A Poetry-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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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:
Poems of Condition

a how-to-be poem
that is built with conditional clauses

The poetry of Rudyard Kipling is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of sentence fluency 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, 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: Middle School

Dance Teacher
by Kristina, seventh grade poet

If you can point and flex your toe,
And bring people up when they’re low,
If you can criticize with praise,
Or make children’s spirits raise,
If you can always make us improve,
In every step we move and groove,
If on stage is your place to be,
And you have no fear of what people see.

If you dream to leap and fly through the sky,
And in your steps you want to fly,
If you understand the positions of arms,
And you think pointe shoes are little charms,
If you can glide through things without a care,
Or you have many pins in your hair,
If you bring people up when they’ve had a bad day,
And tell them that their routine was okay.

If you can always come out with a smile,
And express yourself just once in a while,
If you have no fright of embarrassment,
Or your recitals make a true statement,
If you don’t care how good we are,
It only matters that we try through and far,
If you are a role model of mine,
Then you are a dance teacher, quite divine.

(Click here to view/print Kristen and four of her classmates' If poems)

Advice for my Little Sister
by Kristina, eighth grade poet

If you can deal with peer pressure without losing yourself
And find simple ways to turn down the opportunity,
If you can laugh at yourself with everyone else
And look at everything with a positive attitude,
If you can find the strength to admit you’re wrong,
Even when you may think otherwise,
If you can cope with loss of a childhood friend
And realize that maybe the friendship wasn’t meant to last,
If you can deal with drama but not exaggerate the situation
And admit that you’re human too,
If you inspire the mind of someone else
And inspire yours as well,
If you can keep your spirits high through struggle
And continue to stay high until the end,
If you can learn to apologize while looking someone in the eye
And accept one sincerely as well.
If you can learn to get along with someone you despise
And be polite for it may lead to demise,
If you can stay true to your family
And leave no one behind,
If you can play on a team and work together
And not make it about “I,”
If you can succeed with these goals during every day
And taking it minute by minute, day by day,
If you can listen, little sister,
Then your life in middle school will breeze by this way.

(Click here to view/print Kristina's poem)


by Dakota, eighth grade poet

If you can form a group
And listen to other people's ideas
Without becoming jealous,
You can be a leader.

If you can march your group
Into the unknown
And come back alive
with everyone you took in,
You can call yourself
A leader of the brave.

If you can walk your group
Into enemy land
And not let any member start a fight,
You can call yourself
A leader of control.

If you can walk
Into the darkness
And not let it destroy you,
You can call yourself
A leader of the light.

If you can lead
A group of men
Through a city
That's set for an ambush
And keep going without stopping,
You can be a leader of power, stealth, strength, and will.

(Click here to view/print Dakota and two of his classmates' poems.)

Student Samples: High School

by Sage, ninth grade poet

If you find offices boring,
And isolation rough,
If you are ready for exploring,
But are not yet tough,
Or need a little extra schooling,
When you want to create,
For a thing that is far from grueling,
That you can serve on a plate,
If you love to work with food,
In your daily living,
But suffer the rude,
And face the giving
If you endure all this,
And undergo all of the adversity,
If you struggle for bliss,
You will come across diversity,
If you never waste,
And working hard is an everyday endeavor,
You will craft food that everyone will taste:
You will be a chef.


by Liane, ninth grade poet

If you like to sigh and smile and snip
As your shiny scissors go clip clip
If you whistle as you make dye dip
And cherish heads of hair, thin or thick
If your manicured nails can stroke
But never strangle any split strand
And have a room temp bottle of Coke
To grab in your left and unused hand

If you can clone Halley Berry hair
On some woman with not much left
If you like to trim split ends with care
With precision very quick and deft
If your bubble gum will always pop
With a gleeful l click as you measure

If your heart leaps at every grey
And you know just what to make it brown
If a customer had a bad day
And you know to bring him up from down
And giggle and chirp and make fine talk
As you trim all her uneven locks
But most of all enjoy doing so-
Then you will be a hairstylist

(Click here to view/print Sage, Liane and two of their classmates' If poems)

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