Category: Module 1 – Literacy Narrative (Page 1 of 3)

Project 1 – Literacy Narrative

Project 1: Literacy Narrative

Due Dates: 

  • Draft of Literacy Narrative Due Wed. Sept. 21st (for in class revision and editing): 
  • Final Literacy Narrative and Unit 1 Reflection Due: Monday Oct. 3rd



Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing by Jose Olivarez Wed. Aug. 31s (in class)

Amy Tan “Mother Tongue” Reading Due Mon. Sept. 12th

Jamila Lyiscott’s “Broken English Mon. Sept. 12th (in class) 

Jose Antonio Vargas “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” Due Wed. Sept. 14th

Malcolm X’s “Learning to Read”  Due Mon. Sept. 19th


In this unit, you will write about a significant event or events that had an impact on the way you view the ways you view language and literacy. Think about the examples we’ve read in class: they talk about specific events in-depth, using concrete, significant detail– and then they explain why those events were important– not just to the writer, but to the reader.  

What can your experiences with language tell your audience about the ways bilingualism is perceived in America, for example? Or about the ways we speak differently around different groups of people? You want your reader to come out of your narrative having learned something or thinking about things in a new way.

What is a Literacy Narrative?

A literacy narrative tells the story of the development of a person as a reader and writer. It may capture important pieces of the author’s identity, struggles, turning points, or people who influenced them. 

The project

You will craft a literacy narrative of at least 1000 words. The narrative should depict a moment that captures an important element of your life with a focus on the development of your reading or writing identity.

You will not tell the whole story of your life, but rather present a slice of your life. You will focus on one or two key events, moments, people, etc. that influenced the development of your literacy identity. The narrative should tell a personal story about your experience as a reader and a writer. 

You may want to write about:

  • An event in when you noticed language (either your own or someone else’s)  that was particularly formative;
  • An experience around speech or communication that led you to become the person you are today;
  • The first time you had a profound experience related to language;
  • A place, person, book, author, community or experience that influenced your identity in a positive or negative way. Focus particularly on your identity as a reader, writer or student;
  •  An important lesson that was learned, a time you learned something about yourself as a reader or a writer;
  • An occasion when you had to display literacy in a particular academic discipline; 
  • A new literacy (way of communicating) you had to learn at a workplace;
  • An experience using varying methods of communication with classmates, team members or people in your community. 

Whatever the context you choose from the examples above, you should:

  • Talk about how the event shaped your relationship to communication in general;
  • Talk about how your particular experience relates to some of the bigger social and cultural issues we discussed in class, such as race, Standard Written English (SWE), etc.;
  • Reflect upon how your experience has enabled you to understand something specific about reading, writing, learning, or language AND how that understanding reflects on the communities/world you inhabit.

Grading Criteria 

Content/ Genre: Is my literacy narrative an example of a literacy narrative (does the genre match!)? Do I reflect on how a specific event has snapped my relationship with communication in general? Do I include all of the required components (History, Process, Influences, Language)? Do I use different narrative techniques to tell the story and strengthen the message?

Organization: Are my ideas well-organized? Does my literacy narrative follow a clear structure? 

Purpose and Audience:  Is the purpose and intended audience for my narrative clear? Do I write in a tone and voice that matches my purpose and audience? 

Presentation: Did I revise for content and edit for grammar, spelling, and conventions? Does it meet formatting requirements? Does it look presentable (not sloppy)? 

Citations: If relevant, did I properly cite all sources referenced or used in the piece?



Unit 1 Reflection

Write a 250 Word Reflection on Unit 1.

Please include the word count on the top of the page.

The reflection should be typed in Times New Roman 12 point font.

Questions to Consider:

Metacognition is what we call reflection: an awareness of our learning process—both how and what we learn.

 Transfer: Is the concept of how we can transfer this knowledge/ awareness/ learning into other aspects of our lives. For example, how can we use this learning in other classes (math classes, architecture classes, fashion classes) or in the world outside of City Tech (our careers, etc). 

 We have talked a lot about our learning process as readers/ writers/ speakers. Now, it is time for us to reflect on this learning!

 A Unit Reflection asks you to reflect or look back at the module and think deeply about the readings, the major project, and the short writing assignments you completed.

First, let’s think about what each of these mentor authors taught us:

  • Donald Murray “All Writing is Autobiography;”
  • Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing by Jose Olivarez
  • Amy Tan “Mother Tongue;”
  • Jose Antonio Vargas “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant;”
  • Malcolm X “Learning to Read.”  
  • Jamila Lyiscott “Broken English
  • Mike Bunn “How to Read Like a Writer”

 Next, let’s think about what we learned from all of our different writing assignments, both short and long!

  • In class writing
  • Reading Responses,
  • Brainstorming,
  • Note Jotting,
  • Reading/ Writing Questionnaire,
  • Literacy Narrative 

 Guiding Questions

You do not have to answer each question, but rather use them as a guide or inspiration as you reflect or look back on the unit!

  • Discuss what you learned about yourself as a writer and a reader in the process of writing this Literacy Narrative. For example, what part did you find the most challenging? Or the most successful? Did you try anything new like using a narrative technique or revising with a specific focus?
  • Which of the readings, if any, influenced you or inspired you? Explain the influence, USE SPECIFIC examples. [Donald Murray “All Writing is Autobiography;” Amy Tan “Mother Tongue;” Jose Antonio Vargas “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant;” Malcolm X “Learning to Read.”]


  • The focus of the unit was on Genre and Literacy Narratives, what did you find interesting? What did you learn? What would you still like to learn more about?
  • What are your thoughts on the experience in general? Was it a useful learning experience? What specific skills or perspectives did you acquire as a result?
  • How could you transfer something you learned in this Unit to other aspects of your life both in City Tech and outside of City Tech?
  • Is there anything else you want me to know about you as a writer or reader or your work in this class?


PowerPoint and Homework: Aug. 31st

Wednesday, Aug. 31st PowerPoint and Homework

This week’s PowerPoint: The Link

Homework Assignment:

**Write your response to the reading in the comments below! Read your classmate’s responses! Maybe even write a response to them! Engage in a discussion! Have fun! The responses to each question should generally be at least 2-3 sentences, if not more. Make sure to respond in complete sentences and to add lots of detail and substance! **

Read and write a response to “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn 

    • What did you think of the piece? Did you like it? Or not? Why? Explain! (Don’t worry my feelings won’t be hurt! Be honest!)
    • What tips or ideas did you learn about how to Read Like a Writer? How might you apply it (use it) when you read? Identify at least 3 and explain them! In 2-3 sentences! 
    • Can you explain what you think the author means when he says, “When you read like a writer, you are trying to figure out how the text you are reading was constructed so that you learn how to ‘build’ one for yourself” (74). Be specific. Share a personal example, if possible.
    • Let’s think about the “context” of this text. What is the author (Mike Bunn’s) purpose in writing this piece? Who is his intended audience?
    • What is the genre of this text? It’s okay if you don’t know! Just give it a shot! (Remember the genre is TYPE of writing– for example, essay, article, poem, etc.)
    • What did you notice about HOW this text was written? Choose one observation!
« Older posts