Sunday, January 27, 2013


As my Sunday night winds down, and I prepare myself for the school week ahead, I decide to sit and read through some old writing samples my students did one morning just as a warm up exercise. They wrote it months ago and put it into their portfolios. Since it wasn't a serious assignment, I put off looking at them. Some things go into their portfolios that are not graded, and this was one of them. Tonight, as I read them, I took much delight in the fact that my students have become story tellers. I gave the students one line that they were to incorporate any where and any way into a brief narrative. They had 15 minutes to write it. Below is a sampling of what I read. Tonight's updated blog highlights three of my story tellers. If there were more hours in the day, all of my fabulous writers would be here. Their turns are coming!

Mission: to take one phrase and build a narrative around it.
Result: a lesson on perspective 

One day, I was playing on the playground. Children knocked me over and shoved me when we were lining up. Suddenly, a warm hand yanked my arm. I was being yanked to the side.
            “Stop it!” I screamed. “Let go!”
            “I’m not a kidnapper!” an annoyed voice said.
            I looked over. It was a boy my age I had never met before. He had shaggy blonde hair and deep brown eyes. Twigs and weeds surrounded the forest floor. My shoes got caught occasionally. We stopped. He pointed me toward the opening in a tree.
            “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once your inside,” the boy said with a happy grin.
            “Tell me why you brought me here,” I said.
            “Well, one day I found this place and I had to show someone. You were the only person who seemed normal against all those screaming children,” he said with a snicker. “I was feeling lonely,” he admitted shyly.
            “Well, you shouldn’t just grab people. The teachers will be looking for me and my parents will flip out!” I cried out.
            “You’ll be back soon?” he asked…but still wouldn’t let me go.
            “Take me back!” I screamed.
            “Not until you look inside.
            “Fine,” I gave in.
            There were gray stones leading to the opening of the tree. They were beautiful and appeared almost man made. They were in shapes of all kinds. The tree seemed too small for a house. Inside, I smelled sap. Shiny hardwood floors covered the small round room and a spiral staircase creeped down down down to a dark basement. It was cold and I realized that I was underground. There were wooden chairs intricately carved around a soft brown rug. The floor was made of dirt. I was stunned! There was a wooden shelf containing lots of books. I made my way dazed to the outside again. I searched and searched, but the boy was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, feeling very afraid of the woods around me, I dashed back to the playground.
            “Good Heavens!” Ms. Smith said. “We’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
            Still to this day, the boy has never been seen again.


          He pointed me toward the opening of the tree.
          “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once your inside.”
          I stepped in.
          “Welcome to Wonderland.” He said
          “Wow, thank you for bringing me here. I…I… don’t know what to say.”
          “You’re welcome.”
          “This isn’t mine, is it? It can’t be!”
          “Yes, it is. Well, only part of it. You see, this world is divided into three parts. The dark side, the rain side, and the light side. The one that you own is the light side. Enjoy your stay at Wonderland,” his face seemed kind. Then something changed. He smiled an evil smile. “And remember,” he said, “don’t go to the dark one.”
          “Who’s the dark one?” I asked.

          …TO BE CONTINUED


He pointed me toward the opening of the tree.
          “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once your inside.”
          I walked in and saw that it really was huge inside. I yelled out that I’d take it. The man left and I went to the store to begin buying new things for my new house. I bought a bed, a television, a couch, and an Xbox. I was living great in my new house. Then the sound I’ll always remember. Smash! Crack, Crash! Snap! My tree house was going down. I managed to escape and looked behind me to see a tornado had taken my tree. I was left alone in the woods and didn’t know where to go. My path back to the city had been destroyed. I searched for days and just as I was about to give up I heard a BEEP! It was a car horn. I began running with joy. I had finally made it back to the city.
One day, a man asked if I wanted a city house. I said, “I’ll take it!”


  1. These are great stories. Very desciptive. I like them a lot. One of you should become an author.
    Kayleigh Tate

  2. These are all written perfectly!I like how Nick Brown's ended in TO BE CONTINUED.What happens next!But,out of all of them,I enjoyed Hope's the best.It sort of reminds me of Autumn Street,when Charles runs off into the woods.Keep on writing,you three! Isabella t ;)

  3. Isabella, I'm so happy that you can see connections between Hope's writing and Lois Lowry's novel. You are a fabulous writer as well! Keep up the great work!
    Mrs. D.

  4. These stories were great!The other day Hope came up to me and said i should be a writer, but i think she's fantastic.She gives great details. And i loved Nick Brown's TO BE CONTINUED.Hope he finishes the rest of his story!(Erin)