A Literature-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Painting Places with Words

borrowing Steinbeck's sentence fluency to describe a new setting

The writing of author John Steinbeck is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of sentence fluency 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 6, 7, 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.

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: Middle School

by Cody I., 8th grade writer

Black Oak Road is the road that curves up a hill that leads to my house. Grey concrete provides the parking for our cars. A red brick patio and porch walkway leads to the old, broken down bench on the right, which is entangled with the thorns and roses from the rose bush. When you pass that, you reach a bright blue door with a Welcome sign on it. Surrounding our backyard are gardens flourishing with flowers of every sort. On the right side, we have a giant, crystal-clear pond with a waterfall. I love my yards, but they are high maintenance.


Through the House
by Shaina, 8th grade writer

I was going through my living room. The piano--between the hallway and couch--was there, sitting untouched for days. On the couch was my Grandpa, like a snoring sculpture. The hallway was small but the most colorful place in the house; filled with pictures, paintings, and decorations, you would have more trouble finding an empty space. The kitchen is a mess, leftovers still filling the sink. Spilled water from the dog's bowl lies there, threatening to make someone slip. You could hear the roaring of the fridge. Past the kitchen, there is a door that leads to the backyard. Outside, the sky was a dark orange-purple.

(Click here to view/print Cody and Shaina's samples for your students to discuss)

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