A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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self-reflecting on fear to write an imaginative tale about overcoming it

The writing of author Dick Gackenbach 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: Upper Elementary

Attic Monster
by Allen, fourth grade writer

In my attic, there’s no light, no sound, and even no life.

Grr! Thump, thump! Johnny was in his room reading when he heard these sounds. “Was a twelve year old boy afraid of sounds? Was it maybe just the attic?” He kept on asking himself these questions.

Then he heard his mom say, “Can you please get me the light bulbs in the attic, Johnny?”

The boy wanted to know what was going on in the attic, so he replied, “Sure Mom,” then suddenly was scared of what’s inside as he approached the attic.

When he opened the door, he didn’t see anything but boxes piled up and a red glowing light. At first, he thought he saw the bulbs, until it moved. It turned out to be a blue, large, scaly, and aggressive dragon.

“Who-who are you?” Johnny stammered.

“I am Promient Dragon,” said the dragon.

Johnny saw the light bulbs underneath the dragon.

While Promient was talking, Johnny thought what his weakness must be: light…because he’s been in the dark for a long time. So Johnny opened the door, and light filled the attic. Promient got weaker and weaker, and then the dragon collapsed on the floor. The light bulbs were free. “If you want darkness,” Johnny said, “try the abandoned house at the end of town.”

Ten seconds later Promient was gone. “Mom, I got the bulbs!” Johnny exclaimed.

“Are you okay, because I thought I saw something fly away?” asked his Mom.

“No, if there was I would have taken care of it!” Johnny said with a grin.

(Click here to view and print Allen and
one of his classmate's Scary Somethings stories)

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