A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: WORD CHOICE Support Trait: VOICE

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Student Samples Page:
The Backwards Poem Assignment

using verbal irony or
oxymorons as a poetic inspiration

The verbal irony of author Louis Sachar is currently inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of word choice and voice. Join us in teaching (and adapting) this on-line lesson and sharing your students' work.

You can publish up to three of your students' edited and finished stories at this page.

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, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learn more about WritingFix's policies for publishing student work by visiting our Publishing Student Writers Information Page.

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.

To have us consider 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.

Student Samples: Elementary

Peaceful War
by Jackson, fifth grade poet

Not a soul in sight,
there was wreckage
The bleak rubble and
rock from the bombs
was scattered all across
the city.
The old abandoned schoolhouse
was the only building
that stood.

No two buildings stood tall,
not even the graveyard…
All destroyed.

But this is from past wars.
This war is peaceful,
a war of mind,
a war of thought,
everything’s in peace…

…to the naked eye.

(Click here to open/print Jackson and two of his classmates' backwards poems.)

Student Samples: Middle School

Colorful Zebras
by Nick, seventh grade poet

My brother’s zebras are highly paid
They’re colorful zebras that tan in the shade
They can juggle balloons filled with helium
But you have to pay high prices just to see ‘em.

The very first thing they do in the show
Is play violin without using a bow
They drag their tails across every string
And play music better than any other thing.

At this point in the show, my brother comes out
And talks about his zebras while he rubs their snout
He shouts out their names while he whispers his speech
He says, “This one’s called Charcoal and this one’s called Bleach.”

The zebras start their grand finale about now
They climb into a rocket and blast off with a POW
But when the rocket flies up the zebras go down
At first the crowd gasps then no one makes a sound.

The crowd says they are wrong but they know they are right
They say, “I don’t believe it, what a terrible sight!”
The zebras were brought down by one tiny rocket
And the crowd walked away with empty pockets.

Once the tent is taken down
My brother leaves with a terrible frown
But late that night, with smiles on their faces
The zebras leave their hiding places.

(Click here to open Nick and another middle school writer's poems.)

by Ashkan, eighth grade poet

There, as I sat on my porch
Drinking an empty cup of soda
In last year's Halloween costume—Yoda—,
I smelled something funny.
It smelled just like cat poop,
Must have been the dog,
But that smell brought back some memories:

Like the time I was chased by a cop with no legs
Just because I was caught trying to steal some eggs.

Or the time I was mauled by a big Grizzly bear.
That gorgeous monster ruined my hair.

And when I met the world's biggest miniature pony,
I almost thought this would just be a phony.

Once as I opened a bolted door,
I had no idea on the other side was a wild boar.

Now I remember that I've caused all this destruction,
But back then, I must have thought it was all just construction!

(Click here to open Ashkan and another middle school writer's poems.)

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