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Imaginative and Personal Experience Narratives

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1 Imaginative and Personal Experience Narratives
Personal Narratives Imaginative and Personal Experience Narratives

2 Before We Write our Personal Experience Essay…
We are going to learn and practice some important strategies to help improve our writing skills! Interesting opening paragraphs The Zoom The Five Media Questions

3 Introductions Introductions are an important piece of any story. They are intended to increase interest in the reader and get them hooked into the story. Think of the opening as the exposition to your story. You may want to include a detailed description of the setting or main character. You may want to introduce part of the conflict of your story. You definitely want to give the reader some direction (What are you writing your story about?)

4 Well Thought out openings
An important strategy to use with narrative writing is a good opening paragraph that “hooks” the reader. Here are some common ways to open a narrative: Sound Effects Statement Character Thoughts Question Character Actions Dialogue Character Description Setting

5 Examples of Openings Pulling on my heavy jacket and plunging my hands into my warm mittens, I wondered what the animals at the zoo did when it was cold. I was getting ready to find out. Our class was headed to the Soco Gardens Zoo on a freezing cold day last winter. (Character Action and Thoughts) Thin layers of ice covered every branch of the trees as a blustery wind forced all of us to pull our coats even tighter around our bodies. Even though the vapor from our breathing was visible each time we spoke, nothing could stop our excitement. Todays was the day we had waited for all year. Our class was going to the Soco Gardens Zoo. (Setting) This past January my class boarded a large bus and drove to the Soco Gardens Zoo. It was a wintery day but the cold did not chill our enthusiasm for this exciting trip. We had been studying different animals and this was our chance to see these wild beasts up close. (Statement) On my head was a gray wool toboggan topped off with a fuzzy light pink pompom. My feet were encased in three pairs if wool socks and a pair of scruffy brown leather lace up boots I had borrowed from my sister. I could barely move in my layers of clothing as I sat on the bus with my class as we waited to go to the Soco Gardens Zoo last winter. (Character Description)

6 Examples of openings Splash! The sound I hear all about me as young people jump into the pool. It was my 3rd birthday party at the public pool and I was finally going to learn how to swim. (Sound Effects) “Three please!” my mother said to the lady at the ticket booth. The lady handed her a map and three entry tickets. “Welcome to Carowinds!” I excitedly read off the sign. I looked at the map with my big brother when he pointed to a picture of a roller coaster. I was looking forward to riding the monstrous coaster for the first time. (Dialogue)

7 Make your own opening Pretend you are writing about going to your first ever baseball game. Pick two of the types of openings and use the picture to the left for your story and to inspire you.

8 Practice Narrative You will be writing a narrative about a trip to
Dairy Queen and you will be using some new strategies to help you write the story. Strategies you will be using: -Well thought out openings (which we just practiced) -Zoom -The Five Media Questions

9 Opening to your Story Prompt: Example Openings:
You earned all “A’s” on your report card and your parents tell you that will take you to Dairy Queen to choose anything you want off of the menu. You have an important decision to make! Example Openings: The day had finally arrived. My parents promised that if I made all “A’s” on my report card I could have ANYTHING I wanted at Dairy Queen. Now THAT is an important decision! Stepping out of the gate that marked the exit of my school I took a deep breath of the cool, crisp autumn air. The sky was a bright blue and the ruddy desert sun was heading for the Western horizon. I was keen to the beauty of the fall afternoon because I was so incredibly excited. I had just received my quarter one report card. After each subject in the report card was a clear and bold letter ‘A’! I was going to Dairy Queen for my reward!

10 Zoom A zoom is the concept of narrowing your focus in the writing.
Most of your stories thus far have given equal to all the events. Instead on focusing on all of the events, you are going to give greater focus to just one event. One type of Zoom is the UMBRELLA zoom In the umbrella zoom, the writer may change locations, but the central idea will go with the writer from place to place. Ex: Shopping for a gift for Mom Another type of zoom is the LOCATION Zoom The writer stays in one setting and really elaborates on what is happening at that location. Ex: Riding a roller coaster at a theme park

11 Mark McGwire’s Record Tying Homerun
Even before I opened my eyes on that eventful morning, I was thinking about what might happen. Would this be the day that my name went down in baseball history? More than anything else I did not want to disappoint my fans today. As the game unfolded later that night the Cubs were ahead 2 to 0. Anxiously, I awaited my next turn at bat. When the time finally arrived, I slowly walked over to home plate. Surrounding me was the pulsating sound of all the fans cheering me on: “Go Mark! This is your moment!” After adjusting my batting gloves, digging my cleats into the dirt, and positioning myself in the batter’s box, I gripped the bat so tight that I could feel the blood rushing through my fingers. Perspiration popped out on my brow and my heart thundered as I glared into the eyes of the opposing pitcher-Cubs ace Steve Trachsel. As Steve wound up and got ready to pitch, I kept telling myself to concentrate on the ball. May bat was ready, held in the same way I held it before all the homeruns in the past. My muscles twitched, anxious to release the energy pent up within me. In an instant the ball left the pitcher’s hand I thought to myself “This is it!”

