An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: WORD CHOICE

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Summertime-inspired Memoirs

using various interpretations of Gershwin's Summertime to teach mood or tone in narrative writing

Multiple interpretations of a song from the opera Porgy and Bess are inspiring student writers to experiment with 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 5, 6, 7, 8, 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 Samples: Elementary

Sad during Summer
by Kennedy, fourth grade writer

I moped but I had to hold it together. That’s because that August night my goldfish died. I was only five years old. I and my family could taste the sadness in our mouths. My brother was one year old so he kind of got a little bit of what was going on. I had a long face for three miserable days.

A year or two later my dog died. She wasn’t that nice, but I loved it. After all that, I haven’t had a single pet. You ask why? Because I wasn’t sure I could handle it dying.

Uncle Ali
by Juned, fourth grade writer

Last summer my uncle died. I sat in my room alone, crying. My uncle’s name was Ali, and my family really hurt that day. He was my Mom’s brother. My Mom, Dad and the rest of family cried a lot. I was really sad that day.

My family stayed in the hospital with my uncle. My mom was wringing her hands. My dad and my cousins were running in and out, in and out. Then we were all sad, sad because my uncle died. Our hearts were hurt that day.

(Click here to print/view these two fourth graders' summertime memoirs)

Student Samples: Middle School

The Summer of the Disappearing Trunks
by Thomas, seventh grade writer

I remember that trip to Florida. My family and I went to Cocoa Beach, and I remember playing in the sand. Most of the time, I just fiddled in the sand, just covering my body, building sandcastles, and putting crabs in sand caves and collapsing them.

I will never forget how I wanted to wander into the ocean, yet my dad said I couldn’t because I just ate or something like that. Simple Dad. He would always say “no,” or “maybe” which to him means “no.”

Finally an hour passed, so I had waited long enough and I was ready to dive into the water. I sprinted to the water like it was the love of my life, but everyone knows that would be weird.

I was in the water! Yes! But I had no clue what horrible monster was coming… suddenly there was a Wham! Dunk! Dunk! Wham! It was my ugly brother! I knew he was a weakling, so I just slipped out and punched him, telling my parents it was a fish that hit him. Hahaha! I got away with it.

Of course karma would occur, but I wasn’t scared. So I just swam like I was walking, gracefully. I just acted like a shark, ready to kill, waiting for my next victim, which would again be my brother. However, just before I could strike my brother, he ran in shore.

Then my whole family decided to go to an ice cream bar. Earlier they had asked if I wanted to go, but I didn’t answer them because I was having so much fun in the water. I guess they took that as a “No.”

Suddenly a wave caught me and smacked me around, and I started feeling water rushing everywhere. Then all I could think of was something missing. Something protective. My SWIMMING TRUNKS! The wave had ripped my swimming trunks right off of me!

The feeling I had was as if the world was suddenly split in half and I was in the middle. I was so embarrassed. I really couldn’t make it to shore because my family was out eating, and my trunks were on the beach shore, the waves pushing them ahead of me before I could grab them. I was violated! All I had was an inner tube covering my dignity.

Suddenly I felt a tap. I turned around, with the inner tube shielding my dignity, to see a teenage girl who was asking to borrow the inner tube. I panicked. What could I do? So I shouted “No!”

I felt a tap again and started to shout again when I turned to see my step-mom holding my trunks. I was so relieved. The earth was glued back together, and no one could do anything to mess it up again.

(Click here to print/view Thomas and two of his classmates' summertime memoirs)


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