GEDB Ideas Worth Sharing: Messages in Memories (Lesson 3 of 5)
Students will determine the significance of an event and the life lesson through sample memoirs (mentor text). They will evoke their own important memories by drawing upon emotions. Students zoom in on a moment and share stories with consideration for possible bias. This lesson was developed by Jaclyn Garing as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
Students will determine the significance of an event and the life lesson through sample memoirs (mentor text). They will evoke their own important memories by drawing upon emotions. Students zoom in on a moment and share stories with consideration for possible bias.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
Students evaluate the author's purpose for telling a story. Why does this story matter? What message is the author truly wanting to communicate the reader? As students prepare to write their own personal stories in a memoir, students will understand that culture impacts our story and how we choose to share our own personal truths with consideration for bias.
Learning Tasks and Practice
Teacher will share a personal story evoked by an emotion. Teacher will tell students a story about a time she felt shame, making a poor decision during a high school test and the life lesson learned.
As students prepare to write their own personal stories in a memoir, students will begin to think about the following questions: How will we share our story? How will culture impact our story? How will we share our own personal truths and avoid bias?
Teacher will read aloud two sample memoirs: Eleven by Sandra Cisneros and My Grandmother’s Hair by Cynthia Rylant.
With a partner, students will choose one memoir to discuss in length. They will examine the significance of the author’s experience and how they effectively communicate an important life lesson.
Partner Discussion Questions:
- How does the author develop the experience more than the event itself?
- What life lesson is the author trying to teach through their experience?
- How does culture impact their story?
- Are other perspectives considered in the experience?
After analyzing the messages of sample memoirs, students prepare to write long, or “flash draft,” by examining another way writers think of meaningful stories from their lives. Tell students to think about an emotion and list specific moments that evoked that emotion. Teacher shows diverse images on smartboard that convey emotions such as wonder, worry, shame, fear, pride, disgust, anticipation, patience, etc. Students will write down two emotions they want to focus on. They will list specific moments that evoke the emotion in their daybook.
Flash Draft: Students choose one moment from their list and flash draft an anecdotal story:
Possible sentence starter: “I remember the moment when…” Students are reminded to include the following details: When did the moment take place? Where did the moment take place? Who was involved? What happened? How did you react? How did others involved react?
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
Student generated "flash draft" or anecdotal story
Student reflection piece: What might you have omitted from the story to convey a message or that suited your interpretation and needs?