Finding access to writing through memoirs

Sylvia Holper, Third Grade, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit looks at how the nonfiction genre of memoir can be implemented into a German immersion classroom. Furthermore, it shows various steps students undertake before creating their final pieces of writing. As a first step, students review the structure of stories and read multiple memoirs. During this time, students find the structure of memoirs as well. In a brainstorming activity, students collect writing ideas and create a journal in which they write first drafts of memoirs about topics based on their life events. Students will use one of their drafts to go through several stages of revising and editing with the help of the teacher and other students. This will be supported by classroom strategies like a writing workshop with a writer’s café and one-on-one meetings with the teacher. After this writing process students have the opportunity to publish their memoir in a class book and read it to parents and other students during an Afternoon full of memoirs. This curriculum unit should motivate students to write for themselves with meaning by creating a memoir which integrates a personal life event.