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Discovering the Heart of Your Story. Food Narratives. Adapted from Oakland Schools Curriculum Unit Lesson Series Launching the Reader ’ s/Writer ’ s Notebook: Personal Narrative. Teaching Point #4: Re-Reading.

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Discovering the heart of your story

Discovering the Heart of Your Story

Food Narratives

Adapted from Oakland Schools Curriculum Unit

Lesson Series

Launching the Reader’s/Writer’s Notebook:

Personal Narrative

Teaching point 4 re reading
Teaching Point #4: Re-Reading

Writers often re-read to select an entry in the writer’s notebook to revise and publish. As they review past narratives, they discover the significance of their stories so they can expand their writing. They search for parts that surprise them, repeated words or lines or images or ideas, or a line that catches their attention.

Inspirational quote 4
Inspirational Quote #4

“Fortunately, writing is fun. Hard fun, but fun because it is hard, because it is significant play. We do not know what we will say until we say it and so we discover, by writing, what we have seen, what we have learned, what we have lived and what it means.”

- Donald Murray

What we did last time
What we did last time…

  • You “wrote under the influence” of Sandra Cisneros and tried one of the techniques we identified in her writing:

    • Dialog

    • Connections using similes, metaphors

    • Repetition

    • emotion

  • You conducted scientific research to gain information

  • You used your scientific information for a different purpose and wrote to entertain.

Today s goal
Today’s Goal

  • To find the true heart of our stories

    The heart of the story is the author’s true meaning – what he or she wants you to understand about the event and how it changed him or her.

  • Let’s reread “Eleven” to discover what we are meant to understand.

    • Things to look for: surprising parts; repeated words, lines, images, or ideas; lines that catch our attention.

  • Your turn! Finish rereading. Highlight, circle, underline. At then end: write to identify the heart of the story and state the central idea.

Turn talk
Turn & Talk

  • With your partner, decide:

    • What did you highlight and why?

    • What do you think the heart of the story is?

    • What is the central idea?

Finding the of your story
Finding the of your story...

  • Do you remember?

  • Reminder task—Work with the folks at your table arrangement.

    • Complete a multi draft read of your mentor text.

    • Identify and annotate: sensory details,

      dialog, similes, metaphors, repetition, technique, emotion, etc.

      As a group, decide what the central idea—the heart—of the story is.


Mini task cookbook writing looking for the heart of your stories
Mini-Task-Cookbook Writing...(looking for the heart of your stories)

  • Writers often reread to select an entry in the writer’s notebook to revise and publish. Review your cookbook entries.

  • Select one to reread and annotate details that seem to be connected to a central idea: parts that surprise you, repeated words or lines or images or ideas, or a line that catches your attention. Use a highlighter and label those highlighted words, lines, sections.

  • Write a statement detailing the heart of your story. How does the heart help your reader understand your story?

  • Revision plan.What is it? How does it work?

Talk about your heart
Talk about your heart...

  • TURN AND TALK: Finish the following sentence starter: “What seems to be important in my writing is _________.” Discuss with your partner why you want to take this particular draft through the writing process.

Focusing on the heart to write your personal narrative
Focusing on the heart to write YOUR personal narrative...

You will use the reading and evaluation process to focus and write a new draft or to insert passages (stuff) to revise a current draft.

  • Purpose: Entertain and involve

  • Strategy: Personal narrative (story)

  • Process:

    • Choose which line, word, image, or idea you think is important (look at your sticky note!)

    • Write it at the top of a new page in your cookbook.

    • Write a new draft that delves deeper into what you deemed important.

    • Expand and raise the quality of your story’s heart. Do this with actions, emotions, dialog, sensory description, etc.


  • Length: 3+ pages

What s next
What’s next?

  • Type your story!!

    • Log into your Google account

    • Click on Google Docs

      • Open a new document

      • Nonnegotiables

        • 12 pt. easily readable font

        • Indent the first line of each paragraph

        • Double space for easy reading

        • Name, date, hour top LEFT corner

        • Title-centered above first paragraph

        • Beginning, middle, end

        • 5 senses

        • Emotion

        • Pick one or more: dialog, repetition, simile or metaphor

        • Interesting title

        • Attention grabbing lead