Writing a Personal Narrative in a Kindergarten Classroom:A "Seed" Story Created By: Shelby Looney & Maryland Spicer

Student Learning
Identify an event;person or object
All students will write and illustratea small moment personalnarrative story with a beginning,middle and an end
Student's ability to select a topic that they wouldlike to write a small moment story about.
Organize anddescribe storyin sequentialorder
Students will be able to identify the
beginning, middle, and end of their story.
The student's ability to illustrate and write a Small
Moment story with a beginning middle and end.
Critique their own writingto monitor for: spelling,capitalization, punctuation,and story content
Students will identify unfamiliar words by circling
them and recognizing words that should have been
capitalized by underlining them. Finally, they will
add any missing punctuation with a colored pencil or crayon.
The students ability to revise and edit their own writing.
Produce a published Small
Moment story
Students will be able to identify the steps for writing a
Personal Narrative/Small Moment story.
The students ability to complete a published story.

This mini writing unit will allow students to bring personal experiences into their writing in the form of a "small moment"/"seed story" personal narrative story. The students will all be expected to select a general topic and then to narrow it down; sequence the event in the order that it happened and provide a reaction to the event. In addition, students will demonstrate proper usage of upper and lowercase letters, the correct usage of the pronoun I and the correct use of ending puctuation.

Common Core State Standards:
Kindergarten Writing Standard
3. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, to tell about the events in order in which they occurred and provide a reaction to what happened.

Kindergarten Language Standard
1. Demonstrate command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
a. Print many upper and lowercase letters
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
a. Capitalize the first word in the sentence and the pronoun I.

For those students who have demonstrated a mastery of the concepts listed above, the teacher may scaffold the students knowledge to include the use of:
1. f. Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

  • Personal Narrative- A story about yourself
  • Small Moment/Seed story - an event, something that happened in your life
  • Rough Draft- The first copy of your story which we will go back and fix
  • Revising/Editing- Looking carefully at your writing and fixing any mistakes (can use an editor's eyes mediator)
  • Publishing- The finished story that is ready to share
  • Pronoun- I, used in place of a person's proper name
  • Capitalization- A sentence always begins with a capital (uppercase) letter
  • Punctuation- A period comes at the end of a sentence.

Assessing Students Prior Abilities in Writing:
Prior to planning the unit, the teacher should complete the following Literacy Inventory in order to gage each students independent writing level in order to plan for differentiation in instruction, process and product. Knowledge of the students current level of acheivement guides the teacher in the planning process in order to take into account all students needs.

Pre-Assessment - Literacy Inventory
Unit of Study
Student Name
Literacy Skill
Not Demonstrated
Can identify and write the first sound of most words

Can identify and write the last sound of most words

Can identify and write the medial sounds of most words

Uses the pronoun "I" appropriately in a sentence and capitalizes it

Correctly capitalizes the first letter of each sentence

Puts punctuation at the end of each sentence

Identifies a writing topic

Is able to narrow a large topic down to a smaller topic to write about

Is able to write a story with a BME

Planning for Differentiation:
  • Content- The objectives are presented in many different ways to provide other opportunities for practice within the writing centers (See below). Also, the main objective that all of the students are expected to master is Common Core Standard 3 (see above) The other Core standards that have been listed are presented to the students who have already mastered the overall goal to scaffold them to the next level of development.
  • Process- Modeling of a seed story is done as a whole group, but the process of writing will depend on what level each individual student is at. The teacher then can group students who are at the same levels into small groups to conduct mini lessons of the writing process. For instance, some groups may still be brainstorming and organizing their thoughts while others may be provided with further instruction on how to edit their writing.
  • Products- All students will create a seed story but they may look very different. Some may contain one letter to represent the initial sound of a word where as other could consits of multiple sentence for each part of the story.
Tiered writing papers with scaffolding assessement 1.jpeg
Tiered writing papers with scaffolded writing assessment key to track each individual students independent writing skills and the level that they recieved help on
Tiered writing papers with scaffolded writing assessment key 2.jpeg Tiered writing papers with scaffolded writing assessment key 3.jpeg
  • Other Materials- The teacher may provide other helpful mediators to assist some students in their learning such as charts with words and pictoral representations to clarify the steps in each center. This can help with self-regulation. The teacher may make sound maps easily visible or accessible to students that need help to associate letter names with sounds using pictures. The teacher might even display a large "watermelon" with slices, and a seed to signify the story as a whole and the different pieces that make a whole. This is to help those studentswho must know the final outcome in order to understand why they must take the steps to get there.
sound map.jpg
Sound Map Chart for the steps to do when you are working

To see a visual representation of the "Watermelon" and modeled examples of the see story, please follow this link:

  • Interest Building/Heart Map- Writing a personal narrative requires the students to select a topic that is near and dear to the students hearts, thus generating a high level of interest. A "heart map" will be given to each student as an anchor for their learning.

Using the below chart, the teacher can complete it for the whole class or just for the students who have an Individualized Educational Plan. This will include support personnel that are in the room and times that the student is pulled from the room for specialized small group instruction from the special education teacher.
Differentiation Planning Form
Unit of Study: __
Child's Name
Plans for D.I. at Centers
Other Supports(IEP's)
Extra time to complete assignments
or multiple times in the day to work on

Seated close to the teacher during whole
group instruction
one on one support
A smaller pencil or pencil grip

A binder to help with the muscle tone
and letter formation during writing

Meeting Student Needs through Learning and Interest Centers (Process):
Setting up learning centers that touch upon different multiple intelligences and the different learning objectives helps to meet the individual needs of students as well as allowing them the opportunity to practice and master skills identified in learning concepts for writing a Small Moment/Seed Story. Students work at their own pace and on activities that interest them as well as help them master the skills.
Planning Form for Writing Centers
Writing Focus
Independent Writing
*write draft
*edit writing - use sound map
*share with study buddy
*publish piece
Teacher Conferencing
*mini-lessons with teacher
*scaffolding based on student zone of proximal development
Write the Room
*write words that are displayed around room
*practice worksheets
*write in sand/salt
*shaving cream
Build a Sentence
*use words on blocks to make sentences
*read to your study buddy
Punctuation Station
*place the correct punctuation at the end of the sentence
*Success Maker
* PBS Kids

Assessing Student Learning:
Using a dual rubric, where both the student and the teacher score the student's writing, encourages the student to realize what they have learned.

Writer's Workshop RubricPersonal Narrative - A Small Moment/Seed Story

Learning Concept
Student Yessmileyface2.jpg
Student Nosad face.jpg
Teacher Yessmileyface2.jpg
Teacher No sad face.jpg
1. I gave my best effort

2. I used punctuation at the end of each sentence

3. I have a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence

4. I used a capital for the pronoun "I"

5. My story has a Beginning, Middle, and End

Unit Overview: Here is a brief breakdown of the read alouds a long with the different mini-lessons that will be presented to the whole class during the Personal Narrative unit. Depending on the classroom dynamics would help guide further differentiated instruction/small group times.

Owocki, Gretchen. Time for Literacy Centers. Portsmouth, NH. page 13 & 67. 2005.
Calkins, Lucy. Launching the Writing Workshop: Book 1. Heinemann.
The Noyce Foundation; Every Child a Reader and Writer. Some Favorite Picture Books for a Personal Narrative Unit of Study.