Lesson Plan: Using Memory in Narrative Writing
Curriculum Alignment
Common Core Literacy Standards


Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.


With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

NextGen Science Standards

LS1.A: Structure and Function

Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Plants also respond to some external inputs.

Learning Objective

Your Hippocampus helps you remember facts and events.

Memory and learning fit together closely, and memory, like many brain functions, becomes stronger with practice. Provide practice opportunities for your students with this activity, which can be an ongoing part of your class’ writing work.

Create a place in your room for students to share their recent experiences and turn these memories into a story about what happened. In this way, students will build their memory skills and use their hippocampi.

  1. Design a space. This could be a bulletin board, a whiteboard that can be dedicated for the entire school year, or a large sheet of construction paper that can be accessed by students. This wall or board will serve as a starting point for writing and illustrating sequenced narratives.

If you employ a writer’s notebook, you may wish to have students also capture memories and experiences in a section of their notebooks for future writing.

  1. Decide how students will share memories. Will they use post it notes, tack up half or whole sheets of paper, write directly on the paper in a graffiti style? These are just some ideas.
  1. Make sure to help students know that this will be a non-fiction writing project based on their experiences. As you introduce the project, tell students about the hippocampus. The hippocampus stores knowledge and experiences, facts, or events. Say: Each of you will have a chance to strengthen your own hippocampus by sharing your past experiences and writing them down. If you wish, you can choose to draw pictures to help tell the story.
  2. Set aside a time of day (or day of the week) for your students to write down their memories of a recent event. They can do this with a picture or in writing, depending on your class’ needs. Note: Younger students may benefit from being able to dictate their memory to the teacher to record on paper. Have one or more students share the memory out loud to the group.
  1. If you wish, have students continue to improve the pieces by working with a peer reviewer. Model for the students how to ask questions to help the writer add more details of the memory for their pieces. The writer will read a piece out loud to a peer reviewer, the reviewer will listen and then ask questions about parts of the story where the reviewer wanted to know more.

Remind students “Use your hippocampus” to add details of the memory to the story.

  1. Use a rubric such as the one suggested in Web Resources below, to guide assessment. Publish the pieces in the classroom or on a class blog, as appropriate.

This fun song will help kids to remember the part of the brain that helps them remember.

Hippocampus Hip Hop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvjrqOTNa8Y

Remember the Brain on iTunes and Google Play


Further Exploration 

Here are other songs you can use to support this Learning Objective.
Every Body Has a Brain on iTunes and Amazon


You’re Always Using Your Brain on iTunes and Amazon


Brain Play on YouTube

Meet the Brain Team



Download Printables
Web Resources

Links to rubrics that will guide assessment of narrative writing pieces.

Grade 1:

Rubric for Narrative Writing - First Grade

Grade 2:

Rubric for Narrative Writing - Second Grade

Grade 3:

Rubric for Narrative Writing - Third Grade