A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Student Samples Page:
Pros, Cons, and
Interesting Hooks

a short essay that examines
both sides of a job

The writing of author Melinda Long is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of organization and sentence fluency. 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, 6, 9, 10, 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 Sample: Early Elementary

Being a BeeKeeper
by Daphne, second grade writer

The job of being a beekeeper is fun because you can eat all the honey you want, but you shouldn’t eat too much.

It is fun getting honey, getting money for honey, and having lots of beautiful flowers. You also get to work at home.

However, the job of a beekeeper can be hard. You might get stung a lot. You have to wear hot suits. You will not be famous and you will not be rich.

I would not like to be a beekeeper because I don’t like to get stung.

Student Samples: Upper Elementary

Pro Football Pros & Cons
by Dylan, fourth grade writer

Being a Pro football player sounds cool with all the pros and stuff. You got to remember though, there still are cons.

One pro is you get to be famous, and I like that. You can be rich and strong. That comes in handy when you need to move things into your the mansion that you bought with all your money. I would use my money for a mansion, a million dogs, and more footballs. The way you get strong is by running, and this job is athletic! Probably the most important thing about being a football player is having fun.

A bad thing about being a Pro football player is you get hurt. People get hurt just about every game! Another reason is with all the reporters these days, you’ll never get time to yourself. You also can’t play when you get too old, which stinks because, what if you’re really good at it? Once you get old enough, they kick you out! The final two cons are you travel everywhere to play different teams so you never see your family, and you get traded so you don’t stay on the same team as your friends.

After thinking...I think I will be a football player!

(Click here to view/print Dylan and another fourth grader's Pros & Cons Essays)


Pros and Cons of Being a Vet
by July, fifth grade writer

Being a vet can be very rewarding, and at times get difficult. One rewarding thing about being a vet is animals can be nice and respect you. A difficult thing about being a vet is animals might feel intimidated and bite, scratch, and kick at you.

Some fun things about being a vet are that vets do surgeries on animals, which might not seem fun, but at the end, you are glad because you just saved an animal. When you’re a vet, you get to be with animals almost every day. Also when you’re a vet, you can get up to 118,000 dollars a year. Once you have saved an animal, the owner is very pleased with your work. If you absolutely love animals, this is a great job for you.

Some bad things about being a vet are that before you become a vet, you have to go through about eight years of college, and that involves a lot of patience. You also deal with dangerous animals that might hurt you. Vets work long hours, which is not very pleasant. You also have to deal with both angry and sad pet owners too.

Now you can see how being a vet is exciting, but sometimes not anything like you expected. Even though being a vet can be hard, at the end of the day, you are delighted that you saved a lot of animals’ lives. I would really enjoy being a vet.

(Click here to view and print July and two of her classmates' Pros & Cons Essays.)

Student Samples: Middle School

Being a Vampire
by Kirsten, seventh grade writer

To live forever would be great…or would it? If you wanted that to happen, you would need to be a vampire. Being a vampire is not all fun and games though. There are pros and cons to go with this “job.”

First, not being able to go out during the daylight would give you extremely pale skin. Another of the cons to go with this job is that you have no control over your desires. That is a major disadvantage because if the one you love is human, you could put them in serious danger by craving his or her blood. You might even fight to the death just to get that one human’s blood. A final disadvantage would be the constant danger of losing your “second life” by getting pushed into a fire, attacked by a pack of wolves, or even killed with a crucifix through the heart.

But being a vampire is not all bad. One of the pros is that you have extreme running ability. You can run so fast you are nearly impossible to see. When becoming a vampire, there is also a fifty-fifty chance that you might inherit a power. Powers can vary from being able to read one’s mind to changing how people feel about things. Finally, if you’re all about how you look, you’ll have the advantage of being beautiful and charming.
Living forever would be great if every day was a good one. Even though there are cons to being a vampire, there are pros too. Sometimes it takes just the meeting of a human to realize them. All in all, being a vampire is a great profession.

(Click here to view and print Kirsten and a classmate's Pros & Cons Essays.)

Student Sample: High School

Jedi: the Pros and Cons
by Mike, eleventh grade writer

Although light sabers can be dangerous, they will become your best friend when wandering the galaxy as a Jedi. Storm Troopers, surprise attacks, and traps are all dangers that come up on a daily basis. This is when that silver handle hanging from your waist begins looking real friendly.

Having a light saber and racing pod racers isn’t all fun though; it can get you killed. Also, it can get very lonely, and with every human girl in a galaxy far away from you, sometimes you have to resort to “women” from other species. The problem with different species is that many cannot stand humans. This makes you susceptible to attack at all times; booby traps, surprise attacks, you name it. Get to cocky and—BAM—light saber to your chest; you’re dead.

As a Jedi, you really need to stay on your feet. That’s what’s nice about having the force on your side. You’re unaware, but if there are a few creatures waiting around the corner for you, all of a sudden you get this feeling; it’s the force telling you to take a different route. Your life is saved. Besides, you wouldn’t want anyone tearing your robe. Yoda would tear you a new one if you tore another robe. Yoda may get angry with the amount of robes you go through, but he is a great person to have on your side. No matter what, Yoda’s got your back.

So I really believe the good outweighs the bad when it comes to being a Jedi. And even though they’re one in a million, when you find that right human girl, you know she’s diggin’ your Jedi skills.

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