“I am not saying that everyone is Shakespeare, but I am saying everyone has a genuine voice that can express his or her life with honest dignity and detail” (Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones).
As I read through the stack of narratives turned in yesterday, I was struck by the differences. Here we have stories from the lives of children, who at face value are all very similar. They are all around 10 years old. They all live in the same city. They know the same TV shows and movies, play the same games, know the same songs. Yet, their stories are so unique. In so many of them, you can already see the individual stories unfolding. It looks like we are accomplishing our main purposes for Writer’s Workshop: To find our voice and tell our stories.
Below is a sampling of those stories. Some were volunteered by students. Some weren’t but were just too good not to share. Hopefully, their authors will take this as a compliment and forgive me. Thank you for stopping by. Please leave your compliments and comments, and I will be sure to share them with the authors. Also, to protect student privacy, they all chose nicknames as identifications. So, please ask your child their nickname to find out which piece belongs to him or her.
The vipers were 7-0. [The] hippos 6-1. The vipers and us had a lot of bad blood, because they had injured one of our best players They were also our divisional rivals.This [game] also decided who went to the playoffs.Earlier that day, the coach had messed around with our depth chart. So, I was anxious to see what position I was playing. When I got to football camp, all of my team was staring at me, sitting around the depth chart like a campfire on a cold night.
McCoy bumped into me, finally breaking the silence. “Are you sure you can handle this?” “Handle what?” I questioned. ”Dude, you’re a slot receiver,” he answered. “YES!” I jumped up. “Nohoho!” he blurted out. “Jace is going to kill you!” he said. Jace was one of the strongest and scariest players on my team. The blood going to my heart stopped dead in its tracks. “Oh God, Jace is back up,” I said. Oh no, I thought, but after a few seconds, he did not show up. So, the game began. I was set up to return the kick. When I caught the kick, I got dropped at the thirty. Couch Grifian took me out for almost all the game, because he thought I was injured. He put me in with 30 seconds left, but I played like there was 1. I caught 3 deep catches and 2 tds. It was 36-29. I walked on to the side line and turned around. We had the ball and had recovered an onside kick. So, I hopped onto the field and just went deep. They threw the ball to me.The ball was way over my head, so I jumped up and hoped for a catch. I heard a pop noise and looked [down]. There was a long brown football in my hands. So, I ran for the end-zone.The safety dove and missed. So, I walked into the end-zone. We had won 37 -36.
By: Purple Field Mouse
I have played for two years. Played what? Piano.
During late July, this year, my piano teacher asked me if I would like to participate in a (pre)-recital/ entertainment performance for a retirement home . My parents said I should do it. I picked two songs to play: “Fandango” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” When we got there, it smelled weird (but that doesn’t matter). There were eleven performers. I was the seventh one. Most people played the piano, but some sang and one girl played the violin. When I started I was not nervous. This happens every time I play for someone or a crowd. But, it just so happens that when I do play, my hands get sweaty. They stuck to the keys a little bit.
Once everyone was finished, my mom and I headed toward the door. We kept stopping, because several people were complimenting me and saying that I played the best. Every time somebody did this, I would feel shiverish . But in my head, I knew that people should hear music to feel calm and happy. I feel like I have shared something that I love with other people.
That’s what music is to me.
by crazy leprechaun
“Do I need to?” I asked in fear. One of my most biggest fears of all is swimming in the ocean. No, not like swimming in the short end. It’s another step ahead, going past the sandbar.
I was shaking like a blender, when Brian said “My boat is past the sandbar. “Ahh! Something is biting my foot!”I screamed in fear. My cousin looked at me like I was brainless. “It’s a fish” my cousin said in a dumb voice. Once I got to the sandbar and saw the ocean, I thought I was going to faint. I looked out to see how far the boat was, but all I saw was blue, until Brian picked me up and put me on the boat.Tears of joy ran down my eyes.
