Fictional Narrative Writing Units (Grades 2-5)

This fictional narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.


When it comes to writing, there is so much we want (and need) to teach our students. However, we cannot focus on all of it all at once or we will cause our students to hate writing. I have broken these units down into easy to implement lesson plans and have included all of the materials you need.

Each Fictional Narrative Writing Unit (Grades 2-5) has 12 lessons. The lessons can be implemented at an easy pace---spread out over four weeks, or can be condensed to be taught in a shorter time period. Since there are twelve personal narrative lessons, you have time to build in any of your own mini lessons you feel your class needs. (For instance, if you see your students are struggling with a particular skill, such as capitalizing proper nouns, you can spend a day practicing that skill without falling behind with the unit.)

These lessons are included:
1. Brainstorming Characters & Settings
2. Fictional Narrative Organizer
3. Setting the Scene
4. Introducing the Problem (Conflict for 4th & 5th Grade)
5.Sequential Unfolding of Events
6. Character Responds to Events
7. Elaborating on Character Response
8. Sense of Closure
9. Show, Don't Tell
10. Editing With a Partner
11. Revising & Revisiting the Rubric
12. Publishing

Fictional Narrative student friendly rubrics and checklists.

The units include a student friendly rubric as well as a checklist they can use as they write. They help keep students focused on the skills taught during the unit, without overwhelming them.

This fictional narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.

Posters are provided to help teach certain skills. You can print them and put them in students' writing notebooks. This allows them to reference them at any time.

This fictional narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.

FAQ:
I teach multiple grade levels. Are the units different?
The units are mostly similar, but include different mentor texts, and have different examples in the centers. There are a few other minor differences throughout the units that reflect grade level expectations.

Click the images below to see more & preview the fictional narrative units.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/2nd-Grade-Fictional-Narrative-Writing-Unit-W23-4518726?utm_source=TITGBlog%20Fictional%20Narrative%20Post&utm_campaign=2nd%20Grade%20Unit   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/3rd-Grade-Fictional-Narrative-Writing-Unit-W33A-W33B-4518733?utm_source=TITGBlog%20Fictional%20Narrative%20Post&utm_campaign=3rd%20Grade%20Unit
 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4th-Grade-Fictional-Narrative-Writing-Unit-W43A-W43B-4522208?utm_source=TITGBlog%20Fictional%20Narrative%20Post&utm_campaign=4th%20Grade%20Unit   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5th-Grade-Fictional-Narrative-Writing-Unit-W53A-W53B-4522209?utm_source=TITGBlog%20Fictional%20Narrative%20Post&utm_campaign=5th%20Grade%20Unit


You may also be interested in Personal Narrative Writing (Grades 2-5).
  



Personal Narrative Writing Units (Grades 2-5)

This personal narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.

When it comes to writing, there is so much we want (and need) to teach our students. However, we cannot focus on all of it all at once or we will cause our students to hate writing. I have broken these units down into easy to implement lesson plans and have included all of the materials you need.

Each Personal Narrative Writing Unit (Grades 2-5) has 12 lessons. The lessons can be implemented at an easy pace---spread out over four weeks, or can be condensed to be taught in a shorter time period. Since there are twelve personal narrative lessons, you have time to build in any of your own mini lessons you feel your class needs. (For instance, if you see your students are struggling with a particular skill, such as capitalizing proper nouns, you can spend a day practicing that skill without falling behind with the unit.)

These lessons are included:
1. Brainstorming Topics
2. Picking a Small Moment
3. Remembering Details
4. Writing a Skeleton Outline
5. Developing a Strong Introduction
6. Writing the First Draft
7. Writing as a Paragraph
8. Adding Details (Concrete Details for 4th and 5th Grade)
9. Writing a Conclusion
10. Editing With a Partner
11. Revising & Revisiting the Rubric
12. Publishing

Personal Narrative student friendly rubrics and checklists.
The units include a student friendly rubric as well as a checklist they can use as they write. They help keep students focused on the skills taught during the unit, without overwhelming them.

