A Writer's Notebook Brainstorm inspired by a Great Poem
Focus Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT Support Trait: VOICE

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Tillbury Town Tales:

A Butcher's Story

teaching students to record interpretations interestingly in their writer's notebook

The poetry E. A. Robinson is inspiring student writers to try new techniques with the traits of idea development 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.

 

Student Samples Being Sought:
Grades 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12

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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.

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Student Sample: Middle School

The Voices
by Will, eighth grade writer

Will’s interpretation of who the original poem’s they/them are: voices in Reuben’s head

Diary #3: December 17, 1842
Why, oh why is this happening? I pray for a miracle to be preformed before me. May my wife be kept safe and warm through the night. Why must I—We—do this? The voices of the past lives are echoing in my head, “Do it, do it, kill your maiden!”

These voices will not stop! Their craving for blood and pain used to cease at the slaughter house, but now being there does not even phase them. Their love for the massacre is rocketing to a whole new level of pain. I pleaded to God that I may be healed many times before, but my prayers seemed as though they were denied.

Diary #1: December 18, 1842
I can barely stand—let alone write. It feels as though a wooden stake has been driven in straight through my heart, mind, and soul. I…..

I loved it! The rush, the excitement! Those eerie voices in my head are taking over!

Ah…hahaha!The kill was swift, but sloppy. I killed her while she slept and dragged her limp body out to the butcher shop and dismantled her bit by bit. I then hung her body’s remains with all of the other meat that was hanging.

And tomorrow morning as the sun is rising; I will be selling her meat for a very cheap price. Just to get her bloody body out and about to town. The evidence will be scattered.

Everything is going as planned.

Diary #3: December 19, 1842
That wasn’t—couldn’t—have been me writing that disgusting and horrid journal entry last night.

Still…. My love—my life—is gone. I don’t have much time left myself. So I will tell you the reason for all of my actions. I killed my wife…. Then I tore down the slaughterhouse just to dispose of all possible evidence.

Now I have stripped myself down to a chair and soon I will set this rotten house to fire, but before I do…..

I’m back! What the devil has this fool done?! No, no, no!

(Click here to view and print Will and two of his classmates' diary entries)

 

 


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