Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process
Grade 5- 8
Students create star mobiles to highlight writing of their own lives, focusing on their achievements since birth.
- Ask each student to brainstorm significant events from his or her life onto a sheet of paper. The student should then organize those ideas in sequence. (The student should list at least five items but no more than fifteen.)
- Have each student write an autobiographical narrative of his or her life, telling the story through the narration of these significant events. (The student need not go into significant detail about any single event; leave such detail for a future writing assignment.) Have the student edit and revise as you desire.
- Distribute page 25. Ask each student to cut out the star patterns. The student should count the number of events listed in his or her narrative and reproduce that number of stars onto a desired color of construction paper. The stars should graduate in size: the most distant events will be written on the smallest stars and the most recent on the largest. The largest star of all should be reserved for the top of the mobile.
- Using fine-point markers, have the student write the events on the stars, one event per star (graduating the stars as stated in step 3).
- Punch a hole in the top of each star.
- Have each student trace the pattern of the largest star onto cardstock. Glue the cardstock to construction paper with the pattern facing up. Cut out the cardstock star. Punch a hole near the tip of each of the star's five points.
- Cut a length of fishing line or thread and staple it to the center of the cardstock star. (Staple the thread to the cardstock side. The construction paper side should face down.) Then tie lengths of line to each hole at the star's points, graduating the lengths so they are progressively longer.
- Tie the "life event" stars to the threads in order, tying the smallest star to the shortest string. If there are more than five events, punch holes in the bottom of the hanging stars and add graduated lengths of thread to them, adding the additional stars until they are all hanging.
- Tack or staple the mobiles to the ceiling. Display the autobiographical narratives on a nearby bulletin board, bordered with stars.
- copy of "The Star of My Show Patterns" (page 25) for each student
- yellow, white, and light blue construction paper (silver and gold, too, if available)
- fishing line or white thread
- hole punches
- writing paper
- pens or pencils
- fine-point markers
- glue sticks
- thumbtacks (optional)