This personal narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.
Posters are provided to help teach certain skills. You can print them and put them in students' writing notebooks. This allows them to reference them at any time.

This personal narrative writing unit includes mentor text, posters, writing prompts, lesson plans, and activities for teaching personal narratives.  Includes rubrics, checklists, and more. Your students will learn about brainstorming topics, writing introductions, conclusions, and much more! Available for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students.
FAQ:
I teach multiple grade levels. Are the units different?
The units are mostly similar, but include different mentor texts, and have different examples in the centers. There are a few other minor differences throughout the units that reflect grade level expectations.

Click the images below to see more & preview the personal narrative units.

 2nd Grade Personal Narrative Writing Unit  3rd Grade Personal Narrative Writing Unit


4th Grade Personal Narrative Writing Unit  5th Grade Personal Narrative Writing Unit



It can happen to any of us. Spring fever mixed with exhaustion mixed with a challenging class can lead to a lot of frustration and teacher burn out. What do you do when you are at your wit’s end before the year’s end? Here are some tips for trying to stay sane the rest of the year.

1. Bring candy!

Before you stop and say your class doesn’t deserve candy and it will only hype them up, here are two things to consider. A child with a lollipop in their mouth is a child who is not talking. Also—you don’t have to give candy to the entire class. When you see a student doing something you like, ANYTHING AT ALL, give them some candy. The rest of the class will take notice and will try to figure out what they can do to impress you. Dum dums are cheap and a great candy to use.

2. Take them outside.

Seriously—whatever you’re doing---just take it outside. Fresh air is so good for everyone—including you. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or losing control of your chatty class, just take them outside. Sit on the sidewalk for your math lesson. Take books for silent reading outside. Whatever you are working on! Just grab it and get out there. At least for fifteen minutes.

3. Set a goal with a reward.

Turn whatever your class is really struggling with into a goal. I like to make smart goals with my class. I use some chart paper to write out our goal. Then we discuss how to meet the goal, behaviors that will get in the way of us meeting our goal, and a reward for meeting it. Set a timeline and then check in daily. Depending on your class you might need a short timeline, such as one week. Here’s an example:

4. Do something different for the day.

Escape rooms, Comprehension Quests, science experiments, STEM challenge, classroom transformations, watch an educational video, a fun class read aloud are all ways to combat frustration by trying do something different. Sometimes a fun activity is just what everyone needs to get refocused.

5. Team up with a younger/older class.

If you teach upper grades, partner up with a lower grades teacher and set up reading buddies. Invite their classroom to your classroom and partner up students and have them read together. Compliment the younger students on their behavior. Encourage your older students to be role models.

If you have tried some of these tips and are still feeling burned out and frustrated, consider taking a mental health day or two. (Attach them to the weekend for the maximum benefit!) It will do you a lot of good. Remember—you can’t pour from an empty cup.



Want more ideas? Check out my blog post about 25 Ways You Can Have Fun With Your Students.

What tips do you have for teachers who are feeling burned out?

Tips for teachers who are feeling burned out and frustrated before the end of the year.



Does lesson planning overwhelm you? Do you spend countless hours trying to write your plans and still don't feel like they work for you? Does your school have an overly complex lesson plan format?

Today, I am going to talk to you about becoming a "Lesson Planning Guru." I'm going to tell you about some things I've learned over the years that really can simplify and take the stress out of writing lesson plans. I'm even going to give you some freebies to help you get started!

My previous principal told me, "I've never seen anyone plan like you do!" But you all know, lesson planning is not the hard part. Getting in there with your students and delivering instruction every day, despite all of the obstacles you will face...THAT is the hard part. So let's talk about how lesson planning can be easier.
Get my long term and short term lesson planning templates. You can learn ten tips to help you master lesson planning! Download the free daily lesson plan template and long term pacing guide template for free! Perfect for elementary teachers!

