Trip to Oregon: A story written by a ten-year-old patient of ESHC
One Day, I woke up and looked outside. It was a rainy day in Oregon. My family, my friend, and his family went on a road trip to Oregon. I was in a tent in a RV park. My family slept in one tent and my friend and his family stayed in another tent.
I was going to go to the beach with my friend and our families. I went with my next-door-neighbor friend, Brandon. I felt happy and excited about going to the beach. Before we went, we all had breakfast and brushed our teeth. When we were finally ready, we walked up the sandy path from the RV park to the beach.
It was a rainy day at the beach and the sky was gray with lots of clouds. I could feel the wet sand with my bare feet. We set up our folding chairs. We also set up a soft quilt that was pretty big and colorful.
We were planning to each lunch at the beach. I was really excited to eat at the beach, so I took snacks to eat. Suddenly, it started to rain so we had to go back to the tent. It rained lightly for several minutes. I felt disappointed because we would not be able to play on the beach. We used my friend’s portable oven to make spaghetti and meatballs. We all ate together.
After lunch, we walked on a sandy trail up a hill then down onto the beach. We all walked as a group. It stopped raining, but the sand felt wet when I stepped on it. We heard the waves crashing on the shore. We built sandcastles and destroyed them. We played with the bright-colored smooth beach balls. We played pass, when you pass the ball to each other. Finally we played in the cold, large, rough waves.
At the end of the day, I felt tired and I was happy to say that I had a good day. I learned that when it rains, you may have to change your plans but you can still have fun.
This personal narrative was created for the purpose of enhancing the patient’s narrative and written language skills over the course of eight treatment sessions. He was introduced to narrative structure during previous sessions which focused on improving his reading comprehension skills. Visual supports, such as the story grammar marker, were used to help him link the information he read to the role it served in the story (e.g. setting, plot, consequence, resolution).
As his understanding of narrative structure increased, his ability to recall information within a passage also improved. As he continued to demonstrate difficulty including and organizing these essential components in his own writing, he began training for composition of a personal narrative. He completed the writing process, beginning with brainstorming (i.e. jotting down ideas, single words, even pictures to enhance creativity). After he decided on his topic, he created a story map to help him organize his ideas and sequence events in a logical order.
Next, he completed a rough draft of his story. While it accurately described actions within the story, it included few details, lacked transitions between events, and did not follow a logical sequence. He wrote each sentence from his draft on a separate note card. One session, he engaged in a creative writing activity that encouraged him to add details related to his five senses. The patient then added appropriate details to each of the story sentence cards. After he inserted some “sparkle” into his sentences, he added some variety to his sentence structure. He arranged and numbered each of his story cards to enhance the “flow,” or sequence of story events. With these revisions, he completed a second draft of his story and created a title. Finally, our young author completed the editing stage of the writing process, which focused on punctuation and spelling.
Enhance your child’s written language skills this summer by encouraging reflective writing or journaling. You may ask your child to journal each day about his or her experiences or write a story about a trip or vacation. For more ideas and additional resources, follow the links listed below.
The Writing Process: http://www.ttms.org/PDFs/04%20Writing%20Process%20v001%20(Full).pdf
Teaching Writing: http://www.time4learning.com/teaching-writing.shtml