12 Mark McGwire’s record tying homerun cont.
As if in slow motion, I felt myself swing the bat around and make perfect contact with the ball with the sweetest CRACK! I have ever heard. The swing of my bat sent the ball on a frozen rope away from me down the left field line. The crowd was suddenly hushed as thousands of eyes watched to witness the destination of the ball. Two forces tugged within me. At once I wanted both run speedily around the bases and just to stand still and watch the ball I had just crushed. I ran towards first base wanting to hug the first base coach so badly I almost forgot to touch the bag. Awkwardly, I had to go back to the bag, touch it and I continue on my way around the bases getting congratulated by each of the Cub’s infielders on my historic trip around the bases. As I reached home plate I realized my dream had come true: I had just broken Roger Maris’s record for most homeruns hit in a single season. All of my teammates were at home plate to meet; my heart was pounding with pride and appreciation for all the fans and team members who had supported me through this journey.

13 Mark McGwire’s record tying homerun cont.
I played many more games and I hit eight more homeruns that season. But as I look back, none compare to the one I hit the night when I made my dream come true. I had finally made baseball history. What kind of Zoom is used in this narrative? What do you notice about the writing style?

14 The five media questions
One technique used to elaborate one’s writing is the use of the Five Media Questions. It is the job of news commentators to help viewers “be there” when something unusual or disastrous happens. There are two strategies used by newscasters to make this happen 1. Slowed –down, step-by-step replay of the actual event 2. Personal Interviews with those involved 1. What did you do when this happened? 2. What were those around you doing? 3. What were you thinking? 4. How did you feel? 5. Can you describe what you saw?

15 The five media questions Decision at Dairy Queen
Situation You earned all “A’s” on your report card and your parents tell you that will take you to Dairy Queen to choose anything you want off of the menu. You have an important decision to make! Opening: The day had finally arrived. My parents promised that if I made all “A’s” on my report card I could have ANYTHING I wanted at Dairy Queen. No THAT is an important decision! You are going to continue this story in a slowed-down, step-by-step replay much like the Mark McGwire story you read. I will guide you through the process with the following prompts.

16 The five Media questions Decision at Dairy Queen
1. In one sentence, get out of the car, into the building and in line. Use a a transition phrase or device. (Before mom got the keys out of the car…) 2. What did you do? Write one sentence that answers this question. 3. Look at the menu and at all of your choices. What are you thinking? Write one sentence that answers this question. 4. Look around and focus on one person in line with you. In one sentence tell what this person is doing. Give this person an outstanding feature or characteristic so the reader can visualize him or her. 5. Now focus on an inanimate object in the Dairy Queen, such as chocolate sauce dropped on the floor, a napkin curled up on a table, crumbs on the floor, etc. Describe what you see in one sentence. 6. How are you feeling? Answer this question in one sentence. 7. In one sentence, describe what you ordered.

17 The five media questions decision at dairy queen
The day had finally arrived. My parents promised that if I made all “A’s” on my report card I could have ANYTHING I wanted at Dairy Queen. Now THAT is an important decision! After my father pulled into the dusty parking lot, I hopped out of the car, slammed passenger side door, and quickly scooted into the serpentine line extending from the Dairy Queen counter. I waited at the end of the line not so patiently pondering the myriad of delicious dairy treats DQ had to offer. My eyes were darting up and down, left and right, scanning the menu looking for the perfect treat to satisfy my sugar tooth. Then my concentration was broken—a young girl about three feet tall with a blue ribbon tied into her curly golden hair, was tugging at her father’s pant leg asking for a vanilla sugar cone. In her hand was a small stuffed bear whose right eye had been missing for some time; a single thread was all that remained where an eye had once been attached. The simplicity of her request, the child’s untarnished innocence, and the love she had for her bear put my racing mind at ease. When it was my turn to order, I asked politely for a simple vanilla ice cream cone as well.

