IMG_1647One of my 2nd grade groups has been working on personal narratives.  I started out reading Bill Cosby’s The Worst Day of My Life as a mentor text example of one little boy’s account of the worst day ever.  Students had to pinpoint what made his day so bad and then journal about what would be a really bad day for themselves as well.

We then transitioned into Cynthia Rylant’s Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All.  Students had to organize what would qualify as the best day ever for themselves and then what Henry and Mudge considered to be the best day of all.  We compared and contrasted the difference between the two books.  One of the things I noticed was it doesn’t take much to make it the best day ever for an 8 year old.  Things like having chicken nuggets for school lunch or their parents taking them out to dinner to even being able to ride their bike around the neighborhood all day were some of the things they mentioned.  Simplicities like that just make life so lovely.

IMG_1653After we finished reading Henry and Mudge I introduced a personal narrative graphic organizer.  I filled out the details of the best day of my life; when my son, Houston, was born.  The graphic organizer is on the right and you’ll have to forgive that it isn’t completely filled out.  I had a couple of extra meetings I had to attend later in the week and wanted them to be able to finish their work before we were done for the year.  Students had homework to think about what their best day was and come prepared the next day to fill out their own graphic organizer and write about it.

I was really happy to see the 2nd graders write about such happy moments in their life–including one student who wrote about the day she was adopted.  It opened up some really great moments for the students to share with each other.  After they had written their rough draft I was able to conference with each student before they moved onto their final copy.

We ended our group for the year by sharing our happiest moment stories with each other.  I think it’s easy to get bogged down with negativity so it’s always nice to be able to share the positive.