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Writing Framework LibGuide Grade 5: Personal Narrative: Slice of Life

Grade Level Expectations

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details and clear event sequence.


 Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/ or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.


Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.


Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.


Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.


Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.


Review nouns and verbs (tense shifts)



Punctuation: capitalization and end punctuation

Spelling Consciousness


  • Establish  Narrative Structures-  beginning, middle and end
  • Collecting and Growing Essay Ideas- Writers Notebook
  • Maintain a clear focus on topic
  • Supporting the Content: developing character, plot and setting
  • Developing dialogue
  • Show, Don’t Tell
  • Descriptive/ Figurative Language- similes/ metaphors
  • Titles, Leads, and Endings
  • Transitional phrases
  • Revision to improve word choice, sentence style and clarity of text (sequence of events)

Instructional Resources

Notebook Know- How (Aimee Buckner)

The Reviser’s Toolbox( Barry Lane)

The Giggly Guide to Grammar (Cathy Campbell)

Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide (Fletcher and Portalupi)

Mentor Texts (L. Dorfman and R. Cappelli)

Study Driven (Katie Wood Ray)

The No Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing (Davis and Hill)

Possible Mentor Texts:

Picture Books

Someday By Allison McGhee

In My Momma’s Kitchen by Jerdine Nolen ( figurative language, dialogue, imagery)

Snowday by Lester Laminack (endings)

Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse

The Hello and Goodbye Window by Norton Juster


Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli                                                              

Knots in My Yo- Yo String by Jerry Spinelli (autobiography)                 

My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen             


Craig Wilson writes for USA Today

Guys Write for Guys Read by Jon Scieszka

Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Teens Talk Middle School

Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom- Middle School Edition

Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant