Personal Narratives

Contributor: Melissa LaRusso. Lesson ID: 10464

Do you think something that happened to you would be a good comic strip? Using a roller coaster, online stuff and your creativity, learn to tell an interesting story about a small moment in your life!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Have you ever visited an amusement park? You probably wanted to tell your friends all about your day. Can you think of the best part of the day? Maybe it was riding a roller coaster for the first time! How do you share the experience with them?

A personal narrative is writing about a small moment in your life, in the style of a short story.

When you write a personal narrative, you want to consider your topic. The following chart shows examples of small moments. The left side of the chart below shows an event or a big moment. If you write about one of these topics, you will miss a lot of the details.

Choose an idea from the left side of the chart, then get an idea from the right side of the chart so you can focus in on a small moment. You will be able to add lots of details to describe your story.

Instead of writing about: Try writing about a small part, such as:
the beach playing in the sand
a snow day sledding
playing with friends winning a game of tag
visiting the zoo riding a camel at the zoo


Writing about a small moment begins with a catchy line to get the reader interested. Here are examples to begin writing about waking up late:

  • Dialogue:
    • "Wake up," my Mom shouted at me.
  • Flashback:
    • There is only one time that I slept in, and it was a big mistake!
  • Sound effect:
    • "BRRRRRRRIING!" rang my alarm clock.
  • Ask a question:
    • Have you ever been late to school?
  • Action lead:
    • I jumped out of bed and raced downstairs.
  • Snapshot:
    • I slowly opened my eyes and saw the sunlight streaming through the blinds.

The next part of writing about a small moment is to include the beginning, middle, and end. In this part of your writing, be sure to include how you feel and add some dialogue; also, describe people, places, and things, using your five senses.

Watch this video "Roller Coaster" by Marla Frazee - Mr. Wil's Read-Alouds [Picture-Perfect Science] (below) to see how the author wrote about a small moment. The author of this book zoomed in on a big experience — a day at the amusement park — to write about a small part — riding a roller coaster:

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How did the author get your attention in the beginning? Retell the beginning, middle, and end to your teacher. Did the author use her five senses to describe the people, places, and things in the book?

Now that we have your attention, continue on to the Got It? section to write about your adventure!

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