Writing Mini Lesson #25- Revising a Narrative Essay- Add- Transition Words

Writing mini lesson #24 was DARE to revise- Delete.  This post is about DARE to Revise ADD!  ADD more details and ADD transition words!

I use this anchor chart to go over the meaning of transition words and samples.


transition words for start, like, different, continue, and end


The mentor text I use with this skill is Through Grandpa’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachian.

In the morning, the sun pushes through the curtains into my eyes.

When I open my eyes again, I can see Grandpa nodding at me.

After breakfast, I follow Grandpa’s path through the dining room in the living room.

Later, Nana brings out her clay to sculpt…

While she works, Grandpa takes out a piece of wood.

As we walk back to the house, Grandpa stops suddenly.

Before Grandpa leaves, he pulls the light chain above my bed to turn out the light.


For upper grades, it may be important for your standards to go over phrases and clauses.

phrase is a group of words that may have nouns or verbs, but it does not have a subject.

  • leaving behind the cat
  • smashing into a wall
  • before the next movie
  • after the war

clause is a group of words in a sentence that has a subject and predicate.  Some clauses may stand alone as their own sentence!

  • since she runs to music
  • when the saints go marching in
  • because he made the last shot
  • I dislike bullies

Then it is important to go through the class story and add details as well as transition words.

     Pam and Hillary were walking along the lake and discovered a bottle that had a written message inside!  They got the message out and read it.  It was a map of a hidden treasure.  They didn’t hesitate and excitedly started to follow it.
     They knew the location of the island that was on the map so Pam and Hillary got in a paddle boat and paddled across the lake to the island.  Once on shore, Pam led the way.  She wanted the money bad.  Hillary was scared but stuck by Pam.  They followed the clues on the map.  The first clue was to find the tallest tree.  That was easy.  Then they had to find a pile of logs.  That was easy too.  Finally, they had to find an “X” marked in the sand.  This was a more difficult task.  Hillary wanted to go home, but Pam convinced her to stay.  She said, “We must find the treasure and be rich !”  They searched and searched until Hillary spotted a small “x”.  They began digging.
     When they reached a hard object they thought it was the treasure but it was another bottle with another map.  It took them back on shore where they had to use a compass to find the direction southwest.  They walked in that direction and came across a hurt dog by a bush.  It looked like she couldn’t walk so Hillary picked her up and carried her on their search.
     It led them to an old house and into a dark cellar.  Hillary wanted to turn back, but Pam insisted that they continue.  They could hear rustling noises.  What was behind the cellar door?  They slowly started to open the door but jumped back when they heard loud squeals!  What in the world?  The dog wiggled in Hillary’s arms which somehow gave her the courage to open the door.
     A bunch of hungry little puppies were squealing for their mother!  The dog in Hillary’s hands jumped down and hobbled towards them!  We put her down and They all rushed over to her.  Hillary’sheart just melted and she could see the compassion form in Pam’s eyes.  The treasure was in the corner with a note that said, “Use this fortune for what you feel is best.”  Pam and Hillary looked at each other and knew right away what to do with the money.  It was the right thing to do.
Next, students should add notes to their notebook:  Why do I use a bus?  Well, my mind works in mysterious ways.  Transit- means across, through.  Transit is related to transportation.  A bus is transportation. Get it?  Get your writing across!  Move through your story smoothly!

students learn about transition words and write a paragraph using transition words


Once students get a handle on how to add details and transition words, they should go back to their own story and revise with ADD.




If you would rather have all of the these mini lessons (over 400 pages) in one spot along with tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, practice sheets, etc, etc.  Click on the image below!  It is a Step-by-Step year-long writing program known for motivating students and boosting test scores!  Available for Grades 1-8.



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