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Creating Memorable Endings for 4th Grade Personal Narratives

Updated: Apr 28

This lesson plan for substitute teachers focuses on creating memorable endings for personal narratives. With these straightforward techniques, you can empower young writers to conclude their stories with impact and finesse, leaving a lasting impression.

Lesson Title: Creating Memorable Endings for Personal Narratives

Grade: 4th Grade

Subject: English Language Arts

Duration: 45-60 minutes


  • Students will learn how to write compelling endings for their personal narratives.

  • Students will explore different types of closures (reflection, circular, surprise, emotional, or action) and use vivid examples to enhance their narratives.


  • Whiteboard and markers or chalkboard and chalk

  • Chart paper

  • Sample personal narrative texts or excerpts

  • Sticky notes

  • Pencils and notebooks or loose-leaf paper

Introduction (10 minutes):

  1. Start by introducing yourself and explaining that you are the substitute teacher for the day.

  2. Begin by discussing the importance of a strong ending in a personal narrative. Explain that a well-crafted ending can make their stories more interesting and memorable.

  3. Share a brief personal narrative that ends with a compelling closing. For example:

    • "As I looked up at the night sky, I knew that this was a day I would never forget."

    • "With a heart full of excitement, I realized that the best adventures are the ones we share with friends."

Ask students what they think makes a good ending and how it differs from the rest of the story.

Main Activities (30-40 minutes): Show students sample personal narrative texts or excerpts (2-3 examples) with different types of endings (reflection, circular, surprise, emotional, or action). Label each ending with the type of closure used.

  1. Discuss these examples with the class and ask students to take notes on the different closure techniques and examples. Create a list on the whiteboard or chart paper.

  2. Distribute sticky notes to students and have them work in pairs or small groups. Ask them to read through the sample texts and identify the closures in those texts by placing a sticky note next to each ending.

  3. After discussing the sample closures and techniques as a class, give students a personal narrative prompt (e.g., "Write about a fun day at the park" or "Describe a time when you helped someone"). Alternatively, allow them to choose their own topics for a short personal narrative.

  4. Instruct students to write the closing for their personal narratives, emphasizing the use of one of the closure techniques discussed in class. Encourage them to use vivid examples to enhance their endings.

Example Endings for Personal Narratives

Reflection Ending:

  • In the end, I realized that even small acts of kindness, like sharing my lunch, can brighten someone's day.

  • Looking back, I understood that this experience taught me the importance of working hard and never giving up.

  • As I thought about that day, I knew it was a moment I would always remember.

Circular Ending:

  • And just like that, we were back in our neighborhood, tired but happy, with a basket full of freshly picked apples and memories to last a lifetime.

  • It felt like the hike had brought us full circle, and I was grateful to be back in the comfort of our own backyard.

  • In the end, I learned that even simple adventures close to home could be incredibly fun and meaningful.

Surprise Ending:

  • Little did I know that this simple camping trip would have a surprising twist that made our night unforgettable.

  • Just when I thought the day was over, we spotted a shooting star, lighting up the night sky in a way I had never seen before.

  • I couldn't believe my eyes when we found a hidden cave at the end of the trail, full of mysterious paintings and stories from long ago.

Emotional Ending:

  • As I said my goodbyes to my grandparents, tears welled up in my eyes, and I realized how much I cherished our time together.

  • The warmth of family, the laughter of friends, and the love we shared made this day truly special.

  • In the end, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the moments that had touched my heart.

Action Ending:

  • With one final push, I crossed the finish line of the race, my heart racing, and a smile on my face, knowing I had given it my all.

  • As I pedaled down the hill, the wind in my hair, and the thrill of the ride made me forget all my fears.

  • And so, with a cheer from the crowd and high-fives all around, we celebrated our victory in the soccer tournament.

Discussion (10 minutes): After students have written their closures, have a brief class discussion. Ask a few students to share their endings with the class and explain which closure technique they used and why they chose it.

Conclusion (5 minutes): Summarize the importance of crafting memorable endings in personal narratives. Remind students that a strong ending can make their stories more interesting and memorable to readers.

Assessment: Assess students based on their class participation, the quality of their endings in the homework assignment, and their ability to identify closures in sample texts.


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