Kindergarten Memoir

Memoir Writing

Memoir Journal .. Diary… Personal Narrative …

Book Title/Cover Memoir Overview Objective Lesson Links & Black Line Masters
Number 21 recalls an event in author Nancy Hundal’s life in which her Dad brings home a new truck. Readers are lead on a mini mystery as the truck is used in an unconventional way on a hot summer day. Well written memoirs are based on ideas that have a very tight focus. In this lesson, Nancy’s book is used as a mentor text to model the narrow writing focus we want our students to have. Generating memoir topics at the beginning of the unit

Writing Trait: Ideas


Generating Ideas 

The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy, by Ursus Wehrli is a visual masterpiece begging for conversation. In this lesson, simply turn each page and open minds through discussion, questions, and reactions.  After reading, encourage students to find objects, both inside and outdoors, that lend themselves to a playful “clean-up!” Writing Trait: Ideas   


The Art of Clean Up

  Based on a true story, My Dream Playground recounts the events leading up to the first playground built by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that has created more than two thousand play-spaces. In this lesson kindergarten students will envision their dream playground, build it inside or out, and draw it with labels to show what they know about letter sounds. Writing Trait: Ideas 

My Dream Playground


My Dream PlaygroundMy Dream Playground BLMs K & 1

To prevent his son from being injured, mother mouse wraps her son in cotton balls. Will this protective coating protect her son from injury. Adding details  about getting an “owwie” is the objective of this lesson. As students share their owwie stories, they are encourage to add more details. First aid supplies are used to trigger more verbal and written details. Writing Trait:  Ideas


Cottonball Colin

KindergartenCotton Ball Colin

BLM for K writingCottonball Colin Kindergarten

Examples thanks to Kim Reynolds’ and Jan Maund’s Ks and ones. And more adorable examples from Pauline Mayer’s Ks!      Sample 1 ~  Sample 2Sample 3Sample 4Sample 5, Sample 6, Sample 7, Sample 8

  I LOVEthis book! By putting art first, students are motivated to write about a time they felt … happy, confused, furious, shocked, afraid, proud, jealous etc.Buy some vibrant chalk pastels, and raid your artroom for black construction paper and you’re set! In this lesson, you’ll share the book Happy written by Mies Van Hout, then students will create some vibrant pictures with fishy emotions, and write about a time they felt this way. I love reading about the lives of students and hope you will too! Writing Trait:  Ideas (details) Happy

Happy K/1 Examples


Two very different friends explore what it would be like to be more like the other. The objective of this lesson is to have young students add details or elaborate on one idea. Writing Trait: Ideas


Me and You Lesson

There are lots of new things in kindergarten. tiptoe into offers a glimpse into the first days of school when doing things with others may be a bit overwhelming. The objective of this lesson is to teach young children how to elaborate or add details about one topic using Lori Rog’s Five Finger strategy. Writing Trait: Ideas


Tiptoe into kindergarten Lesson

While students and teacher walk to the park, the last child in the line sees something that no one else sees and the creativity begins. Students create their own squiggles using string or markers, then turn them into something imaginative. Writing Trait: Ideas


The Squiggle Lesson

Be careful with that stick… or is it a stick? This book provides creative inspiration. In this lessons, students think of different things that a stick might become. This is not a stick, it’s a magician’s wand! Writing Trait: Ideas


Not a Stick Lesson

There are lots of things to see, taste, and catch while taking a walk through the seasons. In this lesson, kindergarten students will draw detailed pictures with labels to show seasonal differences. If completed during the different seasons, these samples may be used in a portfolio to show student progress. Writing Trait: Ideas


On My Walk

When Matt goes out to play in his new neighborhood, all he sees is a boring, empty lot. But with a stick, a little imagination and a few new friends, Mattland is born. In this lesson, students use the Show, Don’t Tell writing strategy to add details. At the kindergarten level, this can be done orally and by encouraging students to add details to their pictures. Writing Trait: Ideas


Mattland Lesson

Father and son watch machines at work while a new school is built. Getting young students to add details to their written work is the focus of this lesson. Writing Trait: Ideas


Building With Dad

From the first line of text, you just know this book is loaded with voice! Sophie Peterman has a lot to say about baby brothers. Will her opinion change as she gets to know the newest member of the family? In this lesson, students learn about voice by listening to a book that’s loaded with it! As differnet books are read aloud to kindergarten children, have them assess each one for levels of voice. Writing Trait: Voice


Sophie Peterman LessonSophie Peterman Voice Rubric

This is a wordless picture book with hilarious photos of food. Use the photos as a means to gather details in a kid-friendly way. Use the Show, Don’t Tell strategy to describe emotions. In this example “mad” is analyzed. Writing Trait: Ideas

Show Don’t Tell BLM

Food Play Image

Mad Dad