Reflection: Lesson Planning My Life As an Artifact (or Fossil) – the Planning Process - Section 2: Introducing the Writing Task


Narrative writing provides students with an opportunity to be creative when writing about a real or imagined experience using effective devices, details, and a logical progression of events. One of my goals this year is to provide students with more chances to write in this way. Just such an opening came my way recently when my class was able to keep the items found during a mock archaeology dig for an extra day, as explained in the video reflection attached to this section. They were totally absorbed by the experience and I was determined to find a way to hold onto that enthusiasm.

At home that evening I worked on a lesson using a format that includes a purpose, a description of the task, a sample of a finished product, an extension activity for motivated students, and a rubric. Stating the purpose provides background to the activity, engages student interest and gives them a real world connection. The task section states specific directions clearly. This is followed by an exemplar of a completed narrative. I find that students have a clearer understanding of the task, ask more informed questions, and approach the work with greater confidence when they get to see what quality work looks like. When creating the rubric I tried to make it as user-friendly as possible for the students’ sakes and for mine! The best rubrics are written in language easily understood by the students and a well-designed rubric carefully matched to the standards addressed by the activity makes grading by the teacher a straight-forward task. Notice I did not say it will make the grading process easy or quick – that’s just not going to happen! In my case, there are 60 students, say I spend 4 minutes grading each assignment – that’s a total of 4 hours. Efficiency is key; hence the need to plan carefully when creating rubrics.

  Why narrative writing?
  Lesson Planning: Why narrative writing?
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My Life As an Artifact (or Fossil) – the Planning Process

Unit 2: Narrative Writing: Life Above & Below Ground
Lesson 1 of 2

Objective: Write a scene about an artifact or fossil explaining its origin, how it ended up buried, or what happened once it was excavated by an archaeologist from the point of view of a narrator, a character, or the item itself.

Big Idea: Plan a story & make it pop by writing from the point of view of a recently uncovered artifact and by including appropriate content area vocabulary.

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14 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Writing Process, planning, narrative, narrative structure
  60 minutes
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