1. Know Your Standards

This might sound pretty straightforward, but a lot of teachers do not take time to really LEARN their grade level's standards. Do you know what standards your state has for your grade level? Are they Common Core? Are they state standards that are EXACTLY the same as Common Core? My favorite app to use is the CommonCore app by MasteryConnect. It's free! You can easily sort the standards by subject and grade level. Another reason why this app is so helpful is because you can easily look at the grade level before yours, and the grade level after. This helps you understand what your students should already know and what they'll need to know for next year. Take the time to read your standards and learn them. Research them--especially if you are new to your grade level! Understand what will be expected of your students.

2. Begin With the End in Mind

Along with knowing your standards, it's really important to develop a plan for the year. What is your ultimate goal and how are you going to get there? Of course, we'd all like to get our students on grade level by the end of the year, but depending on your class this is not always possible or realistic. I have seen whole classes of students (who have not had the best teachers) who have HUGE holes in their understanding. Not only do they need to be exposed to and taught the current grade level's standards, they also need tremendous amounts of remediation to fill in the gaps. (You can't skip this!) These are things to keep in mind when you are setting your goals.

3. Plan Long Term 

I think it is so important to have a pacing guide for the year. Your district might have one in place, but if they don't, you should create your own. After you have learned your standards, you have to think about the order they should be taught. Some standards depend on others. With math, the standards are pretty much taught throughout the year, in an order that makes sense, and then are briefly reviewed at the end of the year. ELA tends to repeat standards throughout the year. (In other words, you aren't only going to teach text features one week and never mention them again. It will spiral.) Understanding this can help you pace your year.

Here is a sample Pacing Guide for 3rd Grade Math:
https://mailchi.mp/723a3e8e174f/p8yc237kga 

4. Set a Pace That Makes Sense

First and foremost, you need to set a steady, aggressive pace. I say this because, in my opinion, there are too many standards for one grade level. (Especially third!) You cannot go at too slow of a pace or you will NOT cover all of the material! However, you want to give your students time to learn the standards, so progressing too quickly can also cause issues. Build in buffer days and try to build in a buffer week each quarter. There will never be a time where you have nothing to do these days or weeks. It is important to place catch up time in your pacing guide. Then, you will not fall behind.

5. Don't Forget Testing

When you are creating your pace for the year, be sure to take into account any testing your school will require. Benchmarks and end of year testing take up a lot of time, so be sure to factor that in.

6. Short Term Planning

Now you will use your pacing guide to do your short term planning. This is likely what you are required to turn in. You can sign up to get a free copy of my lesson plan template. Even though it says guided math, you can use this for any subject.
 https://mailchi.mp/1057e84a76f1/828rdpzo38
When I am short term planning, I use my long term pacing guide to determine which standards I need to cover. Because I am pulling directly from my long term plan, this part of lesson planning is quicker. (Learn details about my lesson plan template here!)

The most important part of short term planning is creating a specific, achievable objective for each day. If my long term plan says I am covering third grade rounding, 3.NBT.1, I decide how I want to break this up into these specific, achievable objectives. (I talk about this a lot in my series of Guided Math blog posts, so you may have heard this before.) It is so important to have a plan for the day's lesson so you don't try to cram too much into one day. Ask yourself--what should the students be able to do by the end of my lesson? That's your objective. For more information about SPECIFIC and ACHIEVABLE objectives, check out this post.

Once I have determined the objectives for each lesson, I find my materials. Pinterest and TpT are my favorite places to look. You can find anchor chart ideas, lesson plans, activities, and more. When you are choosing materials, make sure they align with your objectives. Plan for the objectives, not the activities!



7. Make Adjustments

If your students understand and catch on to an objective quickly--move on to the next thing! Don't stay on a standard they are successful with just because your pacing guide says so! There will likely be a standard or two that are harder for your students than you anticipated, so you will make up the time there. Be ready to make adjustments.

8. Be Organized

When I am writing my short term (daily) plans, I gather all of my materials and label them with sticky notes. When I go to the copier I know exactly what that resource is being copied for. I include links to any videos or websites that I will use directly on my lesson plan.

