Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Writing Workshop Session 2B (Personal Narrative)

More Strategies to "Write up a Storm"


Connection


Share last night's writing work with the person next to you

Begin New Anchor Chart

Strategies for Generating Personal Narrative Topics

  • Think of a person who matters to you, list Small Moment stories, choose one, and write the whole story



Today we will be looking, learning from another author - this time, a Newberry Award winning author, Jack Gantos



 








Today I want to teach you that published writers sometimes think of a place that matters to them and make a quick sketch -- a map, actually -- of that place, jotting all the powerful Small Moment story ideas that come from that place.


Let's study Ganto's map:


I have included a map of my neighborhood from sixth grade, when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We had alligators in our canal, so I drew them in. One of them ate my dog, BoBo, the dumbest dog in the world. We had mean dogs in the neighborhood and one bit me and I thought it gave me rabies. I threw up a huge bellyful of spaghetti on the living room wall and we could never remove the stain. I drew it on the map. We lived next to the Pagoda family -- whom my mother labeled the "low supervision family." They were, and I was forbidden to play there. Of course, I was wildly attracted to them and got into lots of trouble -- see that little boy on the map, flying through the air over their yard? That is my brother Pete. I broke his arm at the Pagoda house while playing "Barnum and Bailey Circus Dare." We had an airplane crash in our neighborhood. We had grumpy old people that didn't like children. I built a golf course by burying a coffee can in everyone's yard. We sailed boats in the canal, and lots, lots more. It's all on the map. The final step is to add the major characters: your family, friends, and yourself. 

Even though there are lots of pictures and captions, it is still of one very specific place: the house and yard where he grew up.  Each detail on the map could turn into a whole story capturing the small moment that happened there.

(Add to the poster)

Strategies for Generating Personal Narrative Topics


  • Think of a person who matters to you, list Small Moment stories, choose one, and write the whole story
  • Think about a place that matters, use pictures and quick notes to jot about the small moments that occurred there, choose one and write the whole story

*In your mind: Choose a place where you spend a lot of your time
*Tell your partner where it is and some of the things you'll be sketching

Task: Work on your writing entry for the day

Things to use:  Any of the "Jumping off points for writing" we've learned
1) The mental image of the place you just shared with your partner
2) Draw a map sketching out lots of small moments you have had there
3) The important people list strategy we learned

Share/Wrap Up:
Take risks in your writing! Your homework is to finish the entry you began in class about an important place in your life.


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