Student Samples Page:
voice and word choices bring mood
to places and times
An excerpt from author William Golding is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of 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.
Student Sample: High School
If the Mountain Should Ever Sob
by Alan M., 11th grade writer
It was a cold, rainy day atop of the massive piece of land jutting upwards from the grasslands. Steam arose off the face of a young man named Aidan every time a drop of water hit it. He could not feel the icy rain spears hitting him, nor could he feel the pain of his fists colliding with rocks and trees in an attempt to relieve some of his rage that had built up inside of him. The rage was a product of being mistreated by people who he thought were his friends. Anger was his only friend at this point, so he kept on releasing more and more.
“Why,” he thought to himself during a rest period, “why do they do this to me? Why do they make me do for them…only to destroy what I have done for myself?”
Aidan had done so many things for his friends; it was that kind of unthinkable kindness that had made him a target for these people. The group of stoner kids had used Aidan to get their homework done. They treated him so poorly, and did so many wrongs to him, but he never quit doing things for them. He finally stopped, however, when they used his locker as a storage place for weed and crack cocaine. This would have ruined his high school career and the rest of his life if it weren’t for the fact that there were too many witnesses to this heinous act. This, in fact, is what broke him and morphed him into the monster he had become.
He threw his fist into the trunk of an ancient redwood that had been growing there for ages, leaving a huge dent and a blood mark. He then launched his other into a crevice carved into a large piece of granite by rain and ice. Crimson liquids dripped into the piles of soft pine needles that had fallen off of the ancient tree. His civilized manner had forever been lost now, for he was enraged to the point of near insanity. But, as much as he did not want to, he relieved all of this anger into the mountain. What had the mountain done to him?
Then, in a short instant, Aidan collapsed to the ground. He did not collapse because of anger, nor did he collapse for any sort of exhaustion; he collapsed because he was crying. His tears flooded his face; though you could not tell due to the rain. The only reason anyone would know that he was crying was because his sobs and moans could be heard faintly. After all of his trouble to be friends with people, he realized that he may have lost many friends. Now the pain of dejection flowed through his veins, instead of the anger that hid his emotion. Crying was all he could do to stop him from screaming to the heavens and ruining the now peaceful tranquility of the scenery around him. The rain had stopped, for nature could sense that Aidan needed the cheerfulness of sunshine. He still sobbed for a while after the rain quit, for he was still in pain.
Just then, one of his true friends, Haley, had come up to see him. She had been his friend for many years and she could never let him do such things to himself, no less to the rest of his friends. She came and rubbed his back and he shot up from the fetal position he had put himself in a sort of panic. He wiped his eyes free of tears so she would not see his weakness, but she could see straight through this “tough guy attitude.” She stood up and offered him a hand, and he took it. For once in his life, Aidan had taken help from someone instead of helping them. They both walked down the mountain together and, miraculously, Aidan had smiled for the first time in a long while.
(Click here to view and print Alan and two of his classmates' Settings and moods stories.)