English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Narratives
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Project Planning

    Project Planning


    Now that students have completed Your Character Narrative, it’s time to begin planning the second part of their project: their personal narrative. In this lesson, they’ll mine their personal journal entries for materials, and they’ll begin planning and outlining their first draft.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    If I Were a Character in Things Fall Apart

    • Encourage students to think back to all they learned about the other characters while writing and reading entries with their community group.
      • SWD: Some students might find difficulties in doing this activity. If that is the case, provide one example to get them get started.
    • This quick activity is meant to help students transition between thinking deeply about the characters in the book to thinking about their own lives, struggles, and strengths. Take a few minutes to discuss the parallels students have noticed between themselves and the characters in the book.
      • ELL: Monitor that some ELLs do not avoid this activity by staying quiet and not volunteering. Always be careful that all ELLs feel encouraged to share even if their command of the languages is weaker and their pace is slower.


    Which character in Things Fall Apart has the most similarities to you? Complete the following sentence.

    • If I were a character in Things Fall Apart, I would be __, because __.

    Open Notebook

    Share your response with your classmates. What do you notice about their responses?

    Planning Options

    • As in Lesson 18, a number of different Planning Options are provided for the brainstorming phase of this project. You might decide to let students choose which they prefer to use, or for specific students you may want to make suggestions based on what you know about their needs.
    • Emphasize the importance of taking this planning time seriously; students will not have much extra time during the planning, drafting, and revision process, and the thought they put in now will help them use the rest of their time more efficiently.
    • When appropriate, students will have the option to work independently, in pairs, or in a group. Explain that they should choose how they think they will work most effectively on any given day. If they choose to confer with a partner today, they might still work individually during the next Work Time.
    • Use this time to confer with students who need the additional support.

    Work Time

    Today’s task is similar to that of Lesson 18’s: you will be independently working through a variety of planning options to support your first steps in writing your own personal narrative.

    • Use My Planning Options on the next screen to brainstorm, collect ideas, and plan what details from your life you will use. Look through the different options and choose the ones that will work best for you.
    • You can also use your Notebook to brainstorm, map your ideas, and plan.

    Open Notebook

    You Have a Choice
    In this class, you will sometimes have a choice of how you want to complete your assignments. You can choose to complete this task independently or with a partner.

    Your Message

    • Your students’ messages will give you a sense of whether they are on the right track or they need additional support for this part of the project. As you read through their messages, check to see that each student has written something honest—preferably revealing some struggle or flaw—but also positive, showing growth or learning.


    Complete a Quick Write.

    • Write one clear sentence that states the overall message you would like your readers to understand after reading your narrative.

    Open Notebook

    Share this with your teacher.

    Your Personal Narrative

    • Remind students that the goal at this point is to write—they will have time to revise, but it is important that they begin to get some thoughts on paper.


    • Begin writing a draft of your personal narrative.

    Open Notebook

    In the next lesson, you will continue working on this draft.

    Gallery: My Planning Options

    • Help students use the My Planning Option forms if necessary.