At the start of each year I put my kids into writing groups ( I have them write on a card 3 people they want to work with and 1 person they don’t think they can work well with- I tell them I will put them in a group with at least one person they want to work with). These are groups where the students talk about writing, help each other with their writing and share their pieces. For the first writing group activity, I gave each group a folder with four personal narratives from previous students. I purposely picked pieces that were awesome examples of personal narratives, to pieces that needed some work!
The groups had to read each piece and with post it notes, mark up the text with things they noticed that were good and areas where they thought needed improvement. I wanted them to aslo take note of the opening, closing, use of figurative language and senses. They then shared their thoughts with the class and each group compared what their group noticed on the same piece.
What I liked about this activity was that the students were able to look at examples of narratives and hopefully carry over some of the things they noticed to their own pieces when we begin personal narratives.