K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Related pages

  • Lesson plans for teaching style: A collection of LEARN NC's lesson plans for teaching style, the fourth of the five features of effective writing.
  • Lesson plans for teaching conventions: A collection of LEARN NC's lesson plans for teaching conventions, the fifth of the five features of effective writing.
  • Focus: Focus, the first Feature of Effective Writing, is the "so what?" in a piece of writing. This article will help you teach students to stay on topic.

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Narrowing the Focus: What’s the Main Event?
In this lesson, students will learn how to narrow the focus of their personal narrative down to one main event by selecting a more specific title. Good stories are focused on one topic or main event. The reader should be able to tell the most important thing that the story is about. Instead of writing a story about a whole vacation that describes many events, it is a good strategy to write a story about one thing that happened on the vacation-one main event.
Where do I begin?
Picking a good beginning helps you to focus your story on just one main event. In this lesson students will learn how to pick a good beginning for their personal narratives.
You Can’t Tell It All!: Narrowing the Focus of Personal Narratives
Students will learn to focus their personal narratives on just one main event by listing events on a topic and identifying one main event to write about. Focusing their personal narratives on one main event helps students to write about only the important things and leave out events and details that are not related to the main event.