18 Closings While the opening paragraph s important in a piece of narrative writing, the closing paragraph can be even more powerful. Some types of closings include: Circular Endings: Allows the reader to visit some part of the beginning of the story. The story ends where it began but with new understanding. Poignant Endings: Evokes emotions through something the character has learned or felt. They touch the heart or can even bring tears. Endings that have a message: These teach a lesson or have a moral or big idea. They relate to human experience and can teach us about life. Restatement of an idea: These summarize the events or facts adding insight, reflection, or knowledge learned.

19 Closings continued Endings that leave the reader wondering: This type of ending is powerful in that it stays with readers as they try to come to some type of closure within themselves by figuring out what might happen next. They leave the reader with something to think about. Surprise Endings: These endings differ from what readers might have expected. “Waking up from a dream” is out of the question!!!!

20 Examples Taking my seat at the open booth next to a smudged up window with my parents and my reward in hand gave me a sense of satisfaction and pride. The look in my father’s eye and the slight grin on my mother’s face was proof enough that they were proud of me as well. Hard work truly does pay off! The remnants of the early summer daylight pierced through the window casting my parents in a warm glow as we sat down to enjoy our treats. The vanilla soft serve ice cream hit my tongue and sent my taste buds into a dizzying dance. I was confident that I had made the right decision.

21 Editing your Narrative
On the following slide you will see a Tree Map that you will use to edit your narrative. You will be editing for: Word Variety Word Quality and Sophistication Sentence Variety Sentence Fluency Punctuation Variety

22 Examining Sentences for Variety and Quality
How many words are in each sentence? What are the 1st four words in each sentence? What strong verbs are in each sentence? End Punctuation? What sophisticated language appears in each sentence?

23 Imaginative Narrative
Problem/Solution Format/Organization

24 Imaginative Narrative Prompt
Your parents ask you to go up to the attic to retrieve your Halloween costumes, but you notice a strange wooden box that you have never seen before…You open it and…

25 Elements of the Imaginative Narrative
Characters Setting Problem/Conflict Attempts to solve or deal with the conflict Solution/Resolution or Ending

26 Flow Map Opening Main Event 1 Main Event 2 Main Event 3 Closing

27 Introductions Writing the Exposition
As we know, a good exposition will introduce the main characters, setting, and conflict within a story. Expositions should also help set the tone and mood of your short narrative. In order to accomplish this feat you mush use quality adjectives and adverbs as well as precise and varied nouns and verbs.

28 Introductions Writing the Exposition
There are a few different techniques authors use in order to write the exposition and hook the reader into their narrative. Some of these include: Character description (Direct and Indirect) Setting Description Character Dialogue (When the Characters are speaking) Sound Effects Character Thoughts Character Actions We Never want to use old, boring, or cliché openings such as “Once upon a time” or “One day…” etc…

29 Example Opening Paragraphs
“Maaarrrrkkk…” “Whaaattt Moooommmm?” “Can you please go up to the attic and bring down your Halloween costumes for you and your sister?” Begrudgingly, Mark put down his Xbox controller and stomped up to the second floor of his two-story adobe style home nestled just outside of Phoenix, Arizona on that All Hallows Eve. Mark reached for the cord to the ceiling door that led to the attic and gave it a solid tug. The door opened and the stairs unfolded reaching to the ground. The smell of the damp air and old cardboard boxes reached Mark’s nose. A rare, light October rain had cleansed the city the night before, and the sky was still covered in a blanket of dark, ominous clouds. Feeling a little bummed about the weather, and a little too old at thirteen to go out trick or treating, Mark trudged up the stairs into the attic and pulled on the cord to the attic light. The light blazed on then sizzle and a dull pop. “Oh great,” Mark mumbled. The bulb was dead. Waving away the cobwebs from his face he made way to the dark corner of the attic where an old, torn box marked “Halloween Stuff” lay on dusty plywood. Kneeling down to pick up the box, Mark caught a slight glimmer out of the corner of his eye. A small wooden chest, about the size of a shoebox, with a brass latch holding the lid closed lay buried in middle of some old clothes. “That’s strange,” Mark said to himself in a soft intrigued voice. “Why haven’t I seen you before?” Mark tossed the old clothes to the side, a conglomeration of old baby clothes and a few of his dad’s torn work jeans, and picked up the ebony chest. Scratches and nicks covered the surface as well as and old script, that look like English, but was undecipherable in the poor light.

