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My team begins the year with narrative writing. We start by having the students write to a narrative prompt to get a better understanding of which standards we'll need to focus on the most (dialogue, sensory details, sense of closure, etc.).
I do very little teaching when I use this. It's usually a 2nd or 3rd day of school activity. We read through the prompts together and I remind them that their stories should have a beginning, a middle and an end. We use the first day for brainstorming (if they remember to!) and drafting. I tell them not to worry about spelling or illustrating. On the second day, I let them revise and edit. However, they have to do all of this independently. Remember, I want a "bare bones" look at where my students are!
I also use this to help form initial editing partnerships within the classroom. Editing partners are students who have similar writing abilities. I do this because struggling writers and strong writers do not give each other effective feedback when they share their work with each other at the end of each workshop.
What do you start the year off with in writing? How do you get an idea for where your students are?
Narrative Writing Prompt
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