Sunday, August 31, 2014

Resources on how to teach students how to write a Personal Narrative using Patricia Polacco books

Personal narratives are what many elementary, junior high, and high school teachers begin the year teaching and students begin the year writing. One of the main problems that students have when they are writing a personal narrative, at any age, is they try to tell too much information. Personal narratives are best when they are specific and narrowed down to one event. - See more at: http://margodill.com/blog/2009/10/14/wacky-wednesday-lesson-plans-on-teaching-writing-a-personal-narrative/#sthash.1tsItLst.9C7t0575.dpuf <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-520092929 1073786111 9 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} 


Every year I start the school year by writing personal narratives  One of the main problems that students have when they are writing a personal narrative, at any age, is they try to tell too much information. Personal narratives are best when they are specific and narrowed down to one event.
Personal narratives are what many elementary, junior high, and high school teachers begin the year teaching and students begin the year writing. One of the main problems that students have when they are writing a personal narrative, at any age, is they try to tell too much information. Personal narratives are best when they are specific and narrowed down to one event. - See more at: http://margodill.com/blog/2009/10/14/wacky-wednesday-lesson-plans-on-teaching-writing-a-personal-narrative/#sthash.1tsItLst.9C7t0575.dpuf
Personal narratives are what many elementary, junior high, and high school teachers begin the year teaching and students begin the year writing. One of the main problems that students have when they are writing a personal narrative, at any age, is they try to tell too much information. Personal narratives are best when they are specific and narrowed down to one event. - See more at: http://margodill.com/blog/2009/10/14/wacky-wednesday-lesson-plans-on-teaching-writing-a-personal-narrative/#sthash.1tsItLst.9C7t0575.dpuf

I use Patricia Polacco books as an example of a personal narrative. She is one of my favorite authors and I simply love reading her stories. Many children pick too broad a topic when they write their personal narratives (such as their entire life story from birth to the present grade). Patricia Polacco writes about many childhood memories in her picture books, and she always focuses on one specific time or event in her life, such as when she learned to not be scared of storms or she learned to read.

Here are the titles of some Patricia Polacco books she has written about her family members or herself:
Some Birthday  - Lexile 590
Thank You, Mr. Falker – Lexile 650
The Bee Tree – Lexile 680
Chicken Sunday – Lexile 650
The Blessing Cup – Lexile 740
Thunder Cake – Lexile 630
The Keeping Quilt (sequel to the Blessing Cup) – Lexile 920

Click on the link to access the resource:
2. Patricia Polacco Website

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco is a great way to introduce the idea of ancestors, family traditions, immigrants, and family members. In the story, Ms. Polacco shares how her family came from Russia. When their clothes became worn, they were made into a quilt. The quilt tells the story of their family. Throughout the story, the family members use the quilt in different ways: as a bedcovering, a tablecloth, a huppa, and a cape, to welcome a baby home.

Suggested Class Discussion Questions for the Keeping Quilt
1. Besides the obvious uses for the quilt, what unique things did it become for this family over the years?

2. What were the traditional gifts given on special occasions and what did they signify? How do they compare to the gifts in your family?

3. From memory, draw a small replica of the quilt. Explain the designs and their origins.

What things in the story would have changed if:
·      Anna's family had not immigrated to the US?
·      The family had not stayed in New York?
·      Anna had not learned to speak English?
·      The family had returned to Russia?

4. What things have been handed down in your family? Search out the oldest thing in your household that has been handed down from one generation to another. If possible, bring it to school and tell its story.

5. Find Ellis Island on the map and think about the twenty million or more people who came through that station. What things in America would be different today without them?

6. Anna's family had been dirt farmers in Russia. Does that mean they raised dirt? What employment did they find in New York? Were they richer or poorer in each succeeding generation?

Visit my Greater Public Schools (GPS Network) site to join me in a conversation about these resources. This site is free and its the largest professional learning community in the nation. Click on the link HERE to take you there.  

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