A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Support Trait: WORD CHOICE

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Unique Imaginary Friends

writing original adventures
about imaginary sidekicks

The writing of author Tony DiTerlizzi is currently inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of idea development 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.

Thank you, those who share their students' writing with us.


Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learn more about WritingFix's policies for publishing student work by visiting our Publishing Student Writers Information Page.

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. Teachers: if you can help us obtain one, two or three student samples, along with a digital photo of the student(s) and a signed permission slips, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's print publications.

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Student Samples: Early Elementary

Norman
by Coleman, first grade writer

One time there was a boy named John. John had no brother or sister, and John was very sad. One day there was a “knock, knock, knock” at the door. John said, “Who could that be?” He opened the door and there was no one there. John said, “Hello?”

Nobody answered but right before he closed the door there was a ”Wait! Don’t close the door! I am only two inches tall so you can’t see me. Can I come in now? It’s freezing!”

“Okay,” said John. “What is your name?”

“Norman”

“How about a cup of hot chocolate?” said John.

“Sure,” said Norman, “but I like it really hot!”

“Do you like it this hot?” asked John.

“Perrrrrrrrfect,” said Norman.

(Click here to print/view Coleman and two of his classmates' stories)


Courtney’s Great Power
by Sofia, second grade writer

Kayla was walking to school. She did it every day. It was very typical. Sometimes she got bored, so she called for her imaginary friend, Courtney. Kayla had no friends, so Courtney was her friend. Courtney went to school with her.

Once she got in trouble just talking to her in class. Another time Kayla’s teacher called on her, but Kayla was so busy playing with Courtney she couldn’t talk.

Kayla had to play volleyball and basketball but she didn’t know how. When Kayla got home she was very sad. Courtney asked her, “What’s wrong Kayla?”

“Oh, nothing much. It’s just I’m supposed to play volleyball and basketball but I don’t know how.”

“How about you ask your mom and dad if they know how to play the two sports?”

They said, "No."

(Click here to read/print Sofia's entire story as well as another story by a fellow third grader.)


Adventure with Kylie
by Samantha, third grade writer

Hi! My name is Lia, and I have an imaginary friend named Kylie. She has all the powers in the universe. She is silver and gold because she is a special breed.

Kylie and I were walking in the dark after a rainy day, so it was extra triple muddy. I told Kylie to be careful, but she tripped over a hidden rock. She fell in the mud.

I laughed and pointed and covered my chest. Kylie was laughing too. I was laughing so hard I lost my balance and fell in the mud too! We both doubled up in laughter. We picked ourselves up and shook ourselves off.

Then Kylie picked me up and she flew us home. Mom shrieked when she saw us. Then, she started laughing. She gave us a bath and put us to bed after dinner. That was our biggest adventure of the summer!

(Click here to print Samantha and another student's stories for your students to analyze and discuss.)


Student Samples: Upper Elementary

Grimble
by McKayla, fourth grade writer

When I woke up from a sleep that held me in bed all night, I found my imaginary friend, Grimble, waiting for me in the kitchen. My parents weren’t up yet, so Grimble suggested that we make coffee for my parents to show how much we appreciate them.

“What a great idea. Let’s do it!” I exclaimed. And so we did.

I found the coffee beans while Grimble poured the water into the coffee maker. The slimy green-like skin covering his body glistened. We finished making the coffee.

As soon as I poured the cups of coffee, I heard him beg. “Oh, can I have a sip of that mouthwatering coffee?” Grimble asked.

“No, the coffee will make you too hyper, and I can’t let that happen. You’ll wake up my parents,” I said.

“I promise I’ll control myself. Please! Please! Please!” said the creature who stood as tall as my knee.

“Fine! But only a small sip.”

Grimble started to shake. Oh no! I thought. What have I done? He flew around, bouncing off the walls; even worse, my parents were getting up. Grimble turned invisible. My parents fell on their backs as Grimble knocked them over. I was told to clean up the mess and also scolded. I was grounded for a month and Grimble left because he was too much trouble.

(Click here to open/print McKayla's story for your fifth graders to analyze and discuss.)


Jack & I
by Andres, fifth grade writer

Me and Jack, we are always together, always playing, and always making trouble. Jack’s my imaginary friend. He’s only one-inch high and one-inch wide. Jack is white and black, not to mention he is round. My parents don’t believe me, my brother thinks I am crazy, and my teacher sends me to the principal’s office just because I talk about him.

One day, on a Saturday afternoon while I was playing video games, Jack had a great idea when I was playing race cars. He said, “Instead of playing race cars in a video game, why don’t we play race cars in real life?!?”

“Nice!” I said. We grabbed a cardboard box, cardboard, and wheels. We went driving all over the house. All of a sudden, my dad came out of his bedroom. By accident, Jack and I tripped my dad by his leg.

