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From the Literacy Coach: Personal Narratives--Again?

From the Literacy Coach: Personal Narratives--Again?
Posted on 11/30/2018
Personal Narratives--Again? Yes, but this might be the year that we learn to love this genre.
   
As many parents know, every year, students in grades K-5 write Personal Narrative Stories. Students are asked to write stories about important moments in their lives. Students learn about the writing process and publish these narrative stories to share with their families and friends. Many of you have attended or will soon attend an Author Share/Author Breakfast to hear these narrative stories. Often, this is a tricky assignment for our students. Students don’t always know which moments are significant, and sometimes, it’s just too hard to pick just one small moment, even from a young life.

Children’s days are filled with significant small moments: they might make a new friend, learn to ride a bike, loose a first tooth, make a messy mistake, eat a delicious ice cream, or win as part of a sports team. This is the stuff that Personal Narrative Stories are made of, we want students to know personal stories matter at every age. This year, we will feature some narrative stories in the Haggerty Holler. Look for student short stories in the upcoming Holler editions. This week’s Feature Author is -Hazel, Grade 5, please enjoy! 


CORN
By: Hazel -5th grade


I don’t like corn. The only time I’ve ever liked corn was when I was a baby. But I soon realized that in my mind (and taste buds) “sweet” and “vegetable” did not go well together. For years I’ve put up with “It tastes like candy!” and “But it’s delicious!” But, no. I really just don’t like corn. So, when I was about...let’s say four... (I don’t have a very good memory of what age I was.) My mom gave me corn. Yuck. I was sitting at the table and she placed a heaping plate of corn in front of me. “Taste buds change! You’ll like corn someday!” My mother’s words were familiar and I let them drift around in my thoughts for a second before I turned back and faced the corn. Now, in hindsight I probably should’ve just eaten it. But no, I just had to find a way outta it. I picked at the corn with my fork and licked one or two pieces but never ate it. Finally, my mom sighed and walked back over to the table. “Fine.” she said wearily.. But instead of taking the corn back to the kitchen like I’d hoped, she picked up my fork and split the pile of corn in half. One half went to the right side of the plate, and the other half went to the left. “Eat just that half then.” My mother used the fork to point towards one half of the corn. I groaned inside my head but picked up the fork, ready to shove the wretched yellow veggies down my throat when suddenly, a lightbulb went off in my brain. It made sense as a four year old, but now I’m able to recognize all the flaws in my plan. I waited for what seemed like eternity but what was probably like thirty seconds before pushing one half of the corn, the half I was supposed to eat, into the other. I smiled at the empty side where my must-eat corn had been sitting, now combined into the other half. Satisfied and proud but just a touch of guilt in me, I called my mom over and told her I ate the corn. She took one glance at my corn, but didn’t yell or groan, and to my dismay, didn’t take away the plate either. She laughed, pointed at the corn, and said “eat.” And I did. I Swallowed every piece of corn and didn’t complain. I just ate.

You may be wondering how I’m doing with corn these days. Well, we’re still on unfriendly terms but, the fact that I still remember that day is what made me write the story. And if you’re a corn lover, I’m sorry but truth be told, I’m not just discriminating against corn. It’s the same for me with asparagus, peas, cooked spinach, and the stems of broccoli.