Once everyone was on board, I asked “How far are we going?” Brian looked at me and said in a pirate voice, “We are going to a clear spot in the ocean so we can fish.” Now we are going to a clear spot in the ocean so we can fish, just great, I thought sarcastically. It was very bumpy on the way there. I guess I got good luck or something, because on the way we saw dolphins that were jumping, while stingrays were racing us and manatees were swimming free. Once we got there, it was like looking into a clear pool without water. We could see all the way to the bottom. “Here we are. Clear lagoon,” Brian said, again in a pirate voice. I was happy about what I saw. There were huge fish and more manatees.
When I was there I learned a lesson. You shouldn’t have a fear of something bad happening when there are so many good things happening.
#Kermee And Mr. Krabbs’ First Moment With Me!
“Oooh, Sarah, Sarah, come see, come see,” yelled my best friend Barbara-Hope from the other side of the store. She was standing next to some type of tub across from a bunch of colorful cages. I looked at the giant sign above the giant tub and read: Hermit Crabs for $6.99 each. I walked to the tub with the items I had picked out for purchase in my hand. I had $30.00 to spend in Corpus Christi / Port Aransas on a vacation with my best friend Barbara-Hope and her parents (with no sister). I looked inside the tub and saw dozens of shells, and one of them was moving. I looked around and saw a lady watching the hermit crabs like a hawk. I tapped her shoulder to ask her how much the kit would be, if I got it, but I was interrupted by Barbara-Hope. “Hey lady, can I buy a crab?” Barbara said a little bit too loudly. “Um, (sniff) sure?” said the hawk lady. “Um, excuse me,” I said, “How much money would it be to buy a whole kit?” “Um, I would say for one hermit crab, it would be $20.00,” the hawk lady said. “What about two?” I exclaimed. “Approximately, hmm, $35.00,” the hawk lady said. Then Barbara jumped into our conversation and said, “My daddy can pay the extra $5.00.” I said, “Okay, I guess I’ll buy two then.” I started browsing for two hermit crabs. I spotted a blue crab with a black and white whale on it (the one that I had spotted moving earlier). I said I wanted that one. Next I saw a colorful, sparkly crab with shells all over it. I told the lady those two were the crabs I wanted. We browsed for cages, food, and shells next. I saw a lime green hermit crab cage that could hold two crabs, and it said it came with everything you need to take care of hermit crabs except for a sponge (for water), and their exchange shells. So I got the cage, the crabs, the sponge, and their exchange shells. The lady gave me a laminated sheet of paper with directions on it. Barbara-Hope and I stood in the line with our crabs with Mr. Richard (Barbara’s dad) behind us. I gave the cashier my money, and Mr. Richard gave all the extra money to him. Then we went outside to organize everything and try to brainstorm for our crabs’ names. Barbara named her crabs Teddy C. and Becky G. I decided to call my hermit crabs Mr. Krabbs and #Kermee. Then we got in the truck and drove to the beach with our crabs.
About My Furry Friends
by Super Awesome Girl
Let me tell you a few things about my favorite furry friends! I got my dogs between 2010 and 2011. My dogs are just the cutest furry friends. When you throw the ball for Coco, she sprints to go fetch the tennis ball. Sprite, on the other hand, just kinda sits there and does nothing. Sometimes he chases after the ball, but sometimes not so much. Coco always plays with you. She will come back towards you with the ball in her mouth, but she won’t give it to you. She will run away from you, if you try take the ball away from her. She is very playful, and she gets hyper when you walk through the door. She will jump on you too. When you walk through the door, she will jump on you for no reason. Sprite and Coco are both very cute and funny, and they both love to nap. Sprite is very lazy, and all he likes to do is lay on my bed and sleep. So what I have to do is say “do you want to go for a walk?” He gets very excited. He starts running around the house and jumps all over you, it’s crazy. He loves to go for walks, he just loves it. He wants to go everywhere. When we come home, he is very very tired. He drinks some water, then lays down.
The Amazing Island ….What!!!
Have you ever been to the beautiful island of Cozumel?
First, I rushed off the plane with my family. We heard people yelling “WELCOME TO COZUMEL! HOLA”! It was so crowded behind us, we probably would have regret it if we had not rushed off the plane.
