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Teacher Tips and Answers

Reading Personal Narratives

Before you write about your own experience, you'll want to see how other students created personal narratives. This lesson shows you a narrative paragraph and a narrative essay, explaining each part. As you read them, think about how the writers made the people, places, and events come to life through description, action, and dialogue.

Reading a Narrative Paragraph

A personal narrative paragraph has three main parts. The topic sentence introduces your story. The body sentences describe what happened to you. The ending sentence tells why the experience was important. This paragraph shares one writer’s story about a school play.

Sample Paragraph

Listen to "Frozen on Stage."

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Frozen on Stage

Topic SentenceMy first school play is something I’ll never forget. I was playing Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln. The whole auditorium was packed with people. Body SentencesIt was hot inside, even though it was the middle of the winter. Ms. Valentine gave me the cue, so I walked on stage toward Chad, who was playing Abraham Lincoln. When I looked at the audience, I froze and forgot my line. Now I was really sweating. I looked at Chad, and he pointed to his hat. That helped me remember the line. I said, “Geez, Abe, your hat is on crooked again.” The crowd laughed, and I relaxed. We got a standing ovation when the show ended. Chad was a great teammate. Ending SentenceI knew from then on that I would be a good teammate, too.

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