A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Student Samples Page:
A Scientific Mishap

organizing a story with purposeful paragraphs

The creativity of author Dav Pilkey inspired student writers to try new techniques with the traits of organization 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 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12

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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: Elementary

Robot Lizard
by Christopher, third grade writer

One day in my lab, I was working on an antidote gun. Instead of grabbing the antidote, I grabbed the lizard DNA and put it in the gun. I checked if it caused effects, then I gave myself a shot and felt very strange. Next, metal attached itself to my body. I saw I was turning into a robot lizard. When my eyes changed, I blacked out.

After my transformation was complete, I woke up feeling powerful. When the janitor came into the lab, he was looking at me. He was so scared he got on the phone at called 911. The police came and started shooting at me. With lightning speed, I avoided the bullets. After that, I broke their guns and patrol cars and escaped.

After I escaped, a skyscraper was in my way. With one jump, I leaped over the building and landed on my feet. When running in the city, I saw a helicopter land in my way. Out came Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, and the Black Panther. I fought them by using my claws, but I was no match for them. They defeated me and I blacked out.

by Dominic, fifth grade writer

It was a dark stormy night when I just finished my mixing potion. I could smell the foul scent of the steam drifting from the potion. Then it happened! A tornado had hit. I could feel powerful gusts of wind rushing across my skin. It let out my test subjects: a platypus and a octopus. At the same time, everything in my lab had broken, even my mixing potion. Right then, my test subjects ran over it. Both of them. Then I saw an incredible thing!

My test subjects had morphed together to make a plaoctopus. I couldn’t wait to make another plaoctopus. I couldn’t wait to study my magnificent creature. I could see slimy, green, tentacles, a sun-yellow beak, and purple fur all over its body. It was the best and craziest thing that I had seen in my life.

As mentioned earlier, instantly I couldn’t wait to study him. When he talked, he sounded like, like a weird squeaking noise. It was the most awesome experience I had in a long time.

Student Samples: Middle School

by Kyle, seventh grade writer

We were all pouring and mixing chemicals and fixing up machines when Professor Lixten dropped a beaker on the ground. All of the bluish, clear liquid that it contained was lost and spilled on the linoleum tile. At the same time, Professor Hyken was crossing the lab with two beakers of the solution that caused a chemical reaction that joined things together.

Professor Hyken slipped on the bluish, clear liquid, and went tumbling to the floor, releasing her beakers containing the solution. They flew through the air and hit Professor Whitney Pafferton. Professor Pafferton began running and screaming as the fluids from the beakers swamped over her like it was raining thick, sweaty water. She ran around the room like there was a monster chasing her and ripping at her ankles. She screamed as if trying to wake the dead from their graves. Then she smacked Professor Hickman’s ladder, and he fell down as he tried to reach something to break his fall. He grabbed a light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and he pulled it out of the socket as he fell to the floor. The ladder crashed down and hit the test animals’ cages and opened them. All the animals escaped, including the flamingo. Professor Pafferton kept running around until she tripped, falling into the flamingo. They fell to the ground, and they were both knocked unconscious. Together they formed WOMINGO.

Professor Pafferton woke up twenty minutes later, and she saw the room trashed with broken light bulbs and broken beakers on the floor. There were fluids on the floor. She saw Professor Hyken cowering under a desk. Professor Pafferton stood up and walked over to the mess of spilled chemicals on the floor. She heard a clack, clack—like hard nails on the ground—as she walked. She looked at her feet, and she realized they were pink and scaly. Then she looked at her arms. There were little feathers sprouting out of her skin! The professor looked down at a puddle of chemicals and saw a beak growing where her mouth once was. She yelled, “No, I am a monster!”

(Click here to open/print Kyle and one of his classmate's stories.)

by Stephanie, 8 th grader

The icy blue glow of the liquid contained in the glassy beakers sizzled as it heated. Just as Professor Zillan entered the lab and strode over to one, it shattered, the elixir splattering in all directions. Professor Zillan screamed, crumpling to the floor with pale skin. Her assistant, Mr. Starmill, came rushing through the doorway to see what had caused all the commotion and stared at the shrinking deforming body of his professor.

Mr. Starmill took a frightened step back, unsure of what to do and how to help, but he knew it was too late now. There was no antidote, and Professor Zillian’s skin had already started turning a sharp, frosty blue with little ragged scales sprouting from it. They shimmered in the dim light of the lab. Her nose and jaw had elongated and formed together, giving her a thick muzzle with dagger-like teeth. Professor Zillian’s body was now only two feet long, with long talons instead of toes and a large, curling tail.

Professor Zillan opened her tight and painful eyes, feeling completely baffled at the way her new body felt. She noticed her assistant beside her, holding a glass container. In its reflection, she saw herself and froze. The elixir in the beaker she had created had turned her into a frosty, spiky little dragon, thin wings and all. Topping it off was a poof of hair on her head, partially hiding her white horns. When Professor Zillan opened her mouth to speak, only a small hiss came out. She could no longer speak.

(Click here to open/print Stephanie and one of her classmate's stories.)

Student Sample: High School

by Jessie, ninth grade writer

As I was making a batch of gingerbread cookies, I ran out of vanilla extract. I went to look in my dad’s laboratory, seeing as he always uses the ingredients in there, I thought I could find a substitute. All I had found was a goopy pink liquid with a name on the label I couldn’t even pronounce. I figured it would be just as good, seeing as it smelled similar to vanilla. So I mixed it into the batter concoction and plopped it into small puddles on a cookie sheet and set them in the oven to cook. Unable to help myself, for a treat I licked the spoon before I washed the dishes.

All of a sudden from the other room I heard banging and lots of steam rushing from the room. Just as I walked in, the oven door flew open and a dozen pink flamingos burst out and knocked me over. As I was lying on the floor with all of these exotic birds surrounding me in my kitchen, it hit me that I had just eaten some of the mixture!

Of course, as I stood up I slowly began to feel my legs become limber and more skinny. Then my neck grew, my body became stout, and I could see a beak in front of my face. Then my body puffed and pink feathers appeared all over me. It seems I won’t be eating cookies anytime soon. I’m on an all-fish diet now, and I’ll stick to recipes without any substitutes!

(Click here to open/print Jessie and two of her classmates' stories.)

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