“Go put that stuff in the garbage and go to your room!” He grounded me for a month. It was sooooooo boring.

After that, I had a talk with my dad about Jack. I described Jack. After a while, I noticed that my dad was smiling. His eyes were getting watery. In a second, he busted out sobbing for 2 minutes. Later, after the crying, my dad said that Jack had been his imaginary friend when he was my age. I was grinning for a bit.

Then Jack poked his head out of my pocket, and Dad was flabbergasted. A bit after, Dad left the room. I ended up playing hide and seek with Jack. “On one condition,” he said, “I want your father to play too.” I called for my dad. I could tell that he really wanted to play just by looking at his face. It was really fun.

(Click here to open/print Andres' story for your fifth graders to analyze and discuss.)


StarBright
by Julia, sixth grade writer                  

I’m Kaitlyn and I had an imaginary friend named StarBright. StarBright was miraculous! She was a gorgeous shade of moonstone blue, could fit into your pocket like a cell phone, and had a very special super power! Her power was traveling through time! I know, it was amazing! StarBright was my best friend in the whole wide world.

One day, when I was playing in the backyard, listening to the birds chirp, StarBright noticed that I was looking glum.

“What’s wrong Kaitlyn?” StarBright asked politely.

“Well, we’ve been doing the exact same thing EVERYDAY and I ‘m getting bored of it!” I groaned with gloom and a sigh.

“Then let’s have some real fun,” StarBright said with a sly look on her face. StarBright sprinted into the garage.

“What is she doing?” I thought to myself while waiting for her to come back.

What StarBright was doing was traveling back in time. StarBright was getting an egg of some sort from millions and millions of years ago. StarBright came back into the backyard carrying the egg. It was big compared to StarBright, like a person and a skyscraper. When I saw StarBright, I was startled.

“What is that?” I asked curiously.

“It’s a pterodactyl egg! I got it so that we could care for it when it hatches!” she yelped with excitement.

“Awesome!” I screeched with joy.

The egg that StarBright brought to the backyard must have been pretty warmed up because it hatched two hours later. Out of the egg sprouted an adorable, baby pterodactyl. StarBright and I were ecstatic! We held the pterodactyl in our arms and cradled it until it fell fast asleep.

Later on, my Mom came outside to check on me.

“WHAT IS THAT?” she screamed.

“A pterodactyl,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Where’d it come from?” she asked more calmly.

“StarBright went back in time and got it,” I said while looking at StarBright.

“StarBright? Who’s that?” Mom asked suspiciously.

“My imaginary friend,” I said smiling.

“Well, I used to have an imaginary friend named StarLight,” she said, sounding confused.

I was confused too. “StarBright, what’s going on?” I asked curiously.

“Well, I used to be your Mom’s imaginary friend too,” she said slowly so that I could take it in.

“Mom, StarBright was both of our imaginary friends!” I exclaimed with surprise.

“REALLY!?!? StarLight didgo back in time once and brought me a caveman!” she laughed with joy.

“Mom, do you want to play with StarBright and ME?” I asked eagerly.

“Sure,” she said, delighted that she was invited.

Then we played all day long with StarBright, Mom, and me!

 

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


Student Samples: Middle School

My Imaginary Friend, Po
by Amy, seventh grade writer

When l got home from a long and tedious day of school, my imaginary friend Po was waiting for me in my room. Po was a pinky-peach color, with an antenna attached to her head that was shaped like a circle, and she had a magic carpet that could go anywhere you want. I did some homework and Po helped me with a bit of it, but considering that she is intsy-weensy and just the size of a newborn panda cub, it was pretty hard for her to hold an eight-inch pencil. Mom, Dad and my sisters weren't home yet, so I decided to do a good deed by cooking dinner. Po and I decided to cook a mouth watering steak, boiled corn, and cake for dessert.

“Po,” I asked, “where are the recipes for baking strawberry cake?”

“It’s in the cupboard,” Po replied.

As Po and I were cooking the steak, we got gravy splatter from wall to wall and from ceiling to floor. We finished cooking the mouth-watering steak and the boiled corn. We had to put the butter on the hot boiled corn, but in the midst of that task, the slippery spoon of butter flew across the kitchen and landed on the door. When we used the electronic batter to mix the cake, it splattered all over the counter and our faces.

“What are we going to do now?” I asked.

“I don’t know but we will find a way to fix this,” Po said.

Before I could reply, the front door swung open. It was my parents. I could see the shock on their faces.

“How the heck did you make a mess so big by yourself?“ they asked me.

“I didn't do it myself. Me and Po did it together,” I told them, but they wouldn’t listen. They told me that this imaginary friend was way out of control. They scolded me some more and told me to clean up this mess. After I finished cleaning it, up Po came up to me and told me that she going to leave.

“But you can’t,” I pleaded.

“It’s the least I could do.” And with that, Po disappeared into the night, never to return again.

 

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


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