blog stats

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

Navigating WritingFix:

Return to the WritingFix Homepage

Return to the Narrative & Memoir Homepage

Check out all of WritingFix's Mentor Text Suggestions

________________

Here's a thoughtful idea from a fellow teacher:

A Memoir Inspired by
Three Truths and a Lie

This review/activity was generously shared with us by Nevada teacher
Jan Eakin
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, Would I Ever Lie to You?, by Caralyn Buehner 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 Would I Ever Lie to You? from Amazon.com 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.


A Review of this Book & an Activity Suggestion:

With Would I Ever Lie to You?, author Carlalyn Buchner and illustrator Jack E.Davis collaborate to bring this story’s message of bullying and lying to the reader with humor and a visual boldness of character. The main character is a young boy whose older cousin teases and often says outrageous things to him until he is unsure if what Ed (his cousin) says is a lie or the truth. Through the rhyme and meter and the repeated phrase “Would I Lie to you?” the story is poem-like and almost predictable. With each event, the main character questions whether his cousin is just telling him another lie or teasing him again. In the end, the main character is able to get revenge on his cousin in such a humorous way that the author lets you believe just deserts were served.

Activity:

Step 1 As a beginning activity to a personal narrative writing assignment, have the students create Memoir Cards. Using the game 3 truths and 1 lie, ask the students to put down on a 3x5 index cards three truths about themselves and one thing that is a believable (but untrue) exaggeration. To help keep the identity of the student confidential, retype the three truths and one lie into a strip and re-glue them back on to a 3x5 cards. Depending upon the age group doing this activity, you may want to brainstorm questions for the students to help them create the statements of truth and a believable exaggeration.

Objectives

  1. Develop problem-solving skills through logic to discover whose card they have;
  2. Gain prior knowledge of exaggeration and truth;
  3. Getting to know their fellow students.

Step 2 Give the cards randomly back to the students. Have the students circulate around the room asking students to answer questions from the 3 truths one-lie information on the card given to them. Those asked can only answer yes or no. No other information can be given. Students can fill in a chart, like the one below, to help them find who the card they have belongs to

Student Instructions:

Using this grid fill in students' names as you ask them to answer questions from the card. Remember you can only answer yes or no, and you can only ask questions about the statements on the card. See if you can figure out whose card you have.

Student name: Question 1 Question 2 Question 3 Question 4

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Yes No

Step 3 Discuss students findings, making sure to emphasize how hard it can be to tell when someone is kind of exaggerating or plain lying (or just being a bully).

Step 4 Read the story Would I Ever Lie to You?

Step 5 Have the students brainstorm times in which they may have been a bully to someone younger than they are or when they had someone be a bully to them. Have them come up with three or four examples of each.

Step 6 Then have the students pick one of their ideas and expand it into a longer story, one that is full of details and voice. Because the illustrations were such a big part of this mentor text, you may want to have the students illustrate their story too.


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

Thank you for using the WritingFix website!


WritingFix Homepage Narrative/Memoir Homepage WritingFix's Bibliography of Mentor Texts
© WritingFix. All rights reserved.