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Tracy Malpiglis Lesson Plan

Writing in the First Person

Grade Level: 4
Students will be able to:
Understand the features of a first person narrative
Smart Notebook Slides
Excerpts from Eye of the Storm
Writing Prompt Paper
Student-Created Writing Rubric
1. Motivation The teacher will share a high intensity video with students that follows a small
group of storm chasers as they embark on exciting adventures. Students will catch a glimpse of
what the life of a storm chaser is like. After the video clip ends, students will Turn and Talk
with their partner about what they just observed.
2. Introduction The teacher will set the purpose for the lesson by discussing the fact that Eye
of the Storm is a story written in third person by Stephen Kramer, who was not present for the
action of Hurricane Andrew. She will express her desire to understand what the story would
sound like if it had been written in first person. Students will again Turn and Talk to answer
the question: What does it mean when a writing piece is written in first person?
She will then introduce students to the learning target of this lesson:
I can construct a writing piece from a first person perspective.
The teacher will explain to students that they will be trading places with Warren Faidley to go on
a creative writing adventure in which they will be asked to write about Hurricane Andrew from
his perspective.
3. Skill and Strategy Practice The teacher will explain that in order to feel connected with
Warren Faidley, we must first closely re-read segments of the selection text so that we can
understand what Warren hears, feels, and sees, while actively chasing the storm. The teacher
will model a close read of page 417 from the selection text on the SmartBoard during which
certain phrases will be pulled and added onto a graphic organizer to differentiate between what
Warren heard, felt, and saw. She will be sure to highlight phrases, such as: the roar of the
wind, pipes falling to the floor, and the parking garage is shaking.

Students will work independently to continue a focused close reading of pages 418 419 from
Eye of the Storm in the same fashion. For some of the struggling readers, key phrases will be
pre-highlighted. After ten minutes, students will share their close reading findings in a Turn and
The teacher will then introduce students to the actual writing component of the lesson. She will
model utilizing the graphic organizers constructed during the close read to structure her first
person narrative.
4. Differentiated Instruction Students will then begin crafting their writing pieces for a 15
minute period. During this time, relaxation music will be played and a timer will be displayed
on the SmartBoard. Students are well aware of the fact that, like athletes, they are working to
strengthen their stamina.
The advanced writers will be challenged to incorporate all six of this weeks related vocabulary
words into meaningful sentences within their writing piece. These words have been provided to
them on their writing papers.
A few struggling writers will be pulled to conference with the teacher at the back round table,
where they will receive guided instruction and support. They will be provided with a cheat
sheet of open-ended sentence starters to help them begin the writing process. Once these
students are a few sentences into their writing pieces, the teacher will begin to circulate around
the room.
Open-ended sentence starter cheat sheets will be made available to all students. Students will
take responsibility for their own learning and are encouraged to take one if they find themselves
struggling to complete the task.
5. Closure After 15 minutes of writing have passed, students will have an opportunity to look
over their work, revising/editing as needed. Students will be reminded to consider the nonnegotiables while looking through their work. On the last page of each writers packet, students
will take a few minutes to assess their own work against the student-created rubric. Students will
have an opportunity to reflect on the purpose and value of the lesson and formulate an individual
writing goal for next time.
Informal assessments will be conducted as students participate in Turn and Talks with
their partners.
Students will also be informally assessed on their participation during whole class
discussions and their receptiveness during individual writing conferences.
Students will be formally assessed on their ability to complete the writing task.
Students will also be formally assessed on their ability to accurately complete their own
personal assessment rubric.
If time permits, students will be encouraged to pick out the three best sentences they
crafted during todays writing session to share with a partner.