Graphic Organizers for Writing Personal Narratives

Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

In this lesson, we will look at different graphic organizers students can use to organize their personal narratives. These organizers will each focus on different aspects of a personal narrative you may want to focus on with your students.

Graphic Organizers for Writing Personal Narratives

A personal narrative is quite simply, a true story about oneself. For younger children, this may be the retelling of their recent trip to the zoo. For adolescents and adults, personal narratives can retell events that range from joyful to painful. In either case, learning to write a personal narrative is the art of telling our personal stories.

Start Simple: the 5 W's Graphic Organizer

One of the easiest approaches to writing a personal narrative is to use the 5 W's graphic organizer: who, what, when, where, and why. This graphic organizer is a great approach, especially when you are dealing with younger students. Remind them that a personal narrative is telling a story about something they have experienced themselves, such as a birthday party or family vacation.

The first step is identifying who was there when the events of their story took place. It is also helpful to have them go ahead and come up with adjectives to use when they write the people in their story, so they start to think about how each person is different from another.

5 W

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