Nonfiction Narrative Assignment

Introduction

You have just read a text and watched a video about rites of passages. In one story, a boy learns about his great-grandfather's fision quest - and he himself takes on the responsibility of family and Lakota tradition. In the other story (video), a young woman goes through a four-day coming-of-age ritual to become an Apache woman. 

Task

You have learned about two people who experience changes, learn about their heritage, and begin to think differently. Think about an event that changed your ideas and feelings or an event that changed the life of someone you know. Write a nonfiction narrative that answers the question:
 

What event changed your understanding of yourself, or that of someone you know?

 

Process

PREWRITING

Choose Your Topic

Consider the person and event you would like to highlight in your narrative. State your main idea in a sentenc.

__________________ changed how ______________ viewed or felt about _________________________.

(event or experience)                          (person)                                               (something in life or the world)

 

Create Evidence For Your Narrative

Anecdotes - brief stories that illustrate a point or key idea

Quotations - statements from personal interviews or conversations with the subjects of the narrative

Examples - facts, ideas, and event that support an idea or insight

 

DRAFTING

Organize a Sequence of Events

-Use a timeline to organize your narrative so that it flows in chronological order.

-Start by introducing important people, as well as the setting and the background of the story

-Then, add details in the order in which they occur

 

Create a Timeline

INTRODUCTION

1. 

2. 

3. 

4.

CONCLUSION

 

Write First Draft

1. Beginning with an exciting detail that hints at the story's conclusion.

2. Creating a smooth progression of events or experiences.

3. Keeping your audience's interest y showing, not telling.

4. Interspersing dialogue to bring people's personalities to life.

5. Concluding with an original observation about the importance of the event.

 

REVISING

Evaluate the effectiveness of your first draft (Yes, Somewhat, No).

Describes the change in the life, ideas, or feelings of the writer or of another character.

Has a clear sequence of events that unfolds naturally and logically.

Includes a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the experiences in the narrative.

Develops the people in the narrative through dialogue and description.

Captures the action and illustrates experiences and events using precise words, well-chosen quotations, descriptive details, and sensory language.

Attends to the norms and conventions of the discipline, especially the correct use and punctuation of transitions.

EDITING AND PROOFREADING

Edit for Conventions

Reread your draft for accuracy and consistency. Correct errors in grammar and word usage. Be sure you have included a variety of transitions to make connections among events.

Proofread for Accuracy

Read your draft carefully, looking for errors in spelling and punctuation. As you proofread, make sure that any dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks. A split dialogue is a quotation that is interrupted by additional information, such as the identification of the speaker. 

 

Evaluation

 

NARRATIVE EVALUATION CHART

POOR
1

2

3

4

Focus/Purpose/Organization

 

 

 

 

How well does the narrative’s form or structure support its purpose and respond to the demands of the prompt? How effectively does the writer put forth a series of events and develop character?

1

2

3

4

How well do details in the narrative contribute to its effectiveness? How well does the writer establish and sustain focus, unity, and coherence?

1

2

3

4

How well-controlled is the progression of ideas? How well does the writer use transitions and sentence connections to show how ideas are related?

1

2

3

4

Overall Focus/Purpose/Organization Score

3

6

9

12

 

Development of Ideas

 

 

 

 

To what extent do details add substance to the narrative? How well do details contribute to the writer’s portrayal of an experience and convey its importance?

1

2

3

4

How thoughtful and engaging is the narrative? How clearly does the writer show a deep understanding of the writing task?

1

2

3

4

Overall Development of Ideas Score

2

4

6

8

 

Use of Language/Conventions

 

 

 

 

To what extent does word choice support the purpose of the narrative? How effective is word choice in helping the writer recreate an experience?

1

2

3

4

How purposeful, varied, and well-controlled are the sentences? How well do sentences enhance the effectiveness of the narrative?

1

2

3

4

How minor are errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, usage, and sentence boundaries? To what extent are the fluency of the writing and clarity of the narrative unaffected by errors?

1

2

3

4

Overall Use of Language/Conventions Score

3

6

9

12

 

OVERALL NARRATIVE SCORE

8

16

24

32

 

Conclusion

CONGRATULATIONS!

It's never easy to write a narrative. It becomes more challenging when you write about sensitive or emotional aspects of our lives. You have done both. If you were not able to finish on time this week, you have the weekend to make sure you follow each step and submit your completed work by Monday. 

Credits

Much or the content used here was from the unit "Rites of Passage" from the myPerspectives curriculum.

Author Biography

Jamey Wood

This is my third year teaching English Language Arts at the middle school level. My students have inspired me, not only by their diverse and challenging experiences, but the hard work they bring to the classroom everyday. I hope to continue to learn from them as I grow as an educator.