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Second Grade Writing Lesson #2/ Narrative Prompt

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 45 minutes.


Students will write a personal narrative about their best day of school.

Main Curriculum Tie:
English Language Arts Grade 2Writing Standard 3
Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

Teacher Materials: Selected books:

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco
  • Mr. Lincoln's Way, Patricia Polacco
  • Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes
  • Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes

Student Materials:

  • Graphic organizer (web or 8 squares)
  • Writing paper
  • Pencil

Instructional Procedures:

  1. Read a selected story/stories.
  2. Discuss what happened that made the day (in the story) so great.
  3. Pre-write (plan). Have students brainstorm ideas about their best day of school. Mention that they may draw experiences from preschool, as well.
  4. Have students turn to a partner and share ideas about their best day in school.
  5. Model the use of the graphic organizer using one of the shared stories.
  6. Write. Have students create their own graphic organizer, starting with their title.
  7. Using their graphic organizers, have each student write draft sentences about his or her best day at school.
  8. Give students time to assess their papers, using the student checklist.
  9. Let students share their completed stories with a partner, in small groups, or through the "author's chair."
  10. Tally all students' self-assessed scores on the rubric for each of the Six Traits to ascertain the class' strengths and weaknesses.

Writing Prompt: Write about the best day you have ever had at school. Give lots of details so your reader can picture the thing that happened.


Exemplary Example (pdf)


  • The topic is narrow and manageable (i.e., What happened during a walking report card?).
  • The pacing is well controlled and moves nicely from beginning to end.
  • The writer's voice is personal and engaging.
  • The language and phrasing are natural. (Example: "We sang Zip-a-dee-do-da.")
  • The student uses a variety of transitions between sentences and thoughts.
  • The punctuation is accurate (i.e., the student appropriately hyphenated "Zip-a-dee-do-da"). Spelling is also generally correct.


Average Example (pdf)


  • The writer attempts to support ideas, but the reader is left with questions. For example: "We used water and slip." What is "slip"?
  • The sequencing shows some thought and logic. However, while the topic is supposed to include one day, the writer includes activities spanning more than one day. The writer occasionally supports the main topic, but not always.
  • The voice is reasonably sincere, but the writing is humdrum and "risk-free."
  • Words and phrases are functional, with only one or two fine moments.
  • Too many sentences begin the same way. Example: "We..."
  • End punctuation is usually correct, and most words are capitalized correctly.


Utah LessonPlans
Grace Wayman

Created Date :
Aug 15 2005 09:53 AM

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