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

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Leads for a Most
Moment Narrative

exploring leads in your writers notebook
before writing a draft

The writing of author Christopher Paul Curtis is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of organization and idea development. 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 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Student Samples: Elementary

The Seed That Stuck
by Calvin, fourth grade writer

It was a warm sunny day at the Little League Field. We had two outs, and I was on deck. I was very nervous, so to calm down my nerves, I stuck my hand in a sunflower seed bag and took one out. Right there and then on that field began my downfall.

Ben ran to first, and then second. He almost made it to third but was tagged out by Fred. I stepped up to home plate, and I swallowed the seed. It was going down my throat, but then it got stuck and didn’t come out. Clamping my hands on my neck, I choked like Darth Vader. I dropped my bat, and I had to sit out for the rest of the game.

I heard giggling everywhere, even from my best friend. My dad asked me if I wanted to play when it hurt less. “No way!” I announced. “Not a chance. I’m so sorry, Dad. ”

I sat at my house for a very long time before my mom called a doctor’s office. I went, and they put a long, painful-looking stick down my throat. They made me open my mouth up while squeezing my eyes shut. Then the stick touched the seed, and it slid right down my throat.

My mom and dad do not let me eat sunflower seeds anymore. I wish I could at least have the ones without shells, but for some reason they do not even let me have those.

(Click here to open/print Calvin and two of his classmates' stories.)

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