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Narrative Writing


11th, 12th


English Language Arts


100 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Hawai'i


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Personal Narratives and Indigenous Climate Solutions

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Nov 30, 2023
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In this lesson, students research key climate change issues and potential solutions related to Hawai‘i, then write a personal narrative incorporating Indigenous solutions.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students consider how climate change has already impacted their lives in their personal community.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore and take notes on graphs, maps, a video, and a website that describe the key issues of climate change in Hawai‘i and potential solutions to protect the 'āina.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students craft a short personal narrative essay that includes their lived experience with climate change and an Indigenous solution.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai‘i’s Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • Students have the opportunity to connect with different community members to explore local changes over time.

  • Students have the opportunity to share personal experiences and process their emotions surrounding climate change.

  • Students are empowered to identify solutions to address local climate issues.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should possess a background understanding of the six characteristics of a personal narrative: first-person point of view, dialogue, logical sequence, action, sensory details, and the significance of their story.

  • Teachers should be familiar with the following ōlelo (language):

    • 'Āina: land

    • Kupuna: elders, experts, wisdom carriers

    • 'Āina momona: rich, fertile, abundant land  

    • Kuleana: responsibility and privilege


  • This lesson can be broken up into multiple class periods with the article reading, gallery walk, and narrative writing occurring on different days.

  • For the gallery walk, consider an added movement break.

  • For visually impaired students, consider printing and posting the images around the room.

  • Teachers can use the following scaffolding options as needed:

    • Read aloud the article and accompanying written resources.
    • Provide sentence stems for students to guide them through the personal narrative.
    • Allow students to complete the written essay portion through the Google Doc talk-to-text feature.

  • Teacher can assign the following enrichment options:

    • Students can take their narrative and rework it to emphasize one of the other six characteristics.

    • Students can present their narrative in another format of their choice. Options can include a song, spoken word poem, comic book, or short story.

    • Students can “round robin” peer edit with their table groups to look for grammar, spelling, and mechanical errors as well as offer suggestions for improvement.

  • Teacher can focus on or highlight specific narrative elements for the narrative writing assignment.

  • Teachers can challenge students to write a narrative all in dialogue, with local imagery or themed descriptions.

Scientist Notes

This lesson offers convincing data regarding the effects of climate change on biodiversity, bird species, coral reefs, natural resources, economic livelihoods, and other ecologically sensitive hotspots in Indigenous communities of Hawai'i. Additionally, it highlights certain Indigenous solutions and gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to craft an intimate story based on personal experience. It also suggests ideas that can help Indigenous people adapt to the effects of climate change. The lesson's contents were all carefully sourced, and it passed our science review procedure.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with peers on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.
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