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Writing a Memoir

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Nicole Harasym

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Writing a Memoir

Writing a Memoir
What's a Good Idea?
Think about something
that you know a LOT about!
Transformational Events
We will brainstorm a list of the best and worst life events that you can think of. This will help you to determine what you would like to write about in your memoir. We will create a T-Chart.
Hooking the Reader!
: A Day to Remember and identify transition words.

We need to include transition words in our writing. Let's take a look!
Let's take a look at what it means to have a good idea and what will count in a piece of writing.
Let's read,
"Wasn't That Fun?"
and score it as a level 1, 2, 3, or 4, based on the content of the rubric.
Make sure when you choose your topic that you are able to zoom in on these key points!
In order to think of a topic, you will write five, "I will always remember..." statements.
Once you have written all five, choose the BEST one that you will write about as your memoir.
I will always remember....
Freeze Frame
Now that you have chosen your topic, you will create a "Freeze frame."

Think about what you heard, saw, tasted, felt, and touched during this transformational event.
Which movie clip was more exciting? Why?
Why is it important to hook your reader's attention immediately at the beginning of your writing?
"Where's papa going with that axe?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
My Example
Topic: Getting My Driver's License
Bold Beginning: Vroom! I hit the gas pedal and was headed out for a day filled with excitement.
Adding Voice
We are going to read two different versions of "Fly Away Home."
Which one did you enjoy more?
Adding Voice in Writing
Are you...

In order to use voice in your writing, you need to focus on your audience and let your point of view shine through.
Point of View
Transitions help your writing to flow smoothly and bridge the gap from one idea to the next.
Rip in the Pants
Just about a week ago, my teacher had a rip in his pants. It was really funny. I didn't see it right away, but someone told me. Then, I saw it and wanted to laugh, but I held it in. Then, someone told him and everyone started to laugh. The he went home to change. The end.
Point of View from the student:
Point of View from the pants:
This is not right. I wasn't made to be worn by a guy this big! Oww! Every time he does anything but stand still, I hurt. I'm pinched and mushed and cramped so tight I can hardly breathe. I need relief. What I really want is revenge. I know...rrrrrrrip! Ha! That'll show him. But wait, what happens next? Maybe he'll just throw me out and I'll never get to see the light of day again. Man, oh, man, if I'd only been a tie, then I could've just choked him!
Your Turn!

Write from the point of view from one of the following:
the student
the principal
the teacher
another teacher
a student who liked the teacher
a student who disliked the teacher
the pants
Ingredients for an Excellent Ending!
Personal Memoir Organizer
Let's get started!
Opening Sentence (Bold Beginning)
What? (Transformational Event)
Why? (Why did it change your life?
Closing (Extended Ending): How did your life change?
Word Choice: Sparkling Words
Read through "Thundercake" and highlight words that stand out to you.
These words replace commonly used words to make the story more interesting and descriptive.

Let's now check out more of the *Sparkling* words and phrases from "Thundercake."
Let's practice!
I went for a walk to the beach. I was walking along when I got a look at a seabird eating a fish. I went for a closer look. It was eating the fish whole!
How can we improve word choice?
Let's take a look at three specific words from this text:
went, look, eating.




Can you come up with three synonyms for each word to make this story more interesting?
Super Sentence Writers
In our memoirs, we need to make sure we have these ingredients.
Change up your writing! Don't start every sentence with, "I."
Sentence Lengths
Please read an excerpt from the story, "The Rag Coat."
There are only three sentences.
How many words are in each?
How does each sentence start?

Take a look at your rough draft.

How can you change or fix your sentence beginnings?
How can you change the number of words in each sentence?
Can you take some out?
Can you use better word choice and add some in?

Your turn!
Conference Time

Work with a partner and read each other's memoirs (one at a time).
As you are reading, offer compliments and suggestions.
-Word Choice, Spelling, Grammar, Figurative Language, Sentence Length, Punctuation
Be sure to conference with 3 classmates
Head back to your desk and finish editing your rough copy using the suggestions from your classmates.
Full transcript