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 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 life events. The right side shows small moments. The left side shows a big moment. You will miss many details if you write about one of these topics.

  Instead of Writing About a Big Event Try Writing About a Small Moment
  the beach playing in the sand
  a snow day sledding
  playing with friends winning a game of tag
  visiting the zoo playing in the sand


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

Writing about a small moment begins with a catchy line to interest the reader. Here are examples to start writing about waking up late.

    "Wake up," my Mom shouted at me.
    There was 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.
    I slowly opened my eyes and saw the sunlight streaming through the blinds.


The next part of writing about a small moment includes the beginning, middle, and end.

In this part of your writing, include how you feel and add some dialogue; describe people, places, and things using your five senses.

Watch the read-aloud video below for the story Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee 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 in your own words.

  • Did the author use her five senses to describe the people, places, and things in the book?

Continue to the Got It? section to write about your own adventure!

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