ALEX Lesson Plan


Narrative Writing: The Autobiographical Incident

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Donna Hannah
System: Huntsville City
School: Lakewood Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 7226


Narrative Writing: The Autobiographical Incident


After organizing their thoughts using a graphic organizer, students write a narrative essay which relates an autobiographical incident. Students present their essays in a slideshow which allows their classmates to practice predicting an outcome as they guess the ending of the narrative. Some of the essays will be included in a class newsletter created by the students.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (6-8)
2. Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.
Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations
TC2 (6-8)
5. Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures
spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets
databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers
presentation software—slideshow
TC2 (6-8)
6. Select specific digital tools for completing curriculum-related tasks.
Examples: spreadsheet for budgets, word processing software for essays, probes for data collection
TC2 (6-8)
9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites
  • Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
  • Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying
    penalties—fines, incarceration
  • Citing sources of digital content
  • TC2 (6-8)
    11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
    Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases
    collecting—probeware, graphing calculators
    organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets
    evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility
    synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software
    ELA2015 (7)
    22. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. [W.7.3]
    a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. [W.7.3a]
    b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. [W.7.3b]
    c. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another. [W.7.3c]
    d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events. [W.7.3d]
    e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events. [W.7.3e]
    ELA2015 (7)
    25. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources. [W.7.6]
    ELA2015 (7)
    34. Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. [SL.7.5]
    ELA2015 (7)
    36. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.7.1]
    a. Demonstrate knowledge of subject-verb agreement when interrupted by a prepositional phrase, with inverted word order, with indefinite pronouns as subjects, compound subjects joined by correlative and coordinating conjunctions, and collective nouns when verb form depends on the rest of the sentence. (Alabama)
    b. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. [L.7.1a]
    c. Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. [L.7.1b]
    d. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.* [L.7.1c]
    ELA2015 (7)
    37. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.7.2]
    a. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt). [L.7.2a]
    b. Spell correctly. [L.7.2b]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify the characteristics of narrative writing. Students will demonstrate the steps used to develop narrative writing. Students will write a narrative relating an autobiographical incident. Students will infer the outcome of a story based on previous actions of the speaker.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    copies of graphic organizers and storyboards

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer (Internet access preferred) with printer; word processing, desktop publishing, and slideshow software, floppy disks for saving student work, projection device such as LCD projector or TV scan converter


    Lessons on the writing process, an introduction to slideshow presentation software and desktop publishing

    1.)Ask for a few volunteers to relate particularly funny, scary, or important incidents in their lives. (A brief discussion about how details and even exaggeration adds to the stories' entertainment value is a good idea.) After a few stories, explain that each student will write a narrative essay using an autobiographical incident and present it to the class.

    2.)Introduce narrative writing using the teacher-made slideshow presentation (attached). Discuss the characteristics of narrative writing. If a writing text is used, guide students as they look at sample writings and editing techniques or read from different types of writing. Ask students to point out the differences among narrative, expository, and persuasive writing.

    3.)Explain the "fun element" of the assignment. Students should not tell each other the outcomes of their stories. Explain that even though they must write the entire essay, their presentations will not include the story's ending. The class will predict the end just as they did in the sample essay from the introductory slideshow.

    4.)Hand out Makes Sense Strategies graphic organizers (or one from another good source), which students use to brainstorm and organize events and details. Explain that the students will use these charts to organize and write their stories.
    Free graphic organizers

    5.)Meet with each student briefly to help each proofread and edit the essay. The student will type the final draft of the essay, save it on a floppy disk, and print it for the teacher. (If you regularly use peer review groups, remind the class to remove the ending from their drafts before presenting them to the group.)

    6.)Allow students time to create a slideshow presentation that will consist of informational slides on narrative writing (storyboard attached). At least two of the slides must contain the beginning of their stories. During presentation, their classmates will predict the outcome of the story. The last slide must list works cited.

    7.)Allow class time for the sharing of presentations.
    (Microsoft Clip Art)
    Graphics website

    8.)As a class, or in smaller groups, assign the creation of a newsletter detailing the narrative writing experience (see attachment). Display these newsletters in the classroom.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    The students' presentations will be assessed using a rubric (attached). Teachers should use their customary formal writing assessment tool, the attached rubric, or the rubric used in the Alabama Writing Assessment Test for the essay. The newsletter need only be assessed for completion and suitability for display. Students might be rewarded for participation in discussion and time-on-task.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.