Lesson Plan

Memorable Memoir Moment

Using Imagery to Convey Experiences in Writing & Speaking
Kellie A.
Technology coordinator
Cherry Creek School District, Greenwood Village, CO
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

  • brainstorm key moments (either fictional or real) that have had an impact on one's life
  • utilize imagery and details to convey a specific event
  • draft a script to capture the meaningful moment for a memoir
  • use speaking and presentation skills for an authentic audience
English Language Arts
Grades 6 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter: How Would You Create a "Trailer" for Your Memoir?

Activity: Other — Build or Activate Background Knowledge

Give students the scenario for the lesson and have students discuss how certain events have shaped their lives.  If students have not written or done any study on memoirs yet, give them some time to explore and investigate what a memoir is.  If students have previous experience with memoirs, activate their background knowledge by doing a group brainstorming activity on memoir writing.

Student Instructions

Scenario:  Congratulations!  Due to your fame, fortune, and success, you've been approached by Amazon to write your own memoir!  However, before you get started, Amazon has asked that you select an important "moment" or event from your life that could be a good "trailer" to help sell your book.  You will need to provide plenty of sensory details or imagery so that your readers or viewers can vividly experience what you're describing.

In this lesson, you'll need to brainstorm some moments or events that have impacted your life.  After choosing one, you'll create a storyboard and script that you'll narrate.

2 Direct Instruction: Imagery and Sensory Detail

Activity: Exploring

Define imagery for students and provide examples of different sensory details that can flesh out an experience for a listener or reader.

To give students a chance to process, project snippets from literature, poetry, music lyrics, etc.   that you've pulled for them in a Google Doc.  Then, go through the Google Doc (projected) and mark them in different colors (either with dry erase markers, interactive whiteboard software, or using formatting tools in Google Docs.


Student Instructions

Imagery is an important tool or device that writers use in different genres to bring experiences to life for a listener or reader.  

Write down the definition of imagery provided by your teacher, thinking about how you could appeal to different senses.  Notate which colors you will use to code examples when you find them. 

Play close attention to the examples your teacher shows you as those will  help you practice looking for examples of imagery.

3 Guided Practice: Brainstorming Possible Memoir Moments

Now that students have had some practice with identifying imagery, have them brainstorm some possible moments they could use for their memoir trailer in Google Drawings and share them with you (or use Google Classroom to collect their ideas).  

For each moment, have students think about and add details that appeal to the senses.  Provide feedback on their examples, especially if senses are missing or misidentified.  After getting feedback, students should pick the moment that has the best examples of imagery or sensory detail that could be used in their "trailer."

Student Instructions

Using Google Drawings, brainstorm some moments that you think have been influential in your life.  Put them into separate bubbles or spaces on your Google Drawing and share with your teacher (or submit via Google Classroom).

After you have some examples, add sensory details for each one.  Color-code the details, either using formatting tools for text or by color-coding the background of the shapes in Google Drawings.  After having your teacher give you feedback and checking your work, choose one moment or example that you think will have the richest examples of imagery or sensory details.

4 Independent Practice Pt. 1: Scripting the Memoir Moment

Using Google Slides as a storyboarding tool, have students map out the different parts of their "memoir moment."  Each aspect of imagery can be on its own slide to make it easier to identify or those can be combined, depending on the level of the student.  

For visual imagery, students should include graphics from the web when possible (using a search for creative commons images or copyright-free graphics).  For other senses, students will need to explain as best they can using language.

Student Instructions

Now that you've chosen your "memoir" moment, you will script it out using Google Slides.  Remember that your job is to create a teaser for your memoir, so you need to include as much imagery as you can to help the reader or viewer experience that moment.

If there are visual images that need to be included, find some free-to-use images on the web or capture your own with a camera or mobile device.  For parts of your event that rely upon other senses, you'll need to describe with rich detail.

5 Independent Practice Pt. 2: Narrating the Memoir Moment

Movenote for Education
Free to Try, Paid

Now that students have created the storyboard script for their memoir, they will use Movenote to narrate their event.  Students can use webcams or only use audio, depending on the technology available.


Student Instructions

Your memorable moment will be much more effective to "sell" your memoir if your voice is part of it.  Practice reading through your storyboard slides several times first so that you feel comfortable with what you've written.  Then, using Movenote, add your Google Presentation  and narrate your script.  Use a webcam to capture yourself talking (or you can use audio only if your computer doesn't have a built-in webcam).

6 Wrap-up: Getting Feedback from Your Peers

Have students share their memoirs with each other, either in small groups or as part of a large group activity.  The focus for student feedback should be how vivid the memoir moment was based on the imagery used by the writer/presenter.  

Build a Google Form that students can use to both give and receive feedback.  Use an add-on like Autocrat, FormMule, or the summary data to provide feedback to students.

Student Instructions

You'll be sharing your memoir with your classmates so that you can get their feedback as well as giving feedback to your peers.  You want this to be the best it can be for Amazon!   When giving feedback on the Google Form, pay close attention to how the writer/presenter used imagery to convey the experience.  Were you able to see, hear, smell, taste, and/or touch the experience?  Could the writer or presenter have done anything to make it a more vivid experience for you?