30 Rising Action: Build the tension to the Climax
Write at least two to three paragraphs in the body in which you build the tension to the climax of the story. Describe the conflict that the main characters face and then write about the attempts the main characters make to try and solve the conflict. Include details that make the conflict complex/interesting and cause the characters to change. Use words that will show your character’s personality and feelings about details in the plot. Tell me what your characters are saying or thinking.

31 Rising Action Mark ran his fingers over the glossy surface of the box; an electric sensation passed through his finger tips and ran up and down his spine. “Whoa…” he murmured even more intrigued. A tingling sensation began to fester in the pit of his stomach and rose up into his chest; the same feeling he had experienced on countless rollercoaster rides. Doubt started to creep out of the recesses of his mind. Conflicted, he wasn’t sure if he should open the box. He began to put the box underneath the pile of clothes, but stopped abruptly and flung open the lid of the box as if he was no longer in control of his body. Inside the box laying on a piece of green felt in-between to wooden pegs was a black candle. Mark reached in the box and pulled out the candle. It was cool to the touch and smooth. light shimmered off of the gold swirl design that covered the outside of the candle as he brought it closer to his face. The wick was charred and the tip of the candle slightly melted. Mark brought the candle closer to his nose and gave it a whiff. “Smells like rotten eggs…” whispered Mark and began to cough. “Light the candle…” a soft raspy voice whispered from somewhere in the attic filling the air as it reverberated off of the ceiling rafters.

32 You will be writing a personal experience narrative in which you learned something about yourself or some life lesson in general.

33 Prewriting-The Circle Map

34 Tree Map Make a tree map that has four branches. The branches are:
Scenes Key People Main Events What did you learn?

35 I learned that Christmas wasn’t about getting what I want.
Memorable Christmas What did you Learn? Key People Main Events Scenes Did not get CD Player Me (happy, angry with mom and dad) I learned that Christmas wasn’t about getting what I want. Grandma’s (cheerful, decorated, presents) Saw My Brothers Mom (caring, insistent) Made Choice Appreciated what I received Dad (Disappointed) Car (dreary, plain, white wash) Thought about it and thanked mom Brothers(excited, glowing smile)

36 Flow Map Opening Main Event 1 Main Event 2 Main Event 3 Closing

37 Create your opening paragraph

38 Flow Map Life lessons usually occur when one least expects them. That’s what happened to me one year when I was in high-school. Christmas evening had come upon us at my grandmother’s house in Peoria, Illinois. A beautiful blanket of crystal white snow had covered the landscape the night before. The sound of footsteps and the laughter of my young cousins filled the air as my entire family began to gather in the living room around the Christmas tree, as was our tradition. We began to open presents My brothers opened their presents I opened my Present They looked excited Youngest to oldest Everyone was cheerful Got what I wanted Sound of ripping and crumpling paper Started to feel worried The following day grey suffocating clouds had filled the sky setting a dark and dreary mood, eliminating any Christmas magic that attempted to remain. As my family and I drove the lonely stretch of read that lead to our home in our crowded mini-van, I did not let the dreary setting affect my mood. I finally had a real understanding of what Christmas is all about.

39 What’s Next Zoom Incorporate Feelings and Emotions
Embedded transitions words, phrases and devices. Zap (eliminate unnecessary information) The 5 Media Questions Carefully chosen precise language

40 Carefully chosen precise language
Carefully chosen and precise language makes the writing more intense and adds voice. This strategy involves using strong verbs, precise nouns, and unique and explicit adjectives. Examples of Vague versus Vivid language: Vague: The food was unappetizing. Vivid: The pale turkey slices floated limply in a pool of murky fat. Vague: I was tired. Vivid: My eyelids felt as if gravity itself was yanking them downward with such force that I had no choice lay down in bed and let the warm wave of slumber over take me. It is important to use figurative language to make writing more precise.

41 Well thought-out closings
While the opening paragraph is important in a piece of narrative writing, the closing paragraph can be even more powerful. There are several different types of closings: Circular Endings: These endings add a sense of closure and allow readers to revisit some part of the beginning of the story that might not have seemed important at first. In other words, the story ends where it begins but with a new understanding by the character. Poignant Endings: These endings evoke emotions through something the characters has learned or felt. They are the endings that touch the heart. Endings that have a Message: These endings teach a lesson or have a moral or big idea. They usually teach something about life. Restatement of an idea: This type of ending summarizes the events or facts, adding the essence of insight, reflection or knowledge learned.

