Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Who Is That Masked Man?

Kelly Toomey

Description

Students will review and apply their knowledge of narrative writing to write a four or five paragraph story relating what occurs in their classroom when a mystery person enters and removes an item of importance.

Objectives

The student uses strategies to create an effective central theme or focus (suspense, humor, creativity or fantasy).

The student exhibits a consistent awareness of topic with no irrelevant information.

The student creates a logical organizational pattern (including an effective beginning, middle, end, and transitions) appropriate to narrative writing.

The student uses transitions effectively to move the narrative story forward in time.

Materials

-Copy of Practice Worksheet for each small group (See attached file.)
-Clothing and accessories for the masked man to dress up in

Preparations

1. Teacher arranges well in advance for a member of the faculty or staff to dress up in disguise and enter the classroom to remove an object of importance.
2. Teacher copies Practice Worksheet for small groups.

Procedures

1. Lesson Introduction: Begin with a review of narrative writing. Remind students that narrative writing tells about something that has happened or tells a story. It may be told in the first or third person. The topic sentence should tell enough to make the reader want to read on. The sentences that follow the topic sentence are in the order in which they occur.
2. To provide the class with some review practice of narrative writing, hand out the practice worksheet (See attached file). The topic sentence is provided. Students should work in small groups and brainstorm ideas about each of the three paragraphs. When they have completed their brainstorming activities, they should begin writing their paragraphs. When they have completed all three, they are to choose the one paragraph that they feel is the most effective and well-written.
3. One spokesperson from each group reads the winning paragraph aloud to the class.
4. When all groups have read their paragraphs, launch a discussion listing what strengths you can see in their writing and what the weaknesses are. Discuss ways that those weaknesses could be improved. Make sure to remind students to begin by grabbing the readerís attention. Make sure all items are in logical sequential order. Transition words (first, next, also, last, etc.) should be used between paragraphs. The conclusion, or ending, should tie up all loose ends and should not include any new information. The students should follow one central idea throughout their writing.
5. You should have arranged for another member of the faculty (teacher, coach, assistant, principal) to help you with this activity. At this point in the lesson have the mystery person enter your classroom dressed in disguise. Have them steal something from your classroom that either you or your students value. Play along and act just as shocked as the students.
6. After the mystery person has left your classroom, immediately explain to your students that it had been planned previously so as not to scare the students. Then explain that they will be responsible for writing a narrative essay describing what occurred in the classroom. Let them know that they can embellish or remove things if they so desire. Allow them a great deal of freedom in writing their story. Length of story is the teacherís preference, though for this activity I recommend four or five paragraphs.
7. When students have completed their writings, allow them to share their versions of the Case of the Mystery Person.

Assessments

After completing the Beacon Learning Center Lesson, use the following assessment criteria:
Students should be able to:
-Use strategies to create an effective central theme or focus. Teacher assesses by using rubric on written story (see attached file).
-Exhibit a consistent awareness of topic with no irrelevant information. Teacher assesses by using rubric on written story (see attached file).
-Create a logical organizational pattern (including an effective beginning, middle, end, and transitions, appropriate to narrative writing). Teacher assesses by using rubric on written story (see attached file).
-Use transitions effectively to move the narrative story forward in time. Teacher assesses by using rubric on written story (see attached file).

Extensions

1. This lesson is designed for use with students who have experience with narrative writing and with the writing of multiple paragraphs. They need to have some prior knowledge for this lesson to be successful.
2. To extend this lesson students may swap stories with a partner and peer edit and revise them. Then they can complete the writing process by writing their final drafts.

Attached Files

Narrative Writing Practice Worksheet (small group work)     File Extension: pdf

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