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Narrative Writing Process

November 9, 2022 | Rebekah Lowe

The second and third grade class recently went on a couple of field trips – to Ellis Island and the Hudson Hike.

Upon returning, we discussed the trip, what we enjoyed, what we saw, and what we did.

In this fall term, one focus in writing is narrative writing.  Students go through what we call the writing process in order to draft, revise, edit, and publish their work.

Second graders went through this process about the Ellis Island trip.  They started with brainstorming ideas of what they did during the beginning, middle, and end of the trip.

Afterwards, they revised and edited their work, making it stronger, adding details, and checking their grammar.

Next, students worked with a partner to peer edit each other’s writing, adding more details, fixing spelling, and reading through the writing pieces.

Then, they wrote a second draft, making the corrections that they and their peers did.

Lastly, they met with the teacher to once more go through their second draft, making any more adjustments or corrections to the writing.

Second grade is currently writing their final drafts that will eventually be put into a book that their classmates can read!

A lot of work goes into their writing, so I hope you will ask them about it soon (if you have not already seen it!)

Third graders are writing to meet standards of narrative writing. The Hudson Hike was a wonderful experience that allowed us to practice these standards!

Standard 3.W.3.a: Establish a situation, introduce a narrator and/or characters, and organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

The first step in the writing process is prewriting, including brainstorming and using graphic organizers to help think about the significant parts of the story and establish a situation and introduce the characters. Students wrote words and phrases in sections called “beginning,” “middle,” and “end,” which helped them organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

Standard 3.W.3.b: Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.

Some dialogue was in each student’s writing, giving opportunity to begin learning about the  quotation marks and punctuation used in dialogue. That is another standard students will learn and practice throughout the year! Often the dialogue signaled exciting moments and responses of characters on the hike. Here are a few examples:

Weaver shouted, “I see a cricket!”

Ms. O’Dowd said, “Look! A turtle!”

Standard 3.W.3.c: Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.

Students learned about how temporal words and phrases (i.e. first, next, after the scramble, finally, etc.) could help a reader transition between parts of their story and know in which order the story events happened. Here are a few examples:

After the beach, we saw a scramble.

Soon after the first beach, we found another beach!

Like the second grade, the third grade also went through the writing process of prewriting and brainstorming, drafting, editing and revising by themselves and with a partner, and students will be writing their final copies in another week or two. Here are photos of students editing and revising their work by themselves or with a peer.

Finally, third graders are also writing narratives based on a prompt. Given ten minutes, third graders (and Ms. Kuperus, too) are writing imaginative, delightful stories – and everyone uses the whole ten minutes. When we read them aloud to the class, we find how different each others’ narratives are! This “on-demand” writing time builds stamina into our writing “muscles” and allows us to practice writing narratives.

You might try writing like this with your child, too. You could try one of our prompts, or come up with your own. (Or better yet, ask your child to come up with the prompt!)

*I couldn’t believe it!

*Henry, the Elephant, who was usually happy, was frustrated this morning.

 

Rebekah Lowe

Teacher, Grades 2&3

Rebekah Lowe knew that she wanted to be a teacher ever since middle school when she was inspired by an English teacher who developed interactive games and creative acronyms for many of the topics that were discussed. Because of her teachers, Ms. Lowe attended the education program at the College of New Jersey, where she experienced a variety of classroom environments, and earned a teaching degree. She was also a part of the Education Honor Society. After graduating, Ms. Lowe taught English in South Korea, and during this time, she was able to travel around Asia and experience new cuisines and cultures. Her love of travelling increased, and she hopes to travel more in the future! She began her teaching career in the United States at Mustard Seed School in 2018 as a second and third grade teacher in the Meadows class. She’s excited to be a part of the school community and share her many experiences with her students.

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