42 Well thought-out closings
Endings that Leave Readers Wondering: This type of ending is powerful in that it stays with readers as they try to come to some type of closure within themselves by figuring out what might happen next. It leaves the reader with something to think about. Surprise Endings: These ending differ from what readers might have expected. Since “Waking up from a Dream: is so commonplace and stupid, is should never be used and doesn’t qualify as a surprise ending. Guided Questions to help create a closing: Why do you remember this experience? Did you learn anything, hope anything, or wish anything?

43 Flow Map Life lessons usually occur when one least expects them. That’s what happened to me one year when I was in high-school. Christmas evening had come upon us at my grandmother’s house in Peoria, Illinois. A beautiful blanket of crystal white snow had covered the landscape the night before. The sound of footsteps and the laughter of my young cousins filled the air as my entire family began to gather in the living room around the Christmas tree, as was our tradition. We began to open presents My brothers opened their presents I opened my Present Looked at my parents Understood what they taught me Decided to enjoy the evening They looked excited Youngest to oldest Everyone was cheerful Got what I wanted Sound of ripping and crumpling paper Started to feel worried The following day grey suffocating clouds had filled the sky setting a dark and dreary mood, eliminating any Christmas magic that attempted to remain. As my family and I drove the lonely stretch of read that lead to our home in our crowded mini-van, I did not let the dreary setting affect my mood. I finally had a real understanding of what Christmas is all about.

44 Life lessons usually occur when one least expects them
Life lessons usually occur when one least expects them. That’s what happened to me one year when I was in high-school. Christmas evening had come upon us at my grandmother’s house in Peoria, Illinois. A beautiful blanket of crystal white snow had covered the landscape the night before. The sound of footsteps and the laughter of my young cousins echoed in the halls as my entire family began to gather in the living room around the Christmas tree, as was our tradition. My uncle began to hand out presents once everyone had settled down into comfortable positions. We always hand out presents from youngest to oldest, and everyone had to sit and watch one person open their present before next person could open theirs. Being the second oldest cousin, this process could be quite boring as I was one of the last to get to open my presents. I patiently awaited my turn, watching my youngers cousins open their treasures. The shredding of wrapping paper and the screams of delight filled the air and added to the excitement of the moment for all those interested. All I could think about was the Sony portable CD player with the ten second skip protection I wanted. I had begged and begged my parents for this remarkable piece of technology all December long, and the moment was finally approaching when I was actually going to have it in my hands. My brothers turn to open their presents suddenly arrived, that meant my turn was just around the corner. My brothers, like a honey badger attacking a beehive, shredded their wrapping paper to pieces revealing their honey: the very CD player I had so desperately wanted! Was there some mistake? Did my parents get us all the same thing? A mixed wave of worry, fear, and anger began to wash over me and settle into the pit of my stomach.

45 In the heat of my greedy panic mode, I had lost track of time and didn’t realize it was my turn to open my gift until my uncle was holding the wrapped box in front of my face. I grabbed the parcel with my sweaty hands and placed it on my lap. The first detail I noticed was that this package was not the same size and shape as the box my brothers received. My heart sank even further into despair for I new immediately I did not get the prize I so desperately wanted. I slowly and dejectedly untied the meticulously tied bow and tore open the perfectly wrapped box that my mother had wrapped with so much care. I pulled out of the debris a brand new black leather jacket. A rage of anger started to creep out of the pit in my stomach and tears wanted to stream from my eyes. Then I looked at my parents dead in their eyes. I saw the smiles spread wide across their faces, waiting for my reaction to the gift they had chosen especially for me. I saw true joy and happiness emanating from eyes. Then all of that anger and greed that had built up inside of me over the last few minutes turned into inconsolable guilt. What was wrong with me? Had I lost sight of what this holiday was all about? The fact was that the meaning of this holiday was completely lost to me and I had never experienced it until that moment. Christmas wasn’t about presents, it was about spending time with my family and showing them how much I loved them. What had I done lately to show my parents that I loved them? They bought me this incredibly nice jacket and I hardly got them anything. I walked to my parents through the mounting piles of refuse and toys and gave each of them the biggest hug I had ever have them in my life. I put on my jacket and wore it for the rest of the night. I cherished that gift for many years until I finally wore it out.

46 The following day grey suffocating clouds had filled the sky setting a dark and dreary mood, eliminating any Christmas magic that attempted to remain. As my family and I drove the lonely stretch of read that lead to our home in our crowded mini-van, I did not let the dreary setting affect my mood. I finally had a real understanding of what Christmas is all about. During that long and boring drive home, I decided to take all the money I had received from my aunts and uncles for Christmas and buy something really nice for my parents.


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