UNIT 5 - Narrative Non-fiction
Resources: Riverside Reader, The River Reader by Trimmer, “The Stranger in the Photo” by Donald Murray

Enduring Understanding:
  • Quality personal writing has a message or a purpose that is conveyed through personal experience.
  • Showing rather than telling strengthens the personal essay.
  • Peer conferencing, class writing workshops and student teacher conferences enrich the revision process and the final product.
  • A quality piece requires multiple revisions.
  • Everyone has an interesting story to tell - it’s all in the telling.

Essential Questions
  • What are the characteristics of a quality memoir or exceptional personal narrative?
  • How does personal experience convey meaning?
  • What makes an exceptional college essay?
  • How is revision important to the writing process?

  • Read and analyze the “Stranger in the Photo” essay by Donald Murray.
  • Bring five photos of their younger selves to class.
  • Write an essay on one of the photos similar to Murray’s reflection.
  • Read a variety of personal essays. Choose one exceptional college essay for a blog entry analysis. Read classmates’ blog entries and the essays they chose.
  • Read a memoir.
  • Write a personal essay. After peer and teacher conferencing and multiple revisions, share the essay with classmates to receive further feedback before submitting the final draft.
  • Interview someone outside of Morgan. Compose a narrative based on his/her experiences. Publish the completed narrative.

Common Assessment:
  • Write and publish a memoir.