very insecure young lady whom strived to win her seventh-grade choir candy sale. Parts of it are used throughout the unit for modeling the introduction to the middle paragraphs to the final conclusion. An example of just the beginning follows:
“I was never ever really good at anything growing up. My scrawny self was always picked last for any sport’s team. Brainy Bruce out-spelled me in any spelling bee. Cameras flashed around Mary Beth with her shiny hair, Crest smile and crisp preppy clothes, while I was always stuck in the background with my stringy hair and toothpick legs. Well, that was all about to change because of our seventh-grade choir sale.”
Similarly, parts of another, “My Flying Success,” from the viewpoint of a young bird, is used throughout for guided practice. Students finish the parts with teacher’s guidance (prompts and author’s final version provided).
Ten days of sequential step-by-step lessons are also provided with all materials needed as prompts, worksheets, plenty of examples, parent letter and rubric. Basically a student’s own success narrative will slowly build from topic choice to sequential events, to writing the introduction, to writing body paragraphs from the events, to writing the conclusion. Quite a few pages are dedicated to editing and revising too; again, with examples of drafts, edited pieces (symbols inserted too) and the final polished results.
I made a conscientious effort to keep this product structured, flowing, and easy to follow, yet flexible enough for different grade levels, teachers, and districts to use. The unit was designed to use parts of it or to use the entire forty-five-plus-pages, depending on student, teacher, district and standard needs. You may also delete and add things easily (as in the parent letter and rubric). Just use away; anyhow, anyway.
Hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful start to your year!
Until Next Time,
Melissa J. Donovan
by Melissa J. Donovan
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License