Student Samples: Upper Elementary
by Justine, sixth grade writer
“Don’t be scared!” my mom said as we got on the small jet boat. I was going parasailing for the first time. When I saw the boat, I wondered how I would be able to go parasailing attached to that little boat. As the boat took me farther out into the ocean, I saw a much larger boat with a sign painted on its side. I could see the word PARASAILING in big, bold letters. I was relieved to know that this was the boat I was going on.
When we finally got to the boat, there were two men that came to help me on, and away we zoomed. The two men strapped me in different kinds of straps and harnesses. They then attached me to the parachute lying on the deck of the boat. After I was strapped in they said, “On the count of three, we will let go of the parachute, and you will be blown up into the sky.”
“One.” Excitement was going through my mind. I could feel the wind blowing through my hair.
“Two.” I started to think I was going to fall. What if the parachute broke and I fell into the water? Would I be able to swim back to the boat?
“Three.” My heart pounded with terror. My mind was screaming, “Nooo!”
I thought, Don’t let me go, but, it was too late. They let go of the parachute, and before I knew it, I was in the air. For about a minute, I kept my eyes closed. Then, little by little, I opened them. I saw the beautiful ocean and the gorgeous beach. I even saw some other people parasailing too. But my favorite thing I saw was the amazing sea life moving in the water below me.
I wanted to stay there all day, but I couldn’t. After 10 more minutes, the men started to slowly bring me down until I finally reached the boat. I will never forget that day I went parasailing, and I hope I can experience that excitement again in my lifetime.
(Click here to view/print Justine and five of her classmates' Counting Up/Down stories)
Student Samples: Middle School
by Julius, seventh grade writer
In the Old West, a local ruffian was causing trouble for the sheriff. The sheriff had tried on several occasions to put him behind bars, but each time he failed. Finally, one day, the criminal marched into the sheriff’s office, looked him in the eye and said, “I challenge you to a duel. Winner becomes sheriff.”
The sheriff was reluctant to accept, but he knew it was the only to put a stop to this troublemaker. “Okay, but we play by my rules. We start back-to-back, take five steps forward, and then shoot. Agreed?”
On the day of the duel, the town was dead silent; not even the rustling of trees was heard. Everyone took cover behind overturned tables and barrels as they anticipated an epic battle. The sheriff and his opponent were in position, and the duel was about to start.
They took one-step forward.
“I’ve been practicing my aim, but who knows what this guy has got up his sleeve,” the sheriff thought nervously.
They took a second step.
“Just aim and shoot,” the sheriff thought. His hands felt very shaky and rubber-like.
They took a third step.
“Almost there,” the sheriff gulped. He tightened his grip on his gun until it hurt.
They took a fourth step.
“Moment of truth,” he thought to himself. The tension was high as everyone watched. The sheriff’s legs felt extremely shaky, and he was on the verge of collapsing.
They took a fifth and final step.
Both competitors drew their weapons and made a swift, one-hundred-eighty degree turn. The sheriff fell mid-turn, but still took a shot. He narrowly avoided a head shot, but managed to shoot his opponent’s knee, disabling him for life. The crowd roared with cheer as the loser grunted and fell to the ground.
(Click here to view/print Julius and one of his classmate's Counting Up/Down stories)