I love teaching this unit and writing assignment with my ninth grade Advanced English I class! We begin the unit with a Socratic Seminar on William E. Stafford’s poem, “A Ritual to Read to Each Other.” The students then read the whole story The Magician’s Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo, in approximately four-five class periods, and again prepare questions for a Socratic Seminar on the whole book. Following the novel discussion, I introduce the narrative assignment, especially drawing attention to dialogue format and story planning. The students then have five days of class time to plan, draft, and write/type the final stories. After that week of writing, I have one or two students share their stories each class, or I allow small groups to nominate the best stories to share.
There are so many beautiful quotes in this novel! For this narrative assignment, students have to incorporate at least one of DiCamillo’s lines into their own story, using a quote from the novel in a new or creative way. It is also a great way to get students to think about themes and how authors develop a story around a theme or themes.
Included in this product are the following:
*Narrative Prompt Handout
*Quotes of Note Sheet (16 quotes)
*4-Point Scoring Guide
Please open the preview to read the narrative prompt handout and teacher notes for more information.
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