A Chapter Book-inspired Narrative & Writer's Notebook Lesson

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Writing about
Life's Lessons

using proverbs to inspire ideas for
narrative writing


Student Writer Instructions:

In the first five pages of A Single Shard, author Linda Sue Park describes an experience from which Tree-ear--the main character--learns a value lesson about surviving in the world. The sequence of events plays a particularly important role in the outcome of the experience.  The decision Tree-ear makes helps to bring not only food to his dinner table, but also feelings of well-being to the stranger he meet on the road, as well as to himself.  He has heeded the words of wisdom that his guardian, Crane-man, has taught him.

For your writing challenge, first you will complete a graphic organizer about an experience you’ve had that has shaped or changed you as a person.  The experience you select must have taught you a life lesson—one that you know will stay with you for the rest of your life.  The incident need not be a grand event; in fact, it might only be a small event.  Whatever the experience, you now think twice when faced with a similar situation. 

Second, you will think about the one-line life lesson (proverb, theme statement) you learned from your experience.  You can click on the buttons below to see if any of the proverbs express the meaning of the lesson you learned.  All of the proverbs listed in the prompts/buttons come directly from Single Shard and are either implicitly or explicitly expressed.  If you do not find a proverb that fits your experience, create one that you feel can apply not only to your life but also to people in general.

Third, you will use your proverb to help guide the writing of your experience.

Be sure you consider the order of the events has they occurred.  You don’t need to tell every detail; instead, focus in on the three most important.


Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Life lessons & proverbs from A Single Shard:
Write about your own experience with one of these lessons, or come up with a proverb that fits you:


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