A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: ORGANIZATION

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Creative Convincing

reviewing the friendly letter format with persuasive techniques

The writing of author Doreen Cronin is currently inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of voice and organization.Join us in teaching (and adapting) this on-line lesson and sharing your students' work.

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Grades K, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Student Samples: Early Elementary

The Woods
March 10, 2009

Dear Hunters,

I was wondering if you had a kayak? If you do, can you give it to me? It would make it easier for me to catch fish down the river. I would be able to catch plenty of fish then.

Your Pal,
Grizz E Bear
(by 1st grader Dakota)



Zoo Room 280
Columbus, Indiana
March 11, 2009

Dear Fashion Designer,

I am a naked mole rat and I live in the zoo. I don’t have any clothes to wear. The zookeepers expect me to run around naked while people take pictures of me! Can you make me a black skirt and a purple shirt?

The Naked Mole Rat
(by 2nd grader Maleke)


The Safari Hotel
African Plains
May 10, 2011

Dear Bounty Hunters,

Will you please stop killing us tigers?  You're cruel, vicious, ungrateful, and stupid.  Can you see what beauty we have?  The right to walk this earth?  We're here for a purpose you know.  You killed my only child, and just the other day, you tried to kill me!  Can't you see it's wrong to  hunt tigers?  We're all children of Mother Nature.  Do you want to kill your own brothers and sisters?  How about I trade the location of a pack of wildebeasts for my species life?  They live by the waterhole in the middle of the jungle.  Please take this under consideration.

A woed tiger,
(by fourth grader, Andrea)

Student Samples: Middle School

_______________________Crayon Box #9
_______________________Crayola, Pennsylvania


Dear Sammy,

Being a crayon is a tough life, especially for a blue like me. When you opened my box, there I was, standing right in the middle. Tall and sharp, and then you started drooling and I knew I was in trouble.

I still want to be friends, but friends don’t shove each other up their noses. And if I was the four-year-old and you were a crayon, I wouldn’t try to feed you to my turtle or color so hard the tip of your head breaks off. I wouldn’t bury you in a cup to see if a crayon tree grows.

I know we have our differences, but I need to be treated a little more like an aquamarine than a navy. I hope this changes our relationship for the better. If not, I might have to run away. Where do you think your “favorite” green crayon went?

_______________________Your half crushed friend,

__________________________ ___(by 7th grader Elizabeth)

(Click here to open/print Elizabeth and two of her classmates' letters.)

Cove #4
The Lake, California
February 24, 2010

Dear Bob the Fisherman,

Would you please listen to what I have to say? I am sick of you baiting my friends and me with your tempting treats. I know you might have to feed your family, but - I hate to tell you this - you’re killing us! Even our children are being caught, and you sometimes don’t release them. If you catch some of us, at least release the children!

And why would you tempt us with shiny lures? When we bite onto the hook, all we get is pain. At least leave something there for us to taste before we get brought up.

Would you please spread your fishing out so it’s not just our school of fish that you are depleting? Also when one of my friends was taken up, he spotted a FISH RADAR! That is not cool. Even if we tried to hide, you could still spot where we are, and soon one of us would be slaughtered, no matter how much control we have. We love shiny things!

I’m sorry for bringing this news to you, but you had to know. And hopefully you will stop fishing here and move on to another school. Thank you.

Your bottom-dwelling friend,

Fred the Fish
(by 8th grader Aidan)


(Click here to view/print Aidan and two of his classmates' letters)

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