15 Seconds of Fame

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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process, Journaling, Traits of Writing, Oral Language, Speaking

Grade 3- 5


The student will establish and develop a plot and setting. The student will present a point of view that is appropriate to the story, include sensory details, and concrete language to develop plot and character. The student will use a range of narrative devices.



  1. Distribute student copies of "Panic in Paris."
  2. Have students take turns reading portions of the narrative aloud to the class. When students have finished reading, review the elements of a narrative with them.
  3. Prepare a set of index cards with one of the following terms on each--narrative action, suspense or surprise, interior monologue, specific names, dialogue, visual details, sensory description, feelings, and insights.
  4. Divide the students into nine groups and distribute one index card to each of the groups.
  5. Have the students work together to find examples of the various narrative devices in "Panic in Paris." Ask one student from the group to present the groups' findings to the rest of the class.
  6. Discuss narrative techniques in general with the students. Use examples from well-known stories and ask the students to provide examples of the techniques from those stories.
  7. Distribute copies of pages 65-67, "15 Seconds of Fame" to the students. Ask them to complete the pages in preparation for writing an autobiographical incident essay.
  8. Instruct each student to write an autobiographical essay.
  1. Allow students to share their stories with each other in read-around groups.
  2. Have the students nominate which essays should be read aloud to the entire class.
  3. Create a class book of the essays. Display the book prominently in the class for all to read.
  1. Allow time in class for students to peruse the Internet for additional information on narrative techniques and voice. Require each student to find one item of interest for the class to view. (Be sure to monitor all Internet use in order to ensure student safety.)
  2. If desired, prepare an Internet treasure hunt for students in which they read narratives online. Require them to identify the narrative techniques in at least one of the pages you have them view.


  • student copies of "Panic in Paris" (page 64)
  • index cards
  • markers
  • student copies of "15 Seconds of Fame" (pages 65-67)
  • writing paper

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