A Picture Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Weird Animal Adventures

pre-planning your beginning, middle, and end before writing

The writing of author David Wiesner inspired these four student writers to try new techniques with the traits of organization and idea development. 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, 5, 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 Samples: Elementary

a sample written during one of Northern Nevada's TWIST Camps
Escaping Animals

by Carrie, first grade writer

Monday, 11:00 p.m., Zoo
One day the zoo keeper by accident unlocked the lion cage. The lion was confused. Why did the zoo keeper unlock his cage? But he was as smart as an ant, so he ran out of the cage. And the zoo keeper ran too. He ran until he caught the lion. (to be continued...)

Next Monday, 11:00 p.m., Zoo
The kangaroos hopped so high that they jumped over the bars. “Oh my goodness!” said the zoo keeper. My kangaroos! Oh no!” He ran after them. They ran-hopped all around. Luckily, they hopped back to their cage and into it. The zoo keeper built a top on their cage.

a sample written during one of Northern Nevada's TWIST Camps
Flying Pigs

by Carson, second grade writer

In California, the pigs fly off the pen. They see red houses. It’s a little windy. And after all, it is 12:00 a.m.

They only wanted to adventure farther out in the world. They flew past colorful Disneyland, and they went across to Washington and the White House. One pig took a rest in a cooking pot in the White House. Two pigs got interested in a bulldog. They regretted it. Three pigs landed on a moving log, but they jumped off quickly.

Next they soared over the ocean. One got too close to the water. Snap! They turned around, and after a while, they took a new way home. It did not take long at all. They flew past the Grand Canyon and Nevada. Then they saw big buildings. They saw the farm and they landed.

But the farmer was not so worried about the pigs. He was worried about the sheep.

a sample written during one of Northern Nevada's TWIST Camps
by Duncan, third grade writer

One hot, dry Friday night (at 6:30 p.m.), the snakes started flying out of their holes and into the air. They flew faster than cheetahs run. Some crashed into a saguaro cactus.

A bobcat appeared in front of them and chased the snakes until he rest caught up with their leader snake. Then the snakes turned around and chased the bobcat across a road with tumbleweeds, and they got stuck in the huge, spiky weeds. A strong gust of wind blew the tumbleweeds over and out the snakes flew. They slithered back to their homes in an S-shaped pattern.

Next Friday (at 6:31 p.m.), the bobcats started flying.

(Click here to open/print Duncan and two fellow third-graders' stories.)

Student Samples: Middle School

Not So Normal
by Brenda, seventh grade writer

There once was a normal cat named Smokey. One day he went into a nuclear power plant; then, he was able to talk and fly.

Smokey flew around town in his bright blue litter box. He saw this pretty orange girl cat and asked, “Hey, want a ride?”

“Of course. Hi, I’m Delilah,” she said.

“I’m Smokey,” he replied. They flew through the alley where Delilah lived. Delilah was scared. She had never flown on a litter box before; in fact, she never had flown before in her life.

They flew into the local super mart and took all the tuna and milk that they found. They went back to the alley and landed the litter box. They ate all the tuna first, then drank the milk. They ate and drank so much that they both had to go to the bathroom.

“That’s why I fly a litter box,” said Smokey. Smokey and Delilah both did their business and were off.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Delilah. Smokey and Delilah were really tired. Smokey offered Delilah to live with him and his family, and Delilah said yes. When they got home, Smokey’s owners washed Delilah but she didn’t mind. Smokey got washed the next day and wasn’t able to fly again.

Nine weeks later . . . Delilah had four kittens. Aww! The owners gave two away when they were a few months old. Aww!

“Aren’t those our kittens flying?” asked the owner.


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