Narrative Writing: Extended Nametag

TITLE: Narrative writing – organizing a pre-writing activity –

GRADE: : 3 – 7; modify accordingly (ex. one element for 3rd graders at first…)

MATERIALS/TIME REQUIRED: 3 x 5 or 5 x 7 index cards.  30-35 min.

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy:

How many of you enjoy telling or hearing a good story? Ask for (or give) some examples…talking on the phone to a friend, telling what happened on your trip, etc.)


Content Standard: Students will organize a rough outline (pre-write)

  1. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience.
  2. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience.
  3. Use concrete sensory details.
  4. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable

Collaborative: Students will think (and write) constructively.

Personal: Students will share personal history.

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Extended Nametag  p. 237 Tribes… p. 268 Discovering Gifts…

(Narrative Nametag)

Brainstorm, with your students, some “memorable moments” associated with family, that make you smile when you think of them. Now, have students write the topic of their story, or narrative, in the center of their index card.

From now on, students will write something, and then explain it to someone else, as well as hear his/her part of the story.

Upper left corner: write a word or phrase that reminds you of the event.

Upper right corner: words that describe where, and when the event took place.

Lower left corner: words that describe how you felt…smells, touch, taste, heard, etc.

Lower right corner: WHY the event is memorable…

Now have students take their card and talk to different classmates. First teacher will demonstrate, with his/her card.

1. Find a partner of opposite gender and share the upper left corner; you have one minute each to tell about what you wrote.

2. Find a new partner (someone who you DON’T sit with) and tell about the upper right corner.

3.  New partner…lower left

4. New partner…lower right


After sharing, it’s time to write! Have students get a clean sheet of paper or write on the back of their index card.  The first sentence starts with “I will always remember….

Then, using the index card, students write at least one sentence for each corner, starting in the upper left and going clockwise around the card.

You (teacher) may ask for volunteers to read what they wrote. This is your chance to make some positive comments or suggestions for their narrative.

Check for understanding.


Content: How did this activity help you to organize your thoughts and/or what to include in your narrative?

Why was the information in each corner important to include?

Collaborative: How did talking about your experience help you to organize and detail your narrative?

Personal: How did it feel to share personal experience?

How were the agreements honored? Do we need to work on anything there?

PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR APPRECIATION: Invite statements that address the experience. Invite statements that acknowledge positive practices, behavior, students.

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT: Have students circle the corner which was easiest to write about, and put a star on the corner that was most difficult to write. Teacher can then do a quick evaluation and plan next steps. (Corners correspond to narrative writing standards.)


· Group Development Process

►Cognitive Theory (connecting to prior experience)

►Multiple Intelligences

· Cooperative Learning

· Constructivism

►Reflective Practice

· Authentic Assessment