A Picture Book Poetry Lesson from WritingFix

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Student Samples Page:
Ballads about Relatives

four-line stanzas that
explore a family member

The poetry of author Mary Quattlebaum is currently inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of sentence fluency 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.

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Additional Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Student Samples: Upper Elementary

My Brother
by Sierra, sixth grade poet

My brother is irritating,
His shoes are very smelly,
He hates to play dolls with me,
But he loves his toast with jelly.

My brother is athletic
And very, very lean,
Just like every brother
He is really, really mean.

When my brother teases me
I often start to cry.
Then my mom yells at him
And my tears are left to dry.

My brother’s name is Zach
I love him very much.
Our relationship is something
No one else can touch.


by Cameron, sixth grade poet

My grandma lives in Aina Haina,
She gives us attention and care,
Every time I spend the night at her house,
I see curlers in her hair.

She is an excellent cook,
My family can agree,
Her homemade pies,
It is like tasting honey from a bee.

My aunty lives with her,
She insists to have a pet,
Birds, dogs and fish live in the house,
And the little dog makes things wet.

My grandma is an outgoing person,
She plays cards and such
Though in football season you ought to see,
Her expectations for a football team seem like so much.


by Danielle, sixth grade poet

David is my little brother
Who never wants to obey.
We tell him how to do something,
But he always does it his way.

You see, he likes to play “War”.
It makes him the world’s biggest rascal.
The game could be fun.
I just wish he couldn’t tackle.

I wish he wouldn’t watch TV.
It’s his only addiction
Won’t you take it away?
Come on, this has got to be fiction.

For the past three stanzas,
He has been as bad as can be.
Soon, he’ll get a compliment.
Something that you should see!

My brother isn’t horrible.
He doesn’t always tug.
Sometimes he’s nice and sweet
And gives everyone a hug.

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