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Fourth grade

Narrative writing unit

Day 4: sequencing (beginning, middle, end)
Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students will learn to write a story in a naturally unfolding
sequence of events: beginning, middle, end. Teacher will a mentor text, in which the author

describes the characters, setting, and initial problem at the beginning, explains in detail

what happens to the characters in the middle/climax of the story, and ends his story with

the solution to his problem. As a class, we will identify the beginning, middle, end of this

story on a timeline, and jot down smaller details that happened throughout the story.

Students will understand the importance of the sequence of events in a story unfolding in
a logical/natural order. Students will begin to plan their story by creating their own timeline,
identifying what will happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their personal narratives.

Time: 60 minutes

Resources or Materials Needed

• Mentor Text: How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon

• Chart Paper

• Markers

• Student Writing Notebooks

• Glue

• Pencils


• SMART Board

• Chromebooks with Internet Access (to access Transitions game)

Performance Objective: Given a timeline prompt, students will organize a specific sequence

of events in a logically/naturally unfolding order. Student work will be formatively

evaluated using a criterion-based rubric, in which a minimum of 3 out of 4 is achieved.

Step 1: Pre-Instructional Activities

• Students will engage in an web-based activity at to practice utilizing transitional words

and phrases that will later help their readers move smoothly through their story during the

natural unfolding of events that will take place.

• Students are asked to take out Google Chromebooks and access the webpage listed


• Students will play the game Star Rumble for ten minutes before being asked to close

their Chromebooks.

Step 2: Content Presentation

• Students will join teacher at carpet area

• Teacher will read narrative mentor text aloud to students

• Students will discuss the sequence in which the story unfolded: what happened at the

beginning, middle, and end of the story?

• Teacher will allow students to share with their shoulder partner before returning back to
a whole group discussion.

• Teacher will guide the discussion, while writing ideas onto the chart paper (pre-labeled

with a rough “timeline” that has BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END written underneath in

corresponding locations)

• First, teacher will jot down the MAIN beginning, middle, and end points, and then will fill in

the rest of the timeline with smaller details that filled the story.

• Teacher will explain the importance of story telling in sequence (in the natural order that

things would occur) to keep the reader engaged, interested, and to avoid any confusion!

• Optional: Teacher may give examples of what would happen if this story was told out of

order, asking students to imagine that the middle of the story was told first, then the
ending, followed by the beginning. It wouldn’t make much sense!

Step 3: Learner Participation

• Students will return to their seats

• Students are given instructions – today they will be creating a timeline in their writing

notebooks of the main things that happened in their story – beginning, middle, end.
• At seats, students will be asked to take out writing notebooks.

• Students are instructed to open to a blank page in their notebook and title the page

“Story Timeline”

• Students are instructed to refer back to their brainstorming page, where they jotted

down specific ideas/details/moments for their selected apple seed yesterday, as well as

my example on the board, in order to create their timeline.

• First, students are expected to fill in the “beginning, middle, end” sections, and then fill in

the negative space with details (as modeled on chart paper).

• Early finishers may turn to the next page in their notebook and begin drafting.

Step 4: Assessment

• During learner participation, teacher will be walking around, formatively assessing

students on their sequencing timeline using a criterion-based rubric.

Step 5: Follow-Through Activities

• Students will share with their table “face-partner” (across from them) and “shoulder-

partner” (next to them) to make sure that the story follows a natural sequence of events

– beginning, middle, end is in order and makes sense.

• Criterion-Based Rubric (Page 5)