An I-Pod Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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On-line Publishing:

Publish your students at our Ning!
(You must be a member of our "Writing Lesson of the Month" ning to post.)

Student Samples Page:
Creating Memorable Advice

"always wear sunscreen" and other advice worth remembering

A video/song inspired by a newspaper article is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of idea development and sentence fluency. 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.

Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 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: High School

A Few Words to Live By
by Katee, eleventh grade writer

Life is not about being the best, but doing your best. Too many times kids are told that being better than everyone else will lead to success; it’s kind of like survival of the fittest. Well, that doesn’t work in reality.

Here are just a few words to live by.

Be honest. Honesty, along with communication, is absolutely essential in a relationship of any kind.

Speak the truth; tell no lies.

Society doesn’t like liars. They are all hellish beings who only aggravate those around them.


Have respect. Honor those who show you love and kindness. Memorize the “Golden Rule.” Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you want to be listened to, listen to whoever is speaking. Have respect for YOURSELF, first and foremost.

Don’t fall asleep in class; it’ s austerely disrespectful and rude. We don’t like people like that either. Let’s check the standings so far. Polite people: 2; Liars and jerks: nada.

Have compassion. Be sentimental, not bitter. Being a heartless you-know-what is unattractive EVERYWHERE. So when your cat tries to jump from the desk to the table and misses by three feet, don’t laugh; hold him gently and say, “ It’s okay Porky, we’ll work more on your speed, momentum, and jump later this week.” He’ll be one happy little kitty.

Don’t burp extremely loud then laugh. Say “Excuse me” first; then you can giggle a tad...ONLY A TAD.

Intelligence is the key. Don’ t be some 32-year-old uneducated bum who refused to do work in high school and is now living on the streets or with his mommy eating Captain Crunch for breakfast, Apple Jacks for lunch, and Cookie Crisp for dinner.

Gain some fruitful knowledge; don’t be doubtin’ your ability to actually know more than you know now. GO TO SCHOOl and DO SOME WORK. Graduate.

Read some poetry, not books. Dr. Seuss has NOTHIN’ on Edgar Allan Poe. Raise your reading level.

Give hugs.

Be neutral in all that you do. Don’ t participate in or cause ridiculous conflicts; you’ ll only look like, well, an idiot. So if some guy with no more brains than a coffee cup tries to call you out, don’t fight; give him a complicated calculus problem that he alone, without any help, has to solve before you’ll accept his challenge. You’ll be married, have kids, and be living in France before he figures out what five times five is.

When that snotty girl thinks you’re ugly, don’ t fight back with your words, nor your fists; giggle and say, “ I’m sorry you feel that way.” There’s no possible way to respond to that, and “Your mom goes to college” doesn’ t count as a counterattack.

Go skinny-dipping at least once.

Industriousness is nothing to fear. Working hard WILL lead to success; however, “working hard” to beat that darn videogame or “working hard” to make your MySpace page just SPARKLE won’ t ever fall under the “Acceptable” category in life. Don’ t be lazy; procrastination is the DEVIL.

Do five cartwheels at least once every day.


Love: meaning the verb, not the noun. Obtain it and give it at the same time. Don’t say “I love you” unless you truly mean it; it is only truly meant when it is unconditional. Never say HATE. It’s a terrible word that harbors too much anger and sadness. Love your friends, family, and anyone who is sincerely worth your love: the best friend you’d never date, but who adores the heck out of you. Don’ t waste your time showering your love upon someone who isn’ t worth your time. Love YOURSELF. Loving anyone else is impossible unless you first love yourself.

Spend one day as the opposite sex.

Be dedicated, have dedication. Don’t break promises; better yet, don’ t make promises you can’ t keep. If you say you’re going to go to Roller Disco Night at the local skating rink, you better do it, and with a happy smile and a huge afro too. BE FAITHFUL. Cheaters are GROSS and DISGUSTING and a WASTE OF TIME. Also, remember that love thing? “Don’ t waste your time showering your love upon someone who isn’ t worth your time.” Unfaithful, lying, jerks, male or female, don’ t deserve your dedication to them. Roasting marshmallows at your kitchen table with a vanilla-scented candle is a better use of your time than being dedicated to someone who is unfaithful.

Ride a unicycle at least once in your lifetime.

Cleanliness: DON’ T BE DIRTY. That’s just revolting. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy food, not food that YOU think is healthy. Yes, I’m talking about those “Heath Food Imposters.” Cheetos? Not healthy. I don’ t care how much you try to convince us that the cheese is good; that it’s dairy. Nope, I don’ t think so. Oh, and hot dogs are disgusting. Do some research; you’ ll never eat them again.

SHOWER. Take care of yourself and everything around you. Clean, shiny hair: pretty; coarse, greasy hair: not so pretty. Wear body spray, but don’ t go overboard on your dad’s Old Spice or your designer Paris Hilton perfume.

Smile superbly at one single stranger every day.

Conserve. Be frugal. Don’t be wastin’ paper, money, NOTHIN’. Recycle your plastic bottles, computer paper, glass, soda cans…NOT beer cans OR bottles; you shouldn’t be drinking that calorie-infested, icky-tasting, give-you-a-beer-belly-and-a-hairy-chest-before-you-turn-twenty-two alcoholic beverage. Don’ t waste food. If you make food for five and are the only one eating, invite over a few friends.

Don’ t eat moldy bread.

Read up on fun facts; you’ll feel super-duper smart.

Pee your name in the snow only once, then take a picture and cherish it forever; frame it.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die today.”

-James Dean

Your job description is as follows:

  • Do as you're told;
  • Do your BEST in school, and not what YOU think is your best;
  • Be a kid as long as possible, but for everyone else’s sake, don’t go to a concert when you’re seventy-four in your belly shirts and short skirts or baggy pants and wife-beaters and dance like you did fifty-six years ago; you may just throw out a hip.


Student Sample Being Sought: Middle School

WritingFix is currently seeking a middle school student's sample for this writing assignment. Teachers: if you can help us obtain up to three student samples, along with a digital photo of the students and a signed permission slips, we will send you either a complimentary copy of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's Secondary Writing Guide, or you may choose from any of our NNWP publications.

Write to us at and use 'Sunscreen' in your e-mail's subject line, if you have a student sample to share with us.


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