Creative Writing Personal Essay Unit

Personal Moment Essay Calendar

Here is a calendar view of our current unit and below you can find all the handouts/prompts distributed in class. If you have any questions or for some reason are unable to find what you are looking for please e-mail me at











-Invention Activity #1

-Introduction to Essay

-Assign student number


HW- Think about story and decide which story/memory it is you will use.

-Invention Activity #2

-Show examples of switches in POV together as a class.


HW- Choose a POV and add minimum of 150 words to story. Bring copy to turn in tomorrow, highlighting added words.

-Draft #1 Due

-During-The-Writing Activity #1



HW- Add minimum of 200 words. Bring in copy to turn in, highlighting added words


-Draft #2 Due


-Peer Review Activity



-Return notes made by peers

-During-The-Writing Activity #2

-Teacher/Student conferences


HW- Finish the story. Not a final draft, but complete what you think the story is. Bring 2 copies, one to turn in and another for an in-class activity.






-Draft #3 Due

-Revision/Editing #1


-HW make changes from notes in class. Bring copy for in-class activity.

-Revision/Editing #2

-Teacher/Student conferences


HW- Make changes considering notes made by peers and bring 2 copies, one to turn in and another for an in-class activity.

-Draft #4 Due


-Peer Review Activity

(Same activity from Nov. 3)



-Return notes made by peers

-Discuss and outline all requirements for final draft.


HW- Complete story, bring in Final Draft to turn in Friday.


Pre-Writing/Invention #1

     Today we are going to take a journey back in time and recreate a memory. Go back and remember a memory from your past that stands out to you. You are responsible for explaining why you chose this specific memory, who was there and where it took place. Remember this journal writing may help you with a future essay at some point this semester so try to get some of the important details down here in the next ten minutes.

Pre-Writing/Invention #2

     Yesterday we discussed our upcoming essay which will revolve around a special memory in each of your lives. We also did a quick write on the same content and that will most likely help serve as a jump start for your essay. Today it is your job to tell the same story, but from a different Point of View. So yesterday if you used 1st person POV try writing in either 2nd or 3rd person today. Telling a story from a different perspective will help you to see the story in another light and get your creative juices going.

During-The-Writing #1

            Today we will be working on improving the language used in each of you stories. It is your job to find at least 15 words that are maybe a little too simple, or over used in your essay. We have the computers today so you can also add to your story if you find a place where you would like to add more, but I need a list of 10 words or phrases that you change to be more descriptive, and the reason why you changed them. This is designed to help your readers get more involved in your story and will also help them picture what is happening and feel like they are part of the story. If you feel stuck on a word feel free to look it up online and find synonyms that may be more descriptive.


First Draft: We ate turkey.                                

Revised: Every thanksgiving we would eat my grandmother’s famous turkey. She would serve it hot and fresh out of the oven, and when I dipped it in gravy my mouth would water.

Peer Review Activity


            Today you have brought a copy of your rough draft with your assigned number instead of your name (so author’s can remain unknown). Now that I have collected them I will pass them back out at random. It is now your job to read over and review the essay. Once you have finished reading the story, create a write up regarding your review of the paper, including areas you believe could be improved and how, and places you think are successful that they could build from. This review will be written on a blank sheet of paper with your name on top. You will have 15 minutes to complete this and then you will pass the paper to your neighbor, by the end of class each story should have at least three peer reviews. Your review sheet will be turned in to me as you leave class today, along with the last paper you review.


During-The-Writing #2


         Today will be designed to make sure each of your stories flows well throughout. It is important to make sure that you follow each step given below and by the end of the day you should be able to check each one off the list. To begin we will write for 15 minutes and you can add to your story but make sure to keep these things in mind. After that we will have time to go through and make sure all of these steps are complete and nothing seems repetitive throughout the story.



         _____ Most of my sentences begin with different 

                   words or phrases.


         _____ I used both long and short sentences.


         _____ I used a variety of interesting and 

                    meaningful transition words. (first, finally, later, then, while, etc.)


         _____ I used a variety of interesting conjunctions. (and, but, or, etc.)


         _____ If read aloud, you can hear the beginnings of 

                    rhythm behind my sentences.


Revision/Editing #1

            Today is completely for your own personal revision of your essay. Yesterday we spent the day working with peer review and now you have your essays that were worked on yesterday, attached with the comments from your peers. It is now your job to read over your essay again and then read over the comments from your peers and make any necessary changes. If you add something and it just doesn’t seem right, take it back out and try something new. This is all we will be doing in class today, so take your time and do not rush. Remember, there is no prize for the person that finishes first, so take your time!


Revision/Editing #2


            Today you will be getting into groups of 3 and will spend the day reading your stories to the members of your group. At this point you have had peers comment on a previous draft, and you should have made adjustments accordingly and today is designed for the final polish of the essays. If you are not reading, you should be listening very closely and taking notes and be prepared with advice and questions for the members of your group that will be helpful for them in creating their final drafts. After you read to your group take the time necessary to discuss what each of you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the story. Also, remember to collect the notes and questions from your peers, as I will be collecting those along with your final drafts. We will wrap this up about ten minutes before class ends and I will give you time to make notes to yourself and you can make any editing corrections then.