9. Assess

Pre and Post assessments are so important. I try to make pre and posts that are practically identical. (Of course they use different numbers for math and different problems for ELA, but they can easily be compared to show growth.) Here's a common misconception about pre assessments. They do not have to be given the day before you begin your unit. You can give a pre assessment weeks ahead of time to help you plan! I like to make sure my students understand that a pre assessment is just to help me figure out what I need to teach. I explain that, "I need to know what your brains already know!" This keeps it low stress for students. Post assessments are really important so you can see the growth your students made and any other holes they may still have in their understanding.

10. Review

You can use your post assessments to help make a plan for reviewing. I like to try to build in a review day each week (this is also my buffer day, so sometimes it isn't used as review), and of course review at the end of year before testing. Learn what you can be doing all year to be prepared for end of year reviewing in this blog post.


Looking for lesson plans and units that are already done for you? Check out my bundles in my TpT store!

Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!
Get my long term and short term lesson planning templates. You can learn ten tips to help you master lesson planning! Download the free daily lesson plan template and long term pacing guide template for free! Perfect for elementary teachers!




These Earth Day activities are a fun way to get your elementary students celebrating and learning about Earth Day. You can use the activities with students in lower and upper grades.


Today I am bringing you a list of some of my favorite things to do on Earth Day.

1. Read Alouds

Some of my favorite read alouds for Earth Day include:
  • The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry
  • A River Ran Wild, by Lynne Cherry
  • The Umbrella, by Jan Brett
  • The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
  • Recycle! by Gail Gibbons
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
If you don't own all of these books, you can get them at your local library, or you can try to find a read aloud version of them on YouTube.

2. Watching Videos

Some of my favorite videos for Earth Day include:

3. Oil Spill Simulation

This is one of my favorite activities because students get a chance to see the affect an oil spill can have on water. I make sure to give my students a little background information about oil spills before we do this activity.
To do this activity, I get a giant bin and fill it with water. I let my students stick their hands in and feel the water. Then, they go back to their seats to describe how it felt and how their hands felt. (Warm, cool, clean, etc...) Then, I simulate an oil spill by pouring vegetable oil into the tub of water. I stir it around and explain how the oil won't stay in one place once it reaches the ocean. I have them come and dip their hand in the water and describe how it feels. When they take their hands out of the water, they feel slimy and greasy. Then, we test different methods of cleaning our hands. First, I give them a paper towel and have them try to wipe their hands clean. Of course this does not work. So, then I have them run their hands under the faucet at our sink. Most students are surprised that just rinsing their hands does not get rid of the greasy feeling. After that, we use Dawn. At this point, students are able to get their hands very clean. We discuss oil spills, the impact on the ocean, the impact on animals in the ocean, and how people help clean animals using Dawn after an oil spill.

4. Campus Beautification

I like to take my students around our school campus to clean up any litter. I have my students wear gloves and always make sure to have approval from administration. Before we go outside we discuss what is safe to pick up and throw away, and what is too dangerous to touch (such as broken glass, or other sharp objects). I give each of my students a bag to carry with them as they collect trash. When we come back inside we dispose of it in the correct place and discuss how littering can damage the environment. Then, we make a list of other ways we can reuse or plastic bags.

5. Passages & Other Activities

In my TpT store you can find my Earth Day Unit. It includes vocabulary, passages with written response, 4 paragraphs for main idea and details sentence sorting, and other activities. It also includes the above mentioned Oil Spill Simulation Activity.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Unit-For-Upper-and-Lower-Grades-4472763?utm_source=TITG%20Blog%20Earth%20Day%20Post&utm_campaign=Link%20to%20Earth%20Day%20Unit



Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!
This Earth Day unit includes many activities for upper and lower grades students. Earth Day is a fun holiday to get students involved with in Elementary School. The importance and life skills you teach them will carry on as they become adults! This unit includes passages, sorts, vocabulary, a hands on activity, and much more! Download the preview to see all of what's included!




