Memoir Unit Plan for High School

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

This memoir unit plan is designed to guide you as you teach the genre of memoir to your high school students. It incorporates lesson plans, writing prompts, and lots of engaging activity ideas to help students both read and write their own memoirs.

Memoir Unit Plan Summary

This memoir unit plan can serve as your guide as you teach high school students about the art of memoir writing. The unit begins by framing the memoir in its larger context of personal narrative and allowing students an opportunity to brainstorm ideas about their own lives. Then, students try their hand at simple memoir-style writing before launching into lengthier pieces. The unit wraps up with a list of resources related to memoirs that you can read together to understand more about the genre. Keep students engaged throughout the unit by providing adequate time and opportunity to share their writing with others.

Framing the Memoir

Memoirs are a type of personal narrative. Frame this type of writing in its general context with this Personal Narrative Lesson Plan. Get students thinking about their own experiences as the basis for memoir writing. Use some of these writing prompt ideas to spur student thinking:

Rather than having students write the essays, use these prompts for journaling activities, partner or team discussions, or brainstorming ideas from their own lives. This can serve as a great point of reference for their writing during the rest of the unit.

Memoir Writing

Writing a memoir can be an overwhelming concept for a high school student. Rather than launching into a full-length piece, consider incorporating this Narrative Paragraph Lesson Plan to get them writing about themselves. This lesson plan focuses on the use of imagery in writing a narrative. It can serve to encourage students to use vivid language in their own memoir writing.

Use this Six Word Memoir Lesson Plan to help them stretch their memoir-writing muscles in a simple, creative way. Students can create posters with their six-word memoirs, and you can display these for reference throughout the unit. Additionally, you could engage students in a quick game in which you read a six-word memoir and others must guess who wrote it.

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