My mom, dad, brother, and sister, and I went through the security check and to the taxi. When we got to the hotel, we sat down at a couch. 10 minutes later, they gave us some juice and carried our bags to the rooms.
The first thing we did was finally take a nap .Then we went to eat. My sister got something that she did not know what it was. My dad read the label. It was octopus and squid. She said, “This thing taste good.” I thought she was crazy, until I tried it. We got to the room and slept. The next morning, I ran to my mom “MAMA MAMA MAMA, CAN WE GO SWIMMING TODAY?” “We will see,” she replied. “But I really want to go swimming,” I complained. I dragged myself in the bathroom to get dressed. Then we all went to eat breakfast. I was not hungry, so I did not eat at all. Later that day, we went swimming at the beach. The ocean looked like it wanted the people to swim. That was the time I went to Cozumel.
Scared of the Dark and My Brother
by “something wolf”
I’d been playing for what felt like 30 minutes. I checked the time, and it had been 2 hours of video games. I noticed the fact that I was very tired and hungry. I ignored the fact of food and headed to my room. My house is pretty big, so walking across the house in pure dark is quite scary. I always hear a strange rattle of bells. As I walked, I saw a light and thought, “Burglar!” Then I heard the rattle of bells. Then thought, “GHOST BURGLAR!” I looked around the corner of my hallway and saw my brother and dog. The light was my brother turning on the light and the bells were my dog’s collar. I made sure he couldn’t see me. If [he] did see me, my head would be on a stick. I waited till he went back to his room, so I could make a run for it. As he went to his room my body ached, because of the darkness. So I made a sprint and dive for my room. I made it in and jumped for my bed, scared that he might’ve heard me. I tried to fall asleep, scared and afraid.
As my car pulled up on the gravel path, my stomach churned with fear and excitement! Will I fall? Will it run off? These thoughts circled around in my head, as I approached the stables for horseback riding in Arkansas.
A slim man showed us to the horses we were going to ride. He gave me and my brother a boost into the saddle. When we were all in the saddle, the instructor, a tall woman, gave a short lecture on how to control your horse. For this I listened with utter care, because this was the first time I had ever rode a horse! When we rode out, I hesitated at the road crossing. Reluctantly, I crossed. After a couple of minutes of riding, we came across a creek bed. “Lean back to help your horse,” called the instructor, from up ahead. It was pretty much smooth riding from there on. When we passed Lake Ouatichta, my mom commented on how clear the lake was. She was right. It was as clear as glass. As we headed back into the forest, I almost got my head taken off by a branch. “Remember how to control your horse,” my dad called, from up ahead. When the trail headed back to the road, I sighed in disappointment. I was enjoying horseback riding.
As we arrived back at the stables, the instructor helped us off. I thanked the tall woman, and she took a picture with me and my horse. I thought of the pretty countryside I just witnessed and realized I was going to miss Arkansas.
A Moving Adventure
by Chiken Nuggets
August 29: I walked in the classroom, not knowing anybody.
Youngston, Ohio: I got off the bus at 3:10. I was getting hungry. I got inside my house. I went to the fridge and got a yogurt. I started on my homework, because it was due tomorrow. We got homework everyday. It was almost dinnertime. I asked my mom what was for dinner, and she said tacos. I liked tacos, and I was starved. During dinner, my parents said we would be moving to Texas. My parents couldn’t put up with snow and -23F.
The drive here was only 2 days. On the first day, we got to Tennessee, but there was a beauty pageant or something, and it was 9pm. People booked their hotels for the next 10 miles and still no hotel.
Later: Finally, not the nicest hotel, but okay. We were in Arkansas.
In the morning: We started off. Later at 6pm, we made it to Texas, and we were in a nicer hotel.
3 months later: We moved in. I walked in the classroom, not knowing anyone. It was time for gym. I was in a group with all boys.
It was lunchtime: I sat down and was sitting by Scott. He was hilarious. I started to talk to him.
