Brandon was writing about a time he was in a storm. Amrie wrote about when she got a bee sting. Nicholas was telling a story about when he had a bike wreck and Gianni wrote about a time he was sick and had to miss a Christmas party. All of these things are common among third graders, but they all were exciting. The beginning of the stories all had great hooks. You could tell they had been working on that. They also had good endings. I felt satisfied when I finished reading each one.
Now the middle of the stories was another thing. This is so common with young writers. A couple of the stories went on and on and on. For example, Brandon told about what he was doing before the storm, during the storm and several days after the storm. When I talked to him we found the hot spot in the story...when the actual storm came...and focused on that. He slowed down the story and added what he was thinking and saying to his brother. He ended the story with going to bed with the candles still lit in his room.
Amrie had included several bee sting stories. She was trying to get the reader to know all about her experiences with bee stings. After talking to her, she decided to just focus on one bee sting adventure in this story and keep the other time for another story. Nicholas could close his eyes and picture the whole adventure of when the car hit him on the bike. He again slowed down the action and added his thoughts and conversation to his story.
This was the first time these children had worked on narrative this year. They were doing amazing things. As they published their pieces, the teacher and I discussed where she would go in a few months when she hit this genre again. I really like the idea of coming back to genres throughout the year. I know these children will take what they learned in this unit of study and apply it to their next visit. Can't wait to see how they grow as writers this year!