About This Lesson Plan

SUBJECT
Writing, Autobiographical Writing, Language Arts

GRADE
6-8

DURATION
2 Class Periods

COLLECTION
Essay Writing
Creative Writing
Grades 5–8

Expo Writing Resource Center

Autobiographical Writing About Memories (Grades 6-8)

Lead a class discussion that helps students explore Fall memories that inspire autobiographical writing.

OBJECTIVE
Students will reflect on a favorite Fall memory in preparation for writing about an autobiographical event.

MATERIALS
Writing About Memories Worksheet 1, pen, book students have recently read in class or on personal time that mentions the Fall

DIRECTIONS
1. Begin by asking students to choose a passage from a book they've read as a class or on their own personal time that mentions the Fall season.

2. Have students prepare to discuss this passage with classmates by noting where it appears in the text and marking it with specific notes about what they liked.

3. In class, write the following discussion questions on the board:

  • Why did you connect with this passage in particular?
  • What was your favorite part of this passage? (For example, a character’s actions, a funny or scary plot twist, or the author’s word choices.)
  • Were the sentences long, descriptive, and polished, or were they short and to the point?
4. After students have discussed these questions, ask them to find and explain which season is mentioned the most during their chosen passages.

5. After students have shared this, explain that there is one season that writers often use as a setting to describe a character’s life changes—the fall. As a time when leaves change color and the earth prepares for the slumber of winter and later, the rebirth of spring, the fall signals the beginning of many other changes. It’s a rich setting for many stories, and what students may not realize is that it has shaped their own life stories, or autobiographies.

6. Hand out Writing About Memories Worksheet 1 to students and explain that they will be answering questions about a particularly strong memory they have of a fall day. Explain the importance of using adjectives and adverbs as well as the active, present tense to record events.

7. Answer one or two questions on the board to model the activity, then have students complete all questions on the sheet.

8. Once they’ve completed Part I, have students complete Part II of the worksheet either during a second class period or for homework.

9. During the second class period, have students volunteer to read their autobiographical paragraphs aloud in front of the class, and finish writing this chapter of their autobiographies.
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