At recess: I couldn’t find Scott. A kid asked to play tag. Of course, I was the one “it.” They thought just because I was short, I wasn’t fast, but when I tagged everyone, they just left. I think they were surprised. We went inside. Later, the school day was over. My mom was waiting for me, and then we walked home. I felt good and just layed in bed.
3 weeks later: We now are getting homework. They give us all of our homework on Monday and turn it in on Friday. We get lots of it.
At lunch: I sat with kids from the other class. At recess, we played cops and robbers. Someone else was “it!” I continued to play cops and robbers for the next week. I learned all of the other kids’ names that I sit by at lunch. Over the weekend, I usually unpack my stuff. After school, on Monday, I go to a Lego club. The kids there are naughty.
Oct. 1: I am currently in language arts and social studies class writing this story.
by the keeper
Vroom! Vroom! Vroom! I just got back from picking up my lizard from a friend’s house! When we got Disco and his cage inside, I set him on the counter and ran to my room to clear off my desk. I plucked Disco from his cage and put him in the empty bathtub so he could play around and run along the side. He was soooooooo cool! Disco walked slow normally, but when he was scared he could run 6 feet in 1 milli-second! Since he couldn’t climb on the slippery tub, I put my fingers under his feet, and he climbed higher and higher, until I could not reach any higher. Then I plucked him from the wall, where the window sill was. That night I dropped 6 crickets in his cage. Right when they hit the bottom of the cage, he snatched up the crickets. When he came out of his tree stump and was about to strike, he would stick his tail up in the air and shake it like a rattle snake really fast. And he would strike at his prey, and when he struck, it was like lightning! (It hurts, don’t ask how I know 🙂 )! Now he has a month parasite, and he only has one more dose of his parasitic medicine, and we’re giving him the last dose of medicine today. “Disco! Time to give you your medicine.”
My Broken Arm
After a long day at daycare, my dad picked me up at the front office. (It was very crowded). Then we picked up my brother Jeremy at his school. After we picked Jeremy up, we went home. (PS: Me and Jeremy always fight over who plays on the X-Box, so my dad [usually] picked who went first, but I guess let us pick that time). It was like a tornado just hit the downstairs living room, because me and Jeremy were screaming very loudly, and I was throwing papers everywhere. Let me explain why. First, my dad carried our little, wooden, brown table to the major, long TV where the X-Box and all the X-Box games are. But the problem is that the green and black X-Box is above the TV. So, after my dad carried the table in front of the TV, then me and Jeremy climbed at the same time. That was a bad idea. (I will tell you why).
After we both got up, we started pushing and shoving. The table creaked and groaned under our weight, as we jumped up and down. Then I was so furious, I started to lose my balance, like I lost my balance [temper?] with Jeremy at the moment. Then I fell off the table as fast as a cheetah and landed on my arm. My mom could hear my screaming from a mile away. My mom ran as fast as lightning to me. She was yelling to everybody in the house, “I need my car keys, my wallet! Someone open the car while I carry [her} to the car.” On our way to the ER, I passed out. Nobody noticed until we got there. I was as a scared as a bunny, because my arm hurt, first of all, but I also thought that it would hurt when the doctor put my cast on. I was as tired as a old cat. I was happy, because I got to pick any color cast that I wanted. “Pretty color pink,” I said to my mom. This is what I thought. To my brother, it probably felt that he was grounded for eternity. I was actually happy, because my arm felt better, after I was all done. My arm felt as sore as a bee sting, on my way to the car. After that incident, I learned from my mistake.
The Dog with a History
by GlamourousVolleyball Chick (sunglass emogi)
I once had a dog named Ace. He was a boxer with black, white, and brown hair. We loved to play together. We played hide-and-go-seek. He was good at seeking [and] hiding. [He] was something else. We also play[ed] cops and robbers. One night I spent the night with my grandma. In the morning, my mom came, and right away I knew something was wrong. She had this disappointed look. My mom said, “Ace got out last night by digging a hole under a fence and ran to the Texaco and passed [away]. I cried for like a month. He died so young. He was 3 years old, and I was 5 years old. I will never forget my best friend, Ace.