OER Administrator
English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Narratives
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Revision of Character Narratives

    Revision of Character Narratives


    The purpose of this first informational Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write) is to determine what students already know about informational writing. Students will respond to a writing prompt, and you will score results as a measure of early work. Then they’ll finish their first revision of Your Character Narrative. They’ll write, confer with you, and perhaps get some help from group members.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Familiarize yourself with the writing prompt and the scoring guide.
    • Some students may not be adept at composing on the keyboard. You may want to give them the option of using paper and pencil and then taking a photo of their writing to preserve on their tablets.
    • Some students may not be adept at composing on the keyboard. Give them the option of using paper and pencil and then taking a photo of their writing to preserve on their tablet. Note that if they choose this option, you will need to score their assessment by hand or type in their response.
    • If you have students on an IEP or other accommodations, check to see whether they receive extended time or need an alternative test setting. Work with the professional supporting SWDs to make sure student needs are met.
      • Prepare activities for students who finish early.

    Informational Writing

    • Provide 3 minutes for students to complete a Quick Write.
    • Have students share what they already know about informational writing.
      • In the next task, students will take the assessment. Be prepared to do the following:
        • ✓ Answer any questions that are not of a substantive nature, providing no additional guidance about the prompt.
        • ✓ Do a quick thumbs-up/thumbs-down check to ensure that students understand the prompt and are ready to begin writing. Remind students that they will have only 20 minutes to write.
        • ✓ Tell students to begin working. When the allotted time has elapsed, tell students to stop working.
        • ✓ If students finish before time is up, direct them to other activities.


    Write a brief response to this question.

    • What do you already know about informational writing?

    Open Notebook

    Share your knowledge with the class.

    Benchmark (Cold Write): Informational

    • Direct students to take the assessment. They will be responding to the following prompt:
    • Think about all the various things you have learned in your school career. Pick one thing that you know a good deal about and that you think is significant. Assume that what you write will be evaluated on the following: How important what you’ve chosen as a topic really is, and how well you explain or tell about the thing.
    • After class, assess each student’s informational piece. Students will have opportunities to write informational texts throughout the year, during which they will have instruction on how to revise and edit their pieces. The information you gain from scoring this benchmark piece of writing will guide you in tailoring your writing instruction to individual student needs.
    • If students finish before time is up, direct them to other activities.

    Work Time

    Now you will write your informational piece. Remember that an informational piece is a text that gives facts and information about a topic. It can also be writing that explains something.

    You will have 20 minutes to write your informational piece.

    • Write a brief informational piece in response to the prompt.


    • Remind students of the importance of setting concrete goals for the limited time they have; tell them that if you know what they are trying to accomplish, you can use your time more effectively to help as many people as possible.
    • If they are having trouble setting goals, you may want to give them a few examples of things that can be accomplished in the rest of the period: revise the introduction, improve the dialogue, develop a character’s thoughts further, etc.
      • SWD: Assist students if they are struggling to identify good goals. Consider grouping those that need extra help and work with them as a way of supporting them.

    Work Time

    What do you need to accomplish during the rest of this period in order to be on track to finish your revision before the next lesson?

    • Set 1–3 specific goals for how you will use the remaining Work Time. What changes or parts of your narrative do you want to get done today?

    Open Notebook

    Share your response with your teacher. This will enable your teacher to know what you are working on and be as helpful as possible during the limited class time.

    Your Character Narrative

    • Before moving into this task, remind students of the norms you set for Independent Writing time.
    • Take this time to hold conferences with students you know may need it.
      • SWD: Be sure you can provide SWDs with extra time, should they need it. During the conferences, observe and ask questions to clarify should there be areas of concern in their writing.
    • It may help students to confer with people from their writing groups who are already familiar with their drafts; alternatively, some may wish to work quietly with those who know their characters well. You can decide what level of collaboration you are comfortable with during this task.
      • ELL: Allow ELLs to work with students who share the same primary language, should they wish to do so.

    Work Time

    Time to meet the goals you set.

    • Take this time to work on your revision.

    You Have a Choice
    You may want to confer quietly with a classmate from your character group or writing group, or you may want to have a conference with your teacher. When you are not having conferences, you should be working quietly.


    • Let students know that they are in effect creating their own homework assignments. Have them share their goals with you so that you know what each person is working on, and you can check in with those who need support during the coming lessons.


    You will need to finish your revision before the next lesson.

    • What do you still need to accomplish at home before then?

    Open Notebook

    Share this goal with your teacher.

    Your Character Narrative

    • Again, try to provide targeted feedback to support students.


    Meet your goal.

    • Finish Your Character Narrative revision.