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

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"Knot" the Whole Truth

writing a modern-day story
with a tall tale's voice

The writing of author Jerry Spinelli is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of voice and word choice.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, 5, 6, 7, 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. 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 will send you either a complimentary copy of one of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's print publications.

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 Sample: Middle School

by Jordan, 8th grade writer

There's a green, small town with a population of 56 people. The town is called Spoons, and it lies 60 miles east from Seattle, Washington. It was so small that, at a point in time, no one really cared about them. They even forgot the town existed.

On Thursday, November 18, 1999, Spoons experienced the worst thunderstorm America had ever seen. It was so bad that the thunderstorm couldn't be recorded because of the unstable patterns that no one could see.

Lightning destroyed both roads to the town. Because of this, the grocery store and gas station were both out of supplies by the end of the week. By the next Thursday, no one's pantry could support a family, but there was a woman who could solve everyone's problem.

The woman's name was Tahnee. She was a middle-aged widow. When her husband had passed away, she’d moved to the rainiest place in America because she loved the smell of a wet ground. When she moved to Spoons, she kept to herself. In fact, the only person she’d ever talked to was the grocer, Hector Fal. But the only words that came out of her mouth to him were "thank" and "you."

Tahnee's grandmother had developed a formula, using common household items, that made vegetables grow ten times larger than their common size. To solve the town’s problem, Tahnee was going to use the formula to grow vegetables for the town. She went down to Hector's store and noticed that it was closed. When she peered inside, she saw a dark room with bare shelves, a cluttered floor, and two magazines on a rack in the front of the counter...

(Click here to read Jordan's entire story, as well as the tall tales of two of his classmates)

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