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

    A Timeline Of Events

    A Timeline Of Events


    Now it’s time for students to start planning their written chapter. They’ll read prior journal entries and written assignments to help them decide what they want to write about. As they start planning, they’ll consider what anecdotes and memorable characters to include and create a timeline of events.


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

    Your Written Work

    • Students will be completing a new piece of writing for the written chapter, but they can draw on the thinking they have done in assignments throughout the year to help them get started.


    What written work have you completed this year that might help you with the written chapter of your self-portrait?

    • Take a few minutes to list all assignments, journal entries, projects, and so forth that you think might be useful to look at.

    Open Notebook

    Ideas for Your Self-Portrait

    • Have students share ideas from the Opening. Hearing their classmates’ ideas may help students remember work they had forgotten.
    • SWD: Some students with disabilities may struggle with self-reflection and assessment of their writing; use your knowledge of student strengths and vulnerabilities to inform interventions you may put into place for this period of class time.
    • Remind students to think not only of finished products, but also drafts, false starts, journal entries, and brainstorming that they have done.
    • Review the Self-Portrait Project if you think it would benefit students.

    Work Time

    With your classmates and teacher, discuss your previous written work.

    • What work have you done that might be helpful for your self-portrait written chapter?

    Open Notebook

    Topics for Your Written Chapter

    • You may want to allow students to work in pairs if they feel that they could use another pair of eyes on their work to give them a fresh perspective.

    Work Time

    Go through your work from previous units and earlier in this unit. Identify parts that resonate with you for whatever reason: they seem particularly honest, artistic, important, revealing, or interesting.

    Then, look at the work you have identified. What trends seem to emerge?

    • Write one or two paragraphs explaining what you can learn about yourself from the writing you’ve perused.
    • Take some time to decide what you want your written chapter to be about. Is there a particular event, person, or relationship that you think reveals something about you? A choice you have made? A period in your life where you came to a new understanding about something or someone important? When you’ve decided, write a few sentences explaining what you want to write about and why.

    Open Notebook

    Your Message

    • Here, students are crafting the message of their written chapter. Reading through these sentences will give you a quick assessment of whether they are moving in the right direction.
    • ELL: Support ELLs to make sure they are able to produce their own sentences. Provide sentence frames if necessary.


    What’s the message of your written chapter?

    • In one succinct sentence, write what you want the readers of your written chapter to understand about you and the changes you are experiencing.

    Open Notebook

    Writen Chapter Planning

    • Review the three written chapter-planning forms if necessary.
    • ELL: Be sure ELLs have some ideas of what they want to write about.


    In the next lesson, you will compose the first draft of your written chapter. For homework, your job is to make sure you’re completely ready to start writing before class starts.

    To get ready, complete the three written chapter-planning forms. Brainstorm as many answers as you think will help you write your draft in the coming lesson.

    • Written Chapter Anecdotes and Details:
      Often what draws the reader into a piece of writing is a particular moment vividly described; the reader can see, hear, smell, and feel the scene. Dialogue between characters brings these moments and the characters to life. The moments, or anecdotes, are not summaries—they provide actual examples of tension and conflict in the interactions. Anecdotes are a powerful storytelling tool. Think about the story you will be telling in your written chapter. What anecdotes will help you round out your tale?
    • Written Chapter Timeline:
      In your written chapter, you may choose to make use of literary techniques such as flashback and foreshadowing. To help keep your own sense of events organized, it may help to compose a chronological timeline of what happens.
    • Written Chapter Characters:
      Often the people in a piece of writing are the most memorable feature. What characters will appear in your written chapter? How can you bring these characters to life? Think about the details you want to share about the characters you will include.

    Project Work

    • Remind students to continue to check their Planning Calendar throughout the unit to make sure they stay on track.


    Keep working on your self-portrait.

    • Collect artifacts and assets for your self-portrait, checking off items on your Self-Portrait Checklist as you go.
    • Log your progress in your Planning Calendar.