- Students will express their water story as an individual personal narrative.
- Students will express their water story as a whole group class narrative.
- Common Core English Langauge Arts Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3, W.5.3a, b, c, d, and e. (These are 5th grade standards, but could be adjusted to any grade’s writing standards).
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
- Briefly journal notes on what you saw and what you remember from your water field trip (or other studies and interaction of water source).
- Discuss as a class.
- Post reflective questions.
- Remind students that a narrative’s traits include the following: ideas, strong organization, personal voice, thoughtful word choice, fluent sentences, proper writing conventions.
- Students write personal narrative on experiences with water.
- Peer and adult edit personal narrative drafts.
- Write a final copy of a personal narrative.
- For a group narrative, teacher facilitates discussion for students to share something unique that you think no one else wrote from step 1. Project on board to see ideas develop. Discuss how to turn into group personal narrative with narrative traits.
- Illustrate your narrative.
Assessment: Use annotation rubric guide, of CCSS p. 28.
Our Field Trip to Maumee Bay State Park: A Group Personal Narrative
On our field trip to Maumee Bay State Park on Lake Erie, we picked up trash, tested the water quality, and had a picnic. When we first arrived, Jacob said, “When I look out at the water, I imagine that I am a fish.” The beach felt so soft and sandy! We learned that Lake Erie, which started as a glacier, is special because it is the most shallow of the Great Lakes. Since we know this is where our drinking water comes from, we cared to clean it. When Harrison and Luke found 2 full bottles of water, they poured it on the ground, returning it to the water cycle, and recycled the bottles. We assumed that the wooden planks we found on the beach were washed up from a boat. We saw a clam that was still alive. Adam found a cap that roots were growing through. We guessed the weight of the trash and did a mini math lesson with it, and were so close with our prediction of 40 pounds. We actually collected 43 pounds of trash and 10 pounds of recycling.
Our class tested the water’s turbidity, ph, and temperature through the GLOBE program. The phosphate level was at a low level of 1 mg/L, which is good! We talked about how harmful algae blooms happen sometimes in Lake Erie. Too many phosphates from our lawns’ and farms’ fertilizers are one of the things that can make this worse.
When we were at lunch on the beach, we finally had the time to relax. Julia said, “It feels like we are on vacation!” It is fun to play on the beach and look at the water. We even imagined we were at the ocean when we saw seagulls! Lake Erie is a beautiful place and we take care of it. Back at school, Thomas showed us on a world map that all five of our Great Lakes connect to each other, flow into the St. Lawrence River, and into the Atlantic Ocean. Te’Lir then said, “I feel like I’m saving the whole world from pollution!”
Written by 5th grade with Mrs. Loar, Ms. Schetter, and Mrs. Mercer
From Wildwood Environmental Academy, Maumee, Ohio, USA
Click here for this narrative with more photos.