A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: ORGANIZATION Support Trait: VOICE

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

Picture Book Lessons Homepage

Narrative Homepage


Navigating this lesson:

Lesson & 6-Trait Overview

Student Instructions

Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources

Student Writing Samples from this Lesson


On-line Publishing:

Publish your students at our Ning!
(You must be a member of our "Writing Lesson of the Month" ning to post.)

Student Samples Page:
Relative Report


organizing a bad-situation-that-gets-worse descriptive tale

The writing of author Margie Palatini inspired student writers to try new techniques with the traits of organization and voice. 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 4, 6, 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.

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

The Home News Report
by Michelle, third grade story-reporter

We interrupt this program for a special broadcast. Apparently, someone has been sneaking around the cookie jar. And figure out how two dogs can cause a burst of laughter. Only on KOLO News at 6:00.

My friends and I had a playdate on a chilly winter day. They brought cheesy pepperoni and pineapple pizzas over. We filled our plates and left the rest of the pizza on the low table in the living room. We carelessly let the dogs in and left the living room to go eat in the kitchen.

Later my Mom went in and screamed, "Duke!" I ran in to see what was going on, and the next thing I knew Duke was eating the rest of the pizza, and Bell was eating the box. Bell tripped on Duke's foot and Duke howled. We all started to laugh.

We now return to our regular program. We hope you learned a lesson about pizza and dogs.


(Click here to open/print Michelle's story for your third graders to read.)

Student Samples: Middle School

Wet Feet
by Stefani, seventh grade story-reporter

Hi, my name is Stefani M., and I am reporting live outside my house with a story that will blow you away! Have you ever had to go to the bathroom really bad? It happens to everyone. Today, on TP News, however, I will give you the inside scoop on how a simple trip to the restroom turned into an absolute nightmare. Hold on to your toilet paper, folks!


It all started at 2:00 a.m. earlier this morning. When my brother, Michael, woke up suddenly, he realized he needed to go number-one really badly. He dashed to the bathroom as fast as he could. He didn’t even think about turning on the lights, which later proved to be one of the worst mistakes of his life. As he stumbled blindly through the bathroom, his foot sunk into something that was uncomfortably wet. Michael realized that he was now stuck in the toilet.

His screams echoed through the empty bathroom. All of a sudden, something hissed very loudly. “Who’s there?” he inquired nervously.

Two yellow eyes peered out of the darkness. It was the cat, Felix, who had been sleeping peacefully in the bathtub before being rudely awakened.

“Oh, it’s just you,” Michael sighed with relief. “Come here, Felix. At least I’ll have some company.”

Felix jumped to the edge of the toilet seat and balanced there for a split second before plummeting into the cold water. He tried to get out, but his tail had gotten stuck next to Michael’s foot.

“Oh, great,” Michael whispered to himself, “now I’m stuck in the toilet with an angry cat.”

Michael and Felix made as much noise as possible to try to wake someone up. They stopped to listen, but the house was eerily quiet. The two exhausted prisoners yelled a little bit more, and, to their surprise, they finally heard footsteps. When the door creaked open and the lights flickered on, Michael was glad to see Mom standing there.

She screamed, “It’s 3:00 in the morning! WHAT IS GOING ON?”

“I’m so glad you’re here!” Michael exclaimed. “I accidentally got my foot stuck in the toilet, and then Felix got stuck too!”

“I’ll get you out,” she replied. “Let me just stick my hands in there and… uh oh, I seem to be stuck as well.”

“Oh, great,” Michael thought to himself, “now I’m stuck in a toilet with an angry cat and a tired mom.”

The soaked trio yelled at the top of their lungs, and to their delight, the butler, who was also named Felix, walked in.

Felix screamed, “It’s 3:15 in the morning. WHAT IS GOING ON?”

“Well, first I accidentally stepped in the toilet, then Felix fell in, and then Mom tried to save us and she got stuck too,” Michael explained.

“If I can just get my toes under there, maybe I can pry you all out. Oh dear, I seem to have lodged my foot in the… OWWWW!!! The cat bit me!”

“Felix, let go of Felix!” Mom commanded.

“Meow! Meow!” Felix (the cat) screeched as he let go of Felix’s (the butler) foot.

“Oh, great,” Michael said to himself, “now I’m stuck in a toilet with an angry cat, a tired mom, and a grumpy butler.”

At this point, they were all too tired to yell except for the cat that was splashing around wildly. Luckily, I walked by the bathroom on my way to a midnight snack, so I was able to come to the rescue. Upon entering, I shrieked, “It’s 3:30 in the morning! WHAT IS GOING ON?”

As they told me the whole horrifying ordeal, I quickly thought of a plan that was sure to help. I poured bubble bath into the nasty toilet water, and it worked perfectly. Michael, Mom, Felix, and Felix glided smoothly out.

“Wait, don’t you have to go to the bathroom, Michael?” I asked.

“Not anymore,” he replied with a grin.


Now was that an amazing story or what? The best part is it was all true! This was the most exciting thing to ever happen in Flushburgh, and now you know the real poop… uhh, I mean scoop. Could you have gotten that inside report from the other leading news station? Oops… I just realized I left my cat in the toilet, so until next time, keep watching TP News.


(Click here to print Stefani and one of her classmate's stories to share with your middle school writers.)

WritingFix Homepage Lesson & 6-Trait Overview   Student Instructions
Teacher Instructions & Lesson Resources  Student Writing Samples

© WritingFix. All rights reserved.