Narrative Writing: Best/Worst Day Experiences

This website lesson provides a trade book spring board to narrative writing about a student’s best or worst day ever. This web resource suggests several trade books, such as Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, to introduce first person narrative writing to fourth graders. Students follow the steps of the writing process to produce a narrative piece about their own best or worst day. The website includes four examples of actual student writing that is ideal for use with an interactive board to teach students how to peer assess. Rubric scoring is also provided for each sample based on the six traits. If student samples are used on the interactive board, the assigned scores can be discussed and key parts contributing to derived rubric scores can be underlined or highlighted.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.6
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.4
Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
GLE 0206.2.1
Understand and use place value concepts to 1000.
GLE 0206.2.2
Understand and use the base-ten numeration system.
GLE 0206.2.3
Use efficient and accurate strategies to develop fluency with multi-digit addition and subtraction.
GLE 0301.3.2
Write in various modes and genres, including narration, literary response, personal experience, and subject matter content.
GLE 0301.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
GLE 0401.1.1
Demonstrate knowledge of Standard English usage, mechanics, and spelling.
GLE 0401.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0401.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
GLE 0401.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0401.4.2
Collect, organize, and determine the reliability of researched information.
GLE 0401.4.3
Present research results in a written report.
GLE 0501.3.2
Write in various modes and genres, including narration, literary response, personal expression, description, and imaginative.
GLE 0501.3.3
Know and apply the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing.
SPI 0401.1.12
Select appropriate antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms within context.
SPI 0401.1.13
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0401.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0401.8.2
Identify characters, setting, and plot in a passage.
SPI 0401.8.6
Identify and interpret similes and metaphors.
TSS.ELA.4.FL.WC.4
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills when encoding words; write legibly.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.KID.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
TSS.ELA.4.RL.KID.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text, such as a character's thoughts, words, or...
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
TSS.ELA.4.W.PDW.6
With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing, as well as to interact and collaborate...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 4 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences; promote writing fluency.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, such as descriptive details and clear event sequences.
TSS.Math.4.NBT.B.4
Fluently add and subtract within 1,000,000 using appropriate strategies and algorithms.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding
Extension suggestions: 

Extensions:

  • For review of sequencing. Have students practice sequencing by cutting up short, well organized text. Text can be taken from one of the suggested titles but should not exceed six or seven lines. Have students organize the strips in logical sequence. (Reference: Creating Writers by Vicki Spandell, p. 162.)
  • Adding voice to language. Read snippets of familiar children=s authors. Have students guess who the author is.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

Teacher Materials:

  • Books dealing with best/worst experiences
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco
  • The Bee Tree, Patricia Polacco
  • Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes
  • Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes
  • Graphic organizer (story map)

References

Contributors: