Narrative Reflection: Thinking About Writing

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Objective

SWBAT assess and reflect on the process of narrative writing.

Big Idea

How did this writing come to be?

Reading Time

10 minutes

Each day, I begin my ELA class with Reading Time.  This is a time for students to access a range of texts. I use this time to conference with students, collect data on class patterns and trends with independent reading and to provide individualized support

Process Reflection

33 minutes

It is very important for students to reflect on their writing: both product and process. It is for this reason that I have students actively think about the process they took to create their personal narrative. This helps them think about what they learned throughout this process, which will hopefully help them for the next writing piece. It also gives me an understanding of their thoughts about the process. I can see what worked and didn't work for them in terms of revision strategies, lessons, etc. I can adjust my teaching for the next writing piece if needed.

This class time is devoted to filling out the evaluation. Students tell me everything they can about the background history of the writing of the personal narrative. Some answers are brief and some get rather lengthy. The questions are general enough at times they students can really think about how this entire process connected to them.

The questions are as follows:

  • How did you come up with the idea for the piece?
  • What did you do differently to revise this piece of writing - the content - as you went from each draft to the final draft? Name at least two suggestions you took and why decided to try them.
  • What are several things you learned to do from editing this piece that you will try to remember from now on?
  • What kind of problems did you encounter and how did you solve them?
  • What help you the most to make the piece as strong as it could be?
  • What do you want me to know about the writing of this that I might not know just from reading it?
  • What parts of this writing are done especially well? (What qualities or characteristics make it an effective piece of writing?)
  • What have you learned to do as a writer that you learned from doing this piece?
  • What did you learn/notice/pay attention to with regard to editing comments give to you (or done on your own) about spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, and the construction of sentences in order to write this piece carefully?

This is from handout is from Linda Rief's Seeking Diversity published by Heinemann, 1992. A great resource for middle school language arts teachers.

Here are some examples of the students reflection: Process Evaluation Examples. The Process Examples Explanation discusses some of the examples and the importance of using it.

During this time, I am also able to collect their final drafts. Here are two examples of final narratives: Final Draft Student Example and Final Draft Student Ex 2. This is the rubric I use to assess their final pieces: Personal Narrative Rubric Spreadsheet.