Are you looking to keep your Guided Math information organized in a neat binder? This free Guided Math Teacher Binder includes calendars, checklists, group charts, and forms for anecdotal notes for Guided Math. Keep everything together in one place!

Scroll down to see what's included.
Use the weekly and monthly calendar pages to plan out your lessons and stay on pace all year!
Use the weekly and monthly calendar pages to plan out your lessons and stay on pace all year!


There are group charts so you can keep track of which students are in each group. I like to use sticky notes so I can easily change out the groups.
There are group charts so you can keep track of which students are in each group. I like to use sticky notes so I can easily change out the groups. You can learn more about how I teach Guided Math in my classroom in this blog post.


Use the checklist pages to keep track of which students are proficient with each standard. You can place a simple checkmark if they are proficient, or you can use numbers 1-4 to record their level of proficiency.
Use the checklist pages to keep track of which students are proficient with each standard. You can place a simple checkmark if they are proficient, or you can use numbers 1-4 to record their level of proficiency.
1-No proficiency with standard
2-Inconsistenly achieves proficiency with standard
3-Proficient with standard
4-Above grade level

Intervention/Progress Monitoring Sheets can help you record the interventions you perform and keep track of your data.
Intervention/Progress Monitoring Sheets can help you record the interventions you perform and keep track of your data.

Click here and get your FREE Guided Math Teacher Binder when you subscribe to my email list!

Learn more about How I Teach Guided Math here!

Don't forget to pin this for later!
This free Guided Math binder can help you as you are teaching, working with groups, and doing your lesson plans. The cover is so fun and cute! There are pages for planning, calendars, data tracking, and more. You can use this binder to get yourself organized!




Are you looking for a lesson plan template that can help you write Guided Math lesson plans? Here is an example of the template I use in all of my Guided Math units. (You can get more information on all of my units on TpT for Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. All of the lessons I have written in the units are completely editable.) 

Scroll down to sign up for a free copy of this lesson plan template!

This free lesson plan template is perfect for guided math groups. It will help you stay organized as you write you lesson plans.
Unit Name & Standard
Use this to keep yourself organized. You can name your unit based on the skill you are covering, based on the standard, or based on your district's name for the unit. Listing the standard is a great place to show your administrator that your lesson is aligned to your state's standards.

Objective
This is where you will right the specific, achievable objective for the day's lesson. For more information about SPECIFIC and ACHIEVABLE objectives, check out this post.

Vocabulary
I usually put all of the terms for the lesson or the entire unit in this box--depending on how many terms there are. These are terms I want to make sure my students understand, and are comfortable using as we talk about math. In my Guided Math units, students have vocabulary and definition cards to practice these terms, as well as a trifold to put in their math notebooks.

Materials
I list all of the materials needed for the day's lesson. 

Questioning
The reason I named this box Questioning and not "Essential Questions" is because there are a variety of questions that I included here. I include guiding questions for the lesson, much like an essential question. But I also include questions I want to make sure my students understand and can answer.

Lesson
I use the gradual release model when I write lesson plans. (I do, we do, you do, you do.) This is where you will describe your actual teaching for the lesson.

Remediation/Enrichment
I like to look at the grade level above and below to fill in these boxes. If my students are struggling with the skill, I will look at the standards from the previous grade to see where they may have some holes in their understanding. For students who are excelling, I will look at the expectations for the next grade level to give them an extra push.

Additional Optional Resources
This is where I list any other links or resources that I plan to use during the unit.


Want to try this Guided Math lesson plan template out for yourself? You can get a free copy when you subscribe to my newsletter. Check it out here!


Don't forget to pin this post for later!
This lesson plan template can help you organize your Guided math lessons. This lesson plan template gives you places to list your lesson, vocabulary, materials, differentiation, and any teaching ideas. This lesson plan template is the first step to having your guided math rotations organized. Download a free copy of this template!


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