Change Over Time

Language Arts

Students will write personal narratives that are designed to help them reflect on the nature and meaning of change in their lives.

What to Do

  1. Give students two minutes to jot down words or phrases that come to mind when they hear the word “change.” Then have them share some of their responses with the class as you write them on the board. These may include the following words:
    • scary
    • refreshing
    • challenging
    • difficult
    • upsetting
    • fun
    • creative
    • necessary
    • stressful
    • sad
    • transforming
  2. Lead the class in a brief discussion about the nature of change, using open-ended questions such as the following:
    • Can we avoid change? Is it inevitable?
    • What are some positive changes that adolescents experience?
    • What kinds of difficult changes do they face?
    • How do you feel when you face a change?
  3. Instruct students to make personal lists of changes they've experienced in the last year. These may include physical changes (growth, braces), social changes (friends, interests), internal changes (ideas, attitudes), or external changes (new school, move). Have them select the one change that has had the most significant impact on them.
  4. Tell students that they will be writing three- to five-paragraph personal narratives about the specific change they've selected. Suggest they include:
    • a description of the change
    • the impact of the change
    • the student's feelings about it
  5. Use the writing process to develop the essays. When the pieces are complete, they may be shared in a small peer response group.

Teaching Options