This mini lesson on prewriting strategies for 5th-8th graders is designed to help students generate ideas for a personal narrative essay in which the writer tells a story about a real-life experience.  Prewriting is particularly important because it helps the student plan how to start the narrative essay and to think about the details to include.  The four strategies covered in this lesson (using sentence starters, freewriting, listing, and mind mapping) can help writers select which personal experiences have the most significance for them.  If the writer feels a strong connection to their topic, then it will be easier for them to convey a message and write an effective narrative essay.Sentence starters is a technique to help students understand the need to focus on a personal experience and can help them frame the initial sentences of their essay.  Freewriting helps writers get started without overthinking, which can cause more anxiety and sometimes leads to writer's block.  Freewriting helps students write continuously for a set period of time in order to get initial thoughts on paper. Listing and mind mapping are brainstorming techniques which are both helpful in generating essay topics, themes, and supporting details.Throughout the lesson, students can practice each technique, so that by the end of the lesson they can begin writing the first paragraph of their personal narrative essay.
English Language Arts
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School, Community College / Lower Division
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
Date Added:
Creative Commons Attribution Creative Commons Attribution
Media Format:
Downloadable docs, Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML




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