A Chapter Book-inspired Narrative & Writer's Notebook Lesson

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Student Samples Page:
Writing about
Life's Lessons

using proverbs to inspire ideas for
narrative writing

The writing of author Linda Sue Park is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of idea development and organization.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.

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Student Samples: Elementary

by Joey, fifth grade writer

The saying “Curiosity killed the cat” hadn’t occurred to me until a series of events happened to me. First, my friend Brandon made a HUGE skid mark with his bike. I was curious if I could make a bigger one. When I tried, the first time it didn’t work, so I had to watch my brother to see how he did one. He pedaled really fast then while turning, and he immediately pulled the brakes. Then I tried! I pedaled to the corner of the street going as fast as I could. Then I pulled my breaks, but I forgot to turn! When I stopped, there was no skid mark. The second time, I yanked the handlebars to the right while I squeezed the hand brake, and finally behind me a gigantic skid mark reached about ten feet. Unfortunately, I also fell and landed on my bike. I popped right up though. The rear axel was ruined and my bike was trash. The pedals were stuck in one position; the chain was frozen in its place. The tire popped out of the frame because one bolt was missing and the other was cracked.

Next, about a month later, my sister said I couldn’t climb on the roof because I was too little. I shouldn’t have tried to climb the roof because I got stuck. I couldn’t get down! So I had to jump. When I was on the edge, I slipped, hit the edge of the roof, and fell on my face. I lay there for five minutes in shock. I didn’t have fun falling off the roof. I had hit the powdery sand beside the clubhouse. My face had gone into a jungle of weeds. Truly, curiosity really did nearly kill this cat I call me!

The final thing about my curiosity was that last winter my friend, Ernesto, started to run on ice in front of the house on the sidewalk. Well, I had to try too. The first time I skimmed over the ice, gliding for about two feet. The second was in a driveway and I ran, slid, then fell onto my back and I couldn’t get up. Ernesto and his little brother Fernando had to help me off the ice and on my feet. I had to limp all the way to school. After that, I knew I wouldn’t be a curious cat for a while.

Keeping My Chin Up
by Cameron, 5th grade writer

Confusion, confusion, confusion!

This boy gets confused easily. What is a classmate supposed to do? I've heard, "Keep your chin up and you will accomplish what you need to" and "You will understand how to do fractions in 5th grade."

In math when we're doing fractions and I can't figure out all the steps. Subtracting, multiplying, 
and dividing fractions are hard because there are too many steps. I get confused with all the steps. The steps are hard and confusing because there are a lot of numbers.

This is when I hear my mom saying, "Keep your chin up," but with all those numbers on the page I get discouraged. I know that I'm smart, that eventually I'll get how to do those adding and subtracting problems, and I'll get better at it. I need to ask lots of questions so I can start to get my fraction work done on my own. 

I try to keep my chin up; however, some things take a long time to learn.

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