Are you struggling to teach writing to your 3rd graders? Perhaps you just don’t know where to start. You’re constantly googling, ‘how do you teach writing to 3rd graders?’ or ‘how can I help my 3rd graders with writing?’ You’re tearing your hair out with frustration.
Maybe it’s because your school doesn’t provide you with a writing curriculum. So, you’re spending your precious evenings and weekends looking on Pinterest for lesson ideas. Or worse, a curriculum is provided…but it’s just downright terrible. You can’t make sense of it and your students hate it.
Perhaps your students just hate writing in general and roll their eyes at the thought of it.
Well, here’s the thing. Teaching writing ‘aint easy. In fact, it can be straight up tricky, I get it!
But don’t worry friend, I’ve got you covered.
Introducing Terrific Writing
Terrific Writing is a comprehensive writing curriculum for Third Grade. This curriculum is standards based (to the common core) and genre based. But best of all, it’s actually easy to teach and engaging for students!
In this curriculum, your students will develop a love of writing. The graphic organizers, interactive notebooks, and final craft will engage students much more than a blank piece of paper. The final writing piece asks students to write about a special day that they have chosen! After all, students love to write about things that they are interested in.
Writing doesn’t have to be dull and students definitely shouldn’t hate writing!
In Unit 1 ‘Personal Narratives’, students learn how to write engaging personal narratives about their lives.
Are you short on time?
This 5 week unit has EVERYTHING you need, because let’s be honest, teachers are time poor.
So, let’s get your evenings and weekends back, my friend! Take a break from lesson planning and searching for engaging materials. It’s all right here.
Are you ready? I’m going to share some of the awesome things about it!
What’s included in this third grade writing – personal narratives unit?
First up, there are a bunch of teacher docs. Unit contents, common core standards, and teacher directions? Check.
To begin, there’s some suggested mentor texts (with links to Amazon and YouTube). Also, a scope is included which shows the 25 lessons that feature in this unit and the third grade common core standards that are relevant.
Also, there is a unit at-a-glance calendar, as well as a table which tells you what materials you will need for each lesson. Basically, I’ve tried to make this unit super easy to implement. It has everything you need!
Next, there’s some suggested lesson times. To clarify, it doesn’t matter how long your writing block is, this unit can be adapted to suit it!
A lot of teachers struggle with finding the time to teach writing. If this is you, you’re not alone!
Then, there’s the 25 scripted (and step-by-step) lesson plans. The lessons follow a simple format of mini lesson, think and share, and independent writing time. There’s a lesson focus to guide you and all of the required materials are listed with numbers. For example, you’ll know exactly which posters and printables you need.
Subsequently, there’s a video that comes with this unit. This will help you organize and implement everything.
Wondering how to assess your student’s writing? Don’t sweat it!
There’s an assessment document for this unit too. It includes a rubric to help you grade your student’s writing.
However, I’m not just throwing you to the sharks here! Rubrics can sometimes be generic or difficult to decipher. That’s why I’ve made a comprehensive document with teacher directions, as well as elaborations and examples. Moreover, there’s a video to help you understand the rubric.
Personal narrative mentor texts
I do give a list of suggested mentor texts that you can source, but in addition, I provide two original mentor texts for this unit! These come in PDF and PowerPoint versions (as well as color and black and white). You can print them in any size or just display them on an interactive whiteboard.
The great thing about these original mentor texts is that they include all of the features of a personal narrative that are taught in the unit. For example, students will see examples of dialogue, paragraphing, and hooks.
Personal Narrative Posters
This unit comes with 25 posters that you can reference to! Each lesson corresponds to them. Most importantly, they are great for giving writing ideas and reinforcing the narrative structure.
You can print them in color and laminate them. They are great for displaying in the classroom. However, you can also display these posters digitally (if you have limited printing options).
Already interested in this third grade writing personal narratives unit? Grab it here!
Personal narrative printables
There are student workbook covers that you can print. There are three options, ‘My Writing Folder’, ‘My Writing Notebook’, and ‘My Writing Journal’. Your students can glue these covers onto their folders or books. The covers come in color and black and white (there are also boy and girl versions).
