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Teacher Tips and Answers

Reading Historical Narratives

Before you recreate a historical moment, you'll want to see examples from other students. This lesson shows you a sample historical narrative paragraph and essay. As you read them, think about how the writer made the people, places, and events come to life through description, action, and dialogue.

Reading a Historical Narrative Paragraph

A historical narrative paragraph has three main parts. The topic sentence states the topic and focus of the story. The body sentences explain the main actions of the story. The ending sentence wraps up the historical narrative in an interesting way.

Sample Paragraph

Listen to "Standing Up"

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Standing Up

Topic Sentence I never much liked crowds, but I always liked trees. That's why I wasn't thrilled when my mother woke me up before dawn, told me to put on my Sunday dress and shoes, and walked me seven miles to join a million other people on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Body Sentences She said that what we were doing was important because we were standing up for our rights. As I sweated in the hot sun, surrounded by strangers, I felt like I was just standing up. One by one, adults that I couldn't see spoke into the microphone, their voices ringing from loudspeakers like sermon after sermon. I asked Mom when we could go. "We have to hear Dr. King speak, first." I told her I needed to use the bathroom. She said, "Don't be long." But instead of going to the bathroom, I went to a nearby grove to be alone. There was a tree there, and another girl in it, who motioned me upward. I climbed up beside her and suddenly could see over the heads of the crowd to the gleaming white Lincoln Memorial. I could see Dr. King standing there. And, best of all, I could hear him when he spoke those amazing words: "I HAVE A DREAM . . ." Ending Sentence Suddenly, I knew just what I would be standing up for.

Respond to the paragraph.

Answer these questions about the paragraph. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Historical Narratives unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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