A Poetry-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Poems of Apology

"this is just to say" that I hope
you forgive me...sort of

The poetry William Carlos Williams 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 2, 6, 8, 9, 10

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 up to three student samples, along with a digital photo of the student(s) and a signed permission slips, we will send you either a complimentary copy of one of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's print publications.

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

by Keely, third grade poet

Forgive me
For sneaking downstairs
And interrupting your party

But I was starving
And the candies were...
Calling me

I didn't know what to do
So I just took them
Please forgive me


I'm Sorry...
by Jacob, fourth grade poet

I’m sorry for
calling you horrid
names but
everyone else was
telling me to,

and I didn’t |
want my
reputation crushed
by hanging out
with you.

So please
forgive me.
I honestly didn’t
mean to call  
you names.

(Click here to view and print Jacob and two of his classmates' poems for sharing in class.)


Sorry for Drinking Your Tea
by Elise, fifth grade poet

I am sorry for drinking your tea
It looked so icy, cold and delicious
I could have gone and got my own drink
But the fridge was too far away
The first drink just sat there and called me
I would tell you I would not do it again
But then I would just be lying
Plus you probably would have done the same

Student Samples: Middle School

I Will Listen in the Future (to Mom)
by Anna, seventh grade poet

I’m sorry for lashing out.
I slammed the table
Instead of calming down.

You told me not to,
But I did it anyway.
Even though it relaxed me,
It wasn’t right.

I was burning with such anger
I had to hit something.
Trying to contain my fury
Is like trying to control a wild fire.

Many Apologies
by Amy, eighth grade poet

I’m sorry for all the silly things I have done
Burning my hand
Sewing my finger
Leaving toothpicks out on which dad stepped on
I was young and foolish, no care in the world

I’m sorry for all the past things that have occurred
Skipping my lessons
Wasting my life on the computer
Breaking six plates in three days
I wasn’t thinking of the outcome

For all these things I apologize
For you are my mother, the one who has taught me so much
Now though, I have learned from my mistakes and corrected them
Allowing me to excel in my academic career and studies

Once more, I am sorry for causing you any stress
In the future, I hope to make it up to you

(Click here to view and print Amy and one of her classmate's poems for sharing in class.)

Student Samples: High School

Black Button Shirt
by Valerri, eleventh grade writer

I looked so ravishing in that black button
shirt. The one with your initials written
on that itchy Macy’s tag. The one you
specifically told me not to wear, you
know the one you spent the last of your
Christmas money on? That one shirt.
That one thing you wanted sooo bad,
the one you had circled in that shiny
new magazine. I’m sorry I looked so
ravishing in your black button shirt.


Praying for the Breakdown
by Andrew, twelfth grade writer

You have been down that paved
path for so long we sometimes lose
track of the miles between. I count
Forgive me if my number is not
exact, it becomes hard to judge
when the names of towns and
streets become unfamiliar.
I’m guessing five-thirty by now…
without a doubt six by morning.
It must be hard watching the
headlights clear away the pitch with
nothing but screaming voices with
deaf ears to drag up the sun. I
apologize for praying for the

(Click here to view and print Valerri, Andrew, and three of the classmates' poems for shaing in class.)


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