A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Scheming against an Adversary

writing an original tale of non-violent revenge

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

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Student Samples: Elementary

Getting Back at the Lion Tamer
an original tale of revenge by Kathryn, fourth grade

One day my parents told me that I would get to go to the carnival and I could pick one friend to go to the carnival with. Of course, I picked my best friend, Joe, to go to the carnival with me. We planned to go the next day at 7:00 in the morning.

When I went to bed, I had a nightmare about the carnival and we went to the Lion Tamer. He makes lions jump through a ring of fire, then at the end of the show he picks one person from the audience to jump through the ring of fire. In my dream the Lion Tamer picked my best friend to jump through the ring of fire, but my best friend was too scared to do it, so the Lion Tamer pushed my friend into the ring of fire. My best friend had to go to the hospital that day and when we took him home, he was covered in bandages from his burns. Then I heard a loud screech!

Oh, it was just my alarm clock. I was so happy that I got to go to the carnival, but I was also kind of scared because of my dream. I got out of bed and put my sweat outfit on. Then I brushed my hair and my teeth, and I ran downstairs where my mom and dad were sitting at the kitchen table. Then I said, “Let’s go! We can’t miss the Lion Tamer show! We have to go, come on, come on!”

We got in the car and went to Joe’s house and when we got there he had his sweats on too! So he got into the car, and we were off to the carnival!

When we got to the carnival, there was no line for the ticket booth. We were so lucky! When we went inside the carnival, we heard the announcer say the Lion Tamer will be open in five minutes. I said, Come on, guys, we have to go. We need to get a front row seat so we can get picked to jump through the ring of fire!” When we got to the show, we got a front row seat.

The show started! The Lion Tamer lit the ring of fire and made lions jump through it! At the end of the show, he picked a person from the audience. He picked my best friend Joe! Joe stepped on the podium, but he got so scared he started to step off the podium. The Lion Tamer pushed him, and he fell into the ring of fire. My best friend was burning!

We had to leave the carnival early that day so we could take Joe to the hospital. When we took him home, he was covered in bandages. When I saw him, I knew I had to get revenge.

That night I planned my revenge. I decided that I would sneak into the Lion Tamer’s lion chamber and dye the lions’ manes pink, and the Lion Tamer would be so embarrassed at his next show. The next night I snuck into the lion chamber, and I brought pink dye. Then, I poured pink dye onto the lions’ manes.

The next day the Lion Tamer was so embarrassed that he ran, but he stopped at my house. He said, “Why would someone do that to me?”

“It’s all because you pushed my best friend Joe into the fire.”

He said, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t pushed Joe into the fire.”

I said, “I will take you to Joe’s house so you can apologize.”

He said that would be nice. I took the Lion Tamer to Joe’s house where he said he was sorry to Joe.

I gave the Lion Tamer a bottle of water that comes with the dye that washes the dye out of hair. The Lion Tamer gave Joe and me front row seats and back stage passes for his next show.

We all lived happily ever after…except for Joe. It took five weeks for his burns to heal!

Getting Even
an original tale of revenge by Kaymin, sixth grade writer

Not to long ago I woke up on a Saturday morning. I knew what I was going to do today. I went outside to smell the fresh Idaho air. I grabbed my bike--a Sledgehammer--and peddled to the park, where I noticed a black limo waiting.

There sitting on a bench were my two best friends, Pedro and Napoleon. They were having an argument about who would get my tots. Pedro and Napoleon are stars because they were in a movie. Their limo had a picture of a liger on both sides. We all entered the limo, unaware of the drastic events that were about to unfold.

When we arrived at the theater, I saw a man standing by the door blocking the way. Right away I knew who it was. STEVE! The evil movie theatre ticket taker! I watched in disgust as he so rudely swiped the tickets from innocent hands. In fact, he was so evil that he ripped the tickets and shoved them back into the innocent hands. I had known this man, with his ugly red suit and hat, since I was four.

We got out of the limo, and as soon as we did, I realized that I FORGOT MY TICKET! Steve did horrible things to people who forgot their tickets, even though he still let them in. When we reached the door, the evil man gave me a smirk. He could sense I had forgotten my ticket. “DROP AND GIVE ME TWO HUNDRED!” he sneered.

I did two hundred and one.

“Now jump through a ring of fire!” and I did, but I hated it. I had to jump through a ring of fire for hours, so I missed the movie. I was furious.

I went home and made hundreds of plans to take him down until I found one good one. I realized I could make peace, but HOW? HOW? HOW?!

So after hours of hitting my head on my desk, knocking stuff over, and blaming my sister, I came up with a solution so complicated I barely understood it. I was going to bake Steve a cake. I baked the cake and told Napoleon my plan. I went to his house and left the cake with the words “Will you be my friend?” on the porch.

I met him in the park the next day and we became friends forever so I forgave him when he bought me a DVD version of Napoleon Dynamite.

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