Diving into the Small Moments
My solution has been to go more in depth on this important analogy. Personal narratives should be filled with emotion and the reader should be able to feel like they are there with the author. However, when students focus on a large event, they don't give these descriptive details because most of them just want to get the story out…and it is a long story!
I've found by spending time on the front end really focusing in on what a small moment is I can delve deeper into the nuances of adding description more quickly and grow my writers more fully. To do this, I dedicate about half of our first personal narrative unit to finding and narrowing in on ideas. Yes, it sounds like a long time, but for my students, that is what it takes.
A seed story word of caution…
We even cut an actual watermelon to give them a connection to hang on to as they think about the topic. (Quick side note, don't buy seedless!! Did that on accident one year and had to scramble to come up with a connection… Sometimes authors forget to focus on the seeds, and their stories are a lot less interesting. *Whew*)
Activities to get started with Seed Stories
Here is a sample of some of the activities I do with my students. The initial activities really focus in on identifying and classifying given ideas so students can really grasp the concept. As they continue to build their understanding, the activities move into generating and analyzing their own ideas.
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