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Personal Anecdote Resources – The GiggleIT Project

Writing a personal anecdote allows students to practice storytelling using their own experiences and is good practice for the longer personal essays or statements they’ll be asked to write for scholarship and admissions applications. If they use unusual or slang words, remind writers to include a glossary for readers outside your school or region. What is an anecdote? Helpful tips for organizing your personal anecdote before writing or when you are telling it out loud A useful assessment rubric for “personal narrative: entertaining anecdote” Humorous anecdote examples and teaching activities

“Library Lessons” by Elizabeth Combes

We have a great library at our school that is run by Mrs. Hyde, the teacher librarian and Mrs. Steike, the library assistant. lrwin also helps out sometimes. He’s the network technician. Our library ladies are always understanding and helpful. There is a lolly jar on the front desk for anyone who needs a pick me up and a comfy corner with cushions if we just want to read magazines or comics. We even had a visiting puppy in the library once. Mrs. Steike breeds Tenterfield terriers and brought a sick puppy to school for nearly two weeks. We didn’t know anything about it until Honey started to feel better and began chasing sun-shadows around the bottom of her box. Then the cat was out of the bag or should l say dog, and she became a firm favourite with the students.

However, this story is about another incident that happened just before exams. We are always allowed to talk in the library, although during exam time the library staff remind us more often to keep the noise down for those students who need peace and quiet to study. Generally, we aren’t hassled too much if we make a bit of noise. One student, Tegan, was always very loud. Tegan couldn’t seem to help herself. Whenever she spoke, you could clearly hear every word, at least three classrooms away.

One day during the exam period, Tegan came into a packed library with three of her friends. They sat down in the far left-hand corner and began talking quietly - all except Tegan, who could be heard all over the library. Mrs. Steike got up and went over to the group three times to ask them to keep the noise down. By this time everyone was aware of Tegan and watching and waiting to see what Mrs. Steike would do next. She shook her head, muttered something to Mrs. Hyde who nodded, and then picked up two picture books.

Tegan was in full voice, but facing away from everyone else in the room. She didn’t notice Mrs. Steike creeping up behind her, but of course we were all waiting to see what would happen next. Tegan’s friends could also see Mrs. Steike coming, but they said nothing. Mrs. Steike stopped directly behind Tegan and clapped the two books together. The sound was like a whip cracking.

Tegan jumped in the air and let out an almighty shriek. She turned immediately with her hands over her mouth and looked directly towards Mrs. Hyde, the teacher librarian. So did we!

Mrs. Hyde calmly looked up from her computer screen and said, “Did you say something Tegan?” Everyone in the library just burst out laughing. Tegan was very red-faced and much quieter, at least for the rest of that day!

Author: Barbara Combes, Lecturer, School of Computer and lnformation Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Glossary of terms


slang: comfortable


hurried, stressed, harassed

let the cat out of the bag

saying: reveal a secret


sweets, candy


slang: very full

pick me up

something to give a person extra energy

As a collaborative Project between educators and students around the world, the GiggleIT Project operates under a Creative Commons license which allows everyone to share ideas and resources while still recognizing the work done by the original authors.

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