Students complete a personal narrative writing prompt about a festive food.
A couple summers ago, I taught a Personal Narratives writing camp just before the 4th of July. It was watermelon season and I wanted to treat the kids to the refreshing juicy snack.
I love to bring food into my writing workshops and camps. It highly motivates the writers and delightfully rewards them for their work.
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Festivals and Foods
For one of the prompts that week, I decided to tie in festivities and food. The campers had to write a personal narrative about a favorite family food for a specific holiday tradition.
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.
NOW THE LESSON!
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The personal narrative writing prompt 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
Tell the Story Line
Tell the storyline. “You’re going to briefly describe a holiday tradition and favorite family food. Then you’re going to write about one time when something fun, funny, terrible or unusual happened with the food.”
Give the students plenty of time to think through their past and decide on a story about a favorite holiday food. Give some examples to help them think:
- Grandma decided to add anise to the favorite Christmas buckeyes—yuck!
- The watermelon rolled off the table and split into many pieces
- My mom and I baked an American flag cake that the family wanted every year after.
Show the 5 Sections
Introduce the Holiday/Food
As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction: K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.
NOW TO WRITE!
Guide the students through the following steps:
- Begin by telling what your favorite holiday is and why. Write about your favorite food. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. The fireworks are colorful and loud. Plus, my whole family eats an American flag cake. We didn’t always eat an American flag cake.
2. Next, start the personal narrative by describing the time, place and people for the unusual happening. Two years ago, my mom and I were in the kitchen. We wanted to make something special for the 4th of July.
Normal Activity Before the Memorable Moment
- Third, describe the normal holiday activity that was happening before the memorable moment. We looked through magazines. There were red, white and blue cookies, pies and cupcakes. Everything looked really good.
- Fourth, write how the memorable moment happened. Include details. Then, I saw an American flag cake! It had blueberries for the white stars and blue background. It had strawberries for the red stripes. We decided to make it!
5. Lastly, write how people reacted and thoughts for the future. Everyone loved the cake! They all talked about it. Now, we make it every year for the 4th of July.
Print the Lesson
Here are some samples of food art accents:
Students are free to draw and color whichever food fits their writing!
Words with # of letters–(The campers used Patricia Polacco books to look for words)
Spin.Describe.Guess.–(Talking Game #5-describing foods)
Tale or Truth-telling your own stories (Talking Game #6)