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A Suggestion for Units on Writing Narratives/Memoirs
Teaching students to write about their own memories? Here's a mentor text suggestion:

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Here's an idea from a fellow teacher:

Memories from a Pet or Object's P.O.V.

This review/activity was generously shared with us by Nevada teacher
Temoca Dixon
during an
NNWP-sponsored inservice class

on narrative and memoir.

There are many marvelous "mentor texts" that can be used when teaching a unit on narrative or memoir. The review of the book, My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, and the activity on this page were written by a Nevada teacher during an in-service class for teachers sponsored by the Northern Nevada Writing Project.

Are you a fan of WritingFix? Use this link to purchase My Life in Dog Years from and WritingFix will receive a small donation to help us continue posting free-to-use resources.

Washoe County teachers, click here to search for this title at the county library.

Two Book Reviews & an Activity Suggestion:

In the book, My Life in Dog Years, Gary Paulsen recounts periods of his life by which dog was present at the time. Gary has kept track of special moments in his life by realizing that there was always a dog present to share those moments with. I really like his dedication to his dog, Cookie, in which Gary believes Cookie is the only reason he is still alive today. I think Paulsen’s organization and idea development is well-written in this his story.

I have my students chose one item that is very close to them and write about memorable scenes from their life from the viewpoint of that item. The dogs in Gary’s life keep track of his life well. The students write about moments when they wore their favorite pair of jeans, or the student’s life in shoes. What would all of their shoes tell is if they were telling us a story? They students can bring in a picture of that object, although Gary had sketches of the different dog breeds he had owned. The students could put together a few longer pieces as a sequencing of their life and develop their own memoir.

Looking for complete writing lessons based on chapter books? Have you seen WritingFix's Chapter Books as Mentor Texts Collection?

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