Personal Narrative Collection

Writing Prompt Scoring Rubric 

MCAS Scoring Guide (Grade 6-8)  

MCAS Scoring Guide (Grade 4-5)  




1. [An important friend] Think about a friend who has been an important part of your life. How did you become friends with this person? Think about when you met, what you did, and how your friendship grew. Write a story about this friendship. Give enough details to tell the reader about this friendship. (MCAS Grade 4, 2004)


2. [People I've met] A change in the weather can be wonderful. Sometimes we are surprised at how a snowy, rainy, windy, or sunny day can change the way we feel. The weather can bring chances for fun, creativity, time alone, time with your family, or something out of the ordinary. Write a story about a day in which the weather made the day special for you. Give enough details to show the reader what happened on this day. (MCAS Make-up Grade 4, 2004)


3. [A snow day] You woke up one morning and learned that it was snowing. School was closed for the day! It was a dream come true. Suddenly you had time to take a break from the usual routine and do what you wanted to do. Write a story about a snow day off from school that you remember. Give enough details in your story to show what you did and how wonderful the day was. (MCAS Grade 4, 2003)


4. [Favorite place] All of us have a favorite place where we get to do what we want. It could be an indoor place, an outdoor place, or even an imaginary place. What is your favorite place? Write a story about what you get to do in your favorite place. Give enough details in your story to show your favorite place and what you get to do there. (MCAS Make-up Grade 4, 2003)


5. [Special adventure] All of us have had a special time or adventure in our lives. It could be anything such as a visit with a friend or relative, a party you went to, or a game you watched or played. Or it could be something completely different. Write a story about a special time or adventure that you have had. Give enough details in your story to show what it was like and what made it so special. (MCAS Grade 4, 2002)


6. [Summer activity] Summer is a special time when children get to do fun things. You have more time during the day to choose activities that you enjoy doing with your friends or family, outdoors or indoors. There are many different ways to have fun in the summer. What¹s yours? Write a story about your favorite summer activity. Give enough details in your story to show what you were doing and what made this your favorite activity. (MCAS Make-up Prompt Grade 4, 2002)


7. [An important person] Think about people you know or have met. Choose ONE person who has made a big difference in your life. Write about that person AND describe his or her positive effect on your life. (MCAS Grade 4, 2001)


8. [Childhood Event] Choose a vivid time from your childhood. Narrate the events related to the childhood memory that you've chosen so that your readers will understand why the event was important and memorable.


9. [Lightbulb Moment] Think of an experience when you realized that you suddenly understood an idea, a skill, or a concept you had been struggling with. Write a narrative that tells the story of your movement toward understanding. Your paper should help readers understand how you felt to struggle with the idea or skill and then to understand.


10. [Being Unprepared] Because you have been sick, out of town, or working on other homework, you didn't have as much time to study for an important test as you needed. Think of a specific test that you took that you felt unprepared for and narrate the events. Your paper should help readers understand what it felt like to be unprepared.


11. [Achieving a Goal] Think of a time when you achieved a personal goal. Tell your readers about the story of how you met your goal. Be sure that your readers understand why the goal is important to you.


12. [The Good and the Bad] Think about an event in your life that seemed bad but turned out to be good. Tell the story of the event that you experienced and help your readers understand how an event that seemed negative turned out to have valuable consequences.


13. [Being a Teacher] Teaching someone else how to do something can be rewarding. Think of a skill that you've taught someone else how to do. Think about the events that made up the process of teaching the skill, and narrate the story for your readers.


14. [Changing Places] Think of a change to a place that you know well, and narrate the events that occurred. Readers should know the details of the change, and they should know how you feel about the changes that occurred.


15. [Personal Rituals] Describe a personal ritual that you, your friends, or your family have. Narrate the events that take place when you complete your ritual so that your readers understand the steps that the ritual includes and why you complete them.


16. [Standing Up] Choose a time when you did something that took a lot of nerve, a time when you didn't follow the crowd or a time when you stood up for your beliefs. Think about the details of the event and write a story that tells about what happened. Your narrative should show your readers why you decided to make a stand or try something that took nerve, give specifics on the events, and share how you felt after the event.


17. [Disagreeing] Think of a time when you disagreed with a decision that had been made and did something about it. Write a paper that narrates the events that occurred -- from the decision that was made to your response. Be sure that your paper gives enough details that your readers understand why you disagreed with the decision and why you felt that your response was appropriate.


18. [First Day of School] Think about your first day of school. Write a story to a friend telling about that day. Be sure to describe the atmosphere including three distinct details and identify what impressed you most about your experience.


19. [Class President] You are a class president and have been asked to write an introduction for a person you admire greatly. Write an essay describing at least three distinct admirable qualities of the person.


20. [Bus Passenger] Imagine yourself as a passenger on a bus. The bus driver announces “We’re here! Everyone off.” As the bus pulls away, you realize you don’t know where you are. Describe to your family the surroundings in which you found yourself and the adventure you had trying to get home.


21. [Creating a Story] Imagine that you find a page torn from a short story that has only two lines: "That’s how I became known as a ‘Hero.’ THE END" For a friend, create another story that could still end with this page.


22. [Science Fiction] Imagine yourself in the year 2000, when suddenly all of the world’s technologies stop working. You decide to publish a daily newspaper, and make ten copies by hand. In this first story, describe a day in the life of someone in this new non-technological society.


23. [Future Generation] Suppose you woke up one morning to find that (everyone had disappeared, there was no electricity, telephones stopped working, the world had run out of gasoline, the Earth had left its orbit, etc.). Write a narrative for future generations of what life is like with this sudden change.


24. [Vacation Destination] A travel agency is looking for exciting vacation destinations that are a bit out of the ordinary. Imagine that the agency asks you to explore (a particular country, city, or area). Write an account for them that describes the interesting experiences you had there.


«



©
John Holly