Let’s now take a look at the writing prompts, worksheets, interactive notebooks and graphic organizers!
In the first few lessons, students complete a pre-assessment and then an interactive notebook where they brainstorm narrative ideas based off things they love.
Students then learn about zooming in on a small moment. They are introduced to the concept of ‘big idea, smaller topic, and small moment’.
Next, they think about happy and sad moments in their lives.
The Elements of a narrative
They then learn about the importance of characters, setting, problems, and solutions in narrative writing.
The Structure of a narrative
Later, students learn about how narratives have a beginning, middle and end. After that, they start planning their final narrative.
Writing a strong lead
Students learn about the importance of writing a hook and a strong introduction. This aligns well with the common core standard –
W.3.3.A – Establish a situation and introduce characters.
Features of a good narrative
There are a few lessons about concepts such as dialogue and paragraphing. Likewise, students learn about making their writing more descriptive by stretching their sentences and doing ‘show, don’t tell’.
This aligns well with the common core standard –
W.3.3.B – Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
The conclusion to a narrative
Later, there’s a lesson about adding transition words. Students also learn about how to write a strong ending to their narrative. These lessons align well with the following common core standards –
W.3.3.C – Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
W.3.3.D – Provide a sense of closure.
After students have written their first draft, they use two checklists to proofread their work. One checklist grades narrative structure and the other is a more generic checklist for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
The students do a self check, peer check, and adult check.
narrative Writing craft
Finally, students create a cute flipbook craft for their final writing piece. They write about their special day. For instance, a birthday, holiday, celebration, or fun day out.
It’s a flipbook, so they can add as many pages underneath as they need! This craft is great for a bulletin baord display.
Already interested in this third grade writing personal narratives unit? Grab it here!
Personal narrative Task Cards
I think it’s super imortant to have purposeful early finisher tasks and extension activities during writing lessons. Above all, we should be challenging our advanced writers. That’s why this unit also includes task cards for writing personal narratives.
Third Grade Writing – Personal Narratives
Here’s an overview, with some more information about the unit –
- 25 step-by-step scripted lesson plans
- 25 posters
- 20 graphic organizers / worksheets
- 2 interactive notebooks and 1 writing craft
- 2 original mentor texts (PowerPoint versions and PDF in color and b&w)
- 24 tasks cards extension activities (2 versions – b&w, color)
- 1 assessment rubric
- Video overview to help organize and implement the unit
- List of common core standards that align with this unit
- Teacher directions for the lesson plans
- Suggestions for differentiation and lesson times
- List of recommended mentor texts (with links)
- Unit scope and at-a-glance calendar
- Lesson materials list
- Student book/folder cover (3 versions – journal, notebook, or folder)
- 1 writing prompt pre-assessment
- 4 lined pages (for first drafts and crafts)
- 2 checklists
- 1 set of compliment notes (2 versions – b&w, color)
- 1 certificate (2 versions – b&w, color)
- Teacher directions, examples, and elaborations for the rubric
- Video with tips for using the rubric
In the first 11 lessons, students develop an understanding of what a personal narrative is. They also learn about small moments and choosing a writing topic. Then, they start learning about the structure of a narrative.
- Lesson 1 – What is a personal narrative?
- What can I write about?
- What is a small moment?
- My small moment
- Positive memorable moments
- Negative memorable moments
- What is the structure of a narrative?
- Personal narratives need characters
- Personal narratives need a setting
- Narratives have problems
- Narratives have solutions
For the next part of the unit, students begin planning and writing their final writing piece.
- What will my narrative be about?
- Let’s plan a narrative
- Start with a hook
- Writing an introduction
- Show, don’t tell
- Stretching sentences
- Using dialogue
- Powerful paragraphs
- Transition words
- Writing an ending
- Putting it all together
- Revise and edit
- Final draft and illustrations
- Publishing party
Click here to see a video that shows everything in the unit.
Want to try a free sample?
Yep, you can try one of the lessons, graphic organizers, and posters for free! Click here to grab the free sample.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this third grade writing personal narratives unit!
Click here to grab the full unit!