This blog has gained many new readers over the past year. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a daily “A Look Back” where I share a best post from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

This post originally appeared in early 2018:


There are lots of different ways for students to write about an “autobiographical incident.”

One way I’m planning to experiment with this coming year with my English Language Learner students is framing it as a “public narrative.”

“Public Narrative” is a strategy refined by Marshall Ganz, a former community organizer (readers might remember I was an organizer for nineteen years prior to becoming a teacher):

“By telling our personal stories of challenges we have faced, choices we have made, and what we learned from the outcomes, we can inspire others and share our own wisdom,” Ganz has written

I like the three acts framework he uses.

You can find easily modifiable hand-outs here, along with links to both text and video examples here.

Pages 27 through 38 in this lengthy document have even more useful resources.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

I’m adding this info to The “Best” Sites For Helping Students Write Autobiographical Incident Essays.