It's wonderful to work with such fabulous new teachers! Last week, as we were talking about getting started with personal narratives, Ashley and Melinda suggested that we start with the emotions chart that we've been using in reading.
This makes perfect sense--after all, a personal narrative should be based on strong emotions. And students were already working on using emotion words to explain how characters feel at different parts in a story. So putting together the chart and the personal narratives helps to bridge the reading and the writing quite nicely.
I made this page to help students think about how events in their lives and the emotions that they felt. (If you have plenty of time, you could also have students create a Life Map--always a fun activity! But I'm really feeling the pressure of having only 35 days of instruction left.)
It turned out to be fun and quick way to get kids brainstorming ideas for their personal narratives. After they filled out the chart, they moved around the room to interview each other and share their stories. This helped them to quickly figure out which stories they liked best.