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22 Responding to Narrative Prompts

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Responding to Narrative Prompts

Start-Up Activity

Draw a clock face on the whiteboard. Next to the clock list prewriting, writing, revising, and editing. Then discuss with students how much time they should allot for each step in the writing process during a timed writing. (For example, if they have 45 minutes, they should allot 5 minutes for prewriting, 30-35 minutes for writing, and 5-10 minutes for revising and editing.)

Think About It

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

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Writing a Narrative Response

Use this page to teach the PAST strategy for analyzing prompts. PAST is an acronym of Purpose, Audience, Subject, and Type. This strategy helps your students quickly analyze any writing prompt, making sure they understand it and create an on-target response.

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Sample Narrative Prompt

Use this page to help your students understand what a narrative prompt might look like and how they can analyze it. Have them cover the PAST box on the right and try to identify the Purpose, Audience, Subject, and Type in the prompt. Then have them uncover the box and check their thinking.

Afterward, have student volunteers read the narrative response aloud, one paragraph at a time. Then return to discuss the side notes.

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Theme:
Social-Emotional Intelligence:

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Prewriting: Planning Your Response

Use this page to equip your students with rapid prewriting strategies. Students should take about 5 minutes at the beginning of on-demand writing to decide on a focus for their responses and jot down a quick outline on a piece of scrap paper. Then, they should start writing, remaining conscious of time so that they can reserve 5-10 minutes at the end to revise and edit their work.

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NE ELA Standard:

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Writing: Developing Your Response

Use this page to help student understand that, even for on-demand writing, they need to develop a beginning, a middle, and an ending.

You can also download and distribute the narrative assessment revising checklist to help students understand the kinds of questions they should ask themselves as they spend 5-10 minutes revising at the end of their writing.

Once you have walked students through the process, have them write a practice response to the following prompt:

We all have challenging times in our lives. Think of a time when you took on and overcame a challenge. What made the situation so tough? What was the secret to your success? Write a narrative essay describing to your classmates how you faced and overcame a challenge. Include action, dialogue, thoughts, and feelings.

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Responding Review

After students complete their practice narrative assessment writing, review their experience, using this page as a guide. Ask your students what part was easiest for them. Ask them what part was hardest. Decide whether you need to provide students more help with the harder parts.

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