A Happy Birthday Party Makes Happy Kids-Writing Personal Narratives

For this birthday party personal narrative prompt, children have to write about an unusual, surprising, fun or funny moment at a birthday party.

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Common Core State Standards

NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.3, W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3, W.3.3.B, W.3.3.C, W.3.3.D, W.4.3, W4.3.A, W.4.3.B, W.4.3.C, W.4.3.D, W.4.3.E, W.5.3, W.5.3.A, W.5.3.B, W.5.3.C, W.5.3.D and W.5.3.E.


To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The birthday part personal narrative lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.  Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7

(The samples I give in the lesson outline below come from sample #2 above (when the dog stepped on a new toy.)

birthday party personal narrative

Tell the Story Line

Tell the storyline: “You’re at a birthday party doing something.  All of a sudden, an unusual, surprising, fun or funny thing happens.”


While kids LOVE to talk about birthday parties, I’ve noticed that it takes them some time to really think of a “moment” to write about.  After telling the story line, give your students plenty of time to think through their past and decide on a special birthday party moment to use in their writing.

Give them some examples to help them think as well.

I taught this lesson not too long ago to a small group of 5 students, ages 6-9.  Some of their surprise moments were:

  1. At a gym party, one girl fell off the parallel bars.
  2. At a friend’s party, the dog stepped on a new toy the boy had just received and broke it.
  3. An example I gave was when the folding table collapsed while I was cutting my father’s birthday cake!

Show the 5 Sections

    1. Introduction  (Time, Place, People)
    2. Before the moment
    3. The moment
    4. Reaction/Action
    5. Conclusion (Thoughts for the future)

Remember:  K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.


Guide the students through the following steps so that their birthday party personal narrative is organized and complete.

  1. To begin writing, the students hook their reader by writing sounds that are heard at the party.

Crack! Pop!, Hee-Haw!, “Happy Birthday Jackson!”, Aggh!, etc.

  1. Write when, whose party, where and who was there.  Older students can elaborate and include the weather, time of day, month, season etc.

It was summer time.  It was my friend, Jackson’s birthday.  We were at his house.  There were 7 friends there.

  1. Describe what everyone was doing BEFORE the unusual, surprising, fun or funny moment.

Jackson had opened all of his presents before I got there.  When I got there, I was watching Jackson and his friend battling with tiny robots.  He had gotten the robots for his birthday. 

  1. Next, describe the unusual, surprising, fun or funny moment.

All of a sudden, Jackson’s dog came inside and stepped on one of the robots.  The robot BROKE!  It was brand new!

  1. Write what everyone did after the unusual, surprising, fun or funny moment.

We all grabbed a nerf gun and started shooting at the dog.  He started running away.  Jackson was mad.  I was mad too.

  1. Lastly, write any lessons that were learned or thoughts for the future.

If I ever have a dog at a party I’ll make sure he’s outside or tied up away from my new presents!


Once the students are finished writing they can add a birthday art accent.

Student Samples

Here are two other samples of students’ work ages 6 and 11.

birthday party personal narrative

birthday party personal narrative

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


Memory Match-Sentences

This sentence game was created to practice spelling words that are particularly hard for students such as friend, every, very, to name a few.

Use more difficult words for older students.

Common Core State Standards

This writing activity can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.1.F, L.K.2, L.K.2.A, L.K.2.B, L.1.2, L.1.2.B, L.1.2.D, L.2.2, L.3.2, L.3.2.E, L.4.1.G, L.4.2, L.4.2.A, L.5.2, L.5.2.E, RF.K.3.C, RF.1.3.G, RF.2.3.F and RF.3.3.D.  It covers a lot!

Pairs of Memory Cards

You’ll first need cards from a standard memory games.  I’ve picked up a couple games at garages sales and thrift stores for no more than a dollar.


Students like this game because it gets them moving around the room.

Here’s how to play!
  1. First, tell the student which focus word they’re going to use (i.e. VERY).
  2. Second, choose pairs of matching cards so that you have enough cards for each student.  Give each student one card.
  3. Third, tell the students that they can’t show anyone their card or tell what their card is.

memory match sentence

4.  Fourth, students have to mill around the room using body language to describe their card.  They try to find the other student with the match to their card.

memory match sentence memory match sentence

5.  Once the students have found their match, they sit down next to each other.

6.  After all pairs of students are seated, choose one pair to go to the whiteboard to write a sentence using the word on their card AND a specific word that you have chosen for them to work on (i.e. friend).

You can also have the students write on individual whiteboards*:

Because of the time that it takes to mill around the room and match the cards, we usually only play 2-3 rounds of this game.

Each student in each pair writes a sentence to complete one round.  You can use the same focus word or a different word for the rounds 2 and 3.

Print the Instructions

Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.

Past Verbs that end in ED

birthday part personal narrative

Tale or Truth-Telling your own stories (Talking Game #6)

Short Video

Take this lesson a step further and show this short 4 minute video about Peppa the Pig’s birthday party.