A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix & HistoryFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: ORGANIZATION

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Showing Credit Where Credit Might Be Due

writing a fictional account where an animal or object claims credit for changing history

A mentor text by author Robert Lawson is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of voice and organization. Join us in teaching (and adapting) this on-line lesson and sharing your students' work to be seen by thousands of other educators who also use this lesson.

Teachers can self-select and publish up to three of students' edited and finished stories at this posting page. To be able to post, teachers will have to become members of our Writing Lesson of the Month Ning/Network.

Use these samples to inspire your student writers! Discussing the strengths of published student samples before, while, and after using this on-line assignment is important. If your students are engaged in trait- or skill-inspired discussions about any of the samples we've posted here, they will produce better writing, especially if you help them take their writing all the way through the writing process.

Thank you, those who share their students' writing with us.

Additional Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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WritingFix is currently seeking additional student samples from this writing assignment that can be featured in this space. Submitted student work must show evidence of revision, editing, and the final draft must be typed and sent through e-mail. Teachers: if you can help us obtain up to three student samples, along with a digital photo of the student(s) and a signed permission slips, we can help you make your students a bit more "famous" to the thousands of educators who access and use WritingFix lessons every day!

To share your students' writing for inclusion on this page, you must post the writing to our Ning page dedicated to this lesson. Click here to access that page. You must first be a member of the Writing Lesson of the Month Network in order to post.

Jefferson's Secret
by Arya, 5th grade writer

It was a hot summer day. Yes, it was. I was finally picked up at the shop by a young lad, the son of Mr. Jefferson.

“Pa, I want the 'Inky' one!”

“Now, now Thomas, let me catch up.”

Thomas, as he was called, got my name almost right. My name is Dinky. Yes, Dinky the pen. “Hi Thomas!” I said.

“Who said that?” Thomas asked, worried.

“Who said what?” asked his father as he rounded the corner.

“Nothing,” answered Thomas.

“Okay, pick the pen up, then go.”

Without a word, Thomas grabbed the pen and ran out the door as his father paid. Later, at home, Thomas was taking me to his room when I tried to talk again: “Hello Thomas...”

“Wh-wh-who said that?” he almost cried.

“No, don't cry, Thomas, look down!”

Thomas looked down at me, “Inky, you are talking!”

“No, no, I am Dinky – D-D-Dinky, not Inky!” Thomas looked hurt, so I said, “Look, I can write too!” On his hand,

I wrote “Hello Thomas Jefferson” in what he later called “Neat cursive.”

That brightened Thomas up. “I have to go show this to Pa!” he said, jumping.

I stopped him. “It has to be our little secret, or I won't do anything!”

“Fine!” Thomas said, and he carried me into his room. There, I believe, a true friendship began.

When Thomas was about 9 years old, he started taking foreign language classes. Of course, he brought me with him. He was first to learn French, then Latin, then Greek. On his first day of French class, he was asked to write down all the words in French he knew. Apparently, Thomas only knew a few words in French, so I decided to help him out. I wrote down 30 more words. Okay, I actually did the paper for him. Thomas was completely shocked! I was writing words that he didn't write, but he acted like he was writing.

(Click here to view/print Arya's entire story.)

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