A Love of Writing Lasts a Lifetime


Read and hear the work of our young writers!

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Read It Here First - Student Excerpts

We are excited to share these short story and poetry excerpts from our TMWFI! students at Thornhill Elementary. They have been working on poems about secrets and being found as well as short stories about new places and new things. Read on and we hope they inspire you to delve into the creative place in your brain and write something today!

My Secret Is

My secret is made from the footsteps on the stairs,

the shadows on the windowsill of faces

The noises I hear around the room, of silent screams

I found it lying under the bed

waiting for me to take it

and hold it with me.

-Della

 

The New Home

Moving houses was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to stay in our old home with the warm red walls and the nice orange carpets. With the smell of fresh peaches and warm cinnamon muffins.

But now, I was stepping into a cold house with lime green walls, a rough brown carpet and instead of a nice peach-cinnamon muffin smell, there was that new paint-garage smell.

-Aisling

 

Ice Cream Dream

The Ice-Cream Dream flavor has been invented by award winning cook, April Y. Ear. It comes in any possible flavor you could ever wish for, and if you eat it right before bed, you will have amazing dreams. The ice-cream also comes in Ice-cream Dream Sandwiches and Ice-cream Dream Sundaes.

-Gulzar

I Am Found

I am found in a lightless world, a fearful world, a dead world.

-Gabby

 

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Why Not Write Wednesday: An Earth Day Poetry Challenge

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt encourages you to take up your pen and indulge your author self!

Today is Earth Day. In keeping with our National Poetry Month theme, for today's prompt we'd like you to write a poem about the Earth. It can be a haiku, it can be alliteration or any other type of poem you like. Below is a poem by Emily Dickinson to inspire your writing.

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"Nature" is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse— the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

Share with us! Post your Earth Day poem in the comments section of our blog!

 

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Read It Here First - Student Excerpts

Our 3rd and 4th grade students at Oakton Elementary have been busy writing adventurous and imaginative stories filled with Private Investigators, a minotaur, A man whose hands shoots out tornados and more. Read on if you dare!

 

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Why Not Write Wednesday: Poetry Challenge II

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt encourages you to take up your pen and indulge your author self!

Today is the second Why Not Write Wednesday Poetry Challenge! This week our challenge for you is to write a haiku. A traditional Japanese haiku has only 3 lines.  The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the final line has five syllables and makes an observation about the poem. What makes a haiku special is that by using just a few carefully chosen descriptive words and imagery the author can create a powerful scene or emotion in the readers mind.

Traditional haikus are about nature and particular seasons. For today's poetry challenge write a haiku about your favorite part of spring.  It can be about the buds on the trees, spring flowers in your garden or a favorite spring activity like baseball or playing in the park with friends. 

Share with us! Post your spring haiku in the comments section of our blog!

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Why Not Write Wednesday: Poetry Challenge

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!

"Take My Word For It!" is celebrating National Poetry Month this April. For today's creative writing prompt, write a poem about an owl using these three words: majestic, soaring and piercing.

Share your poetry with us! Post your poem in the comments section of our blog!

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Celebrating National Poetry Month

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Celebrating National Poetry Month

"Take My Word For It!" is excited to celebrate National Poetry Month with our community.  For the month of April we will be featuring poems written by our students, sharing poems written by famous and not so famous writers and most importantly asking you to write poems via our Why Not Write Wednesdays prompts.

Write about your sorrows, your wishes, your passing thoughts, your belief in anything beautiful…
— from Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainier Maria Rilke


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Why Not Write Wednesday: Spring has Sprung!

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Why Not Write Wednesday: Spring has Sprung!

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!

Spring is finally here, flowers are beginning to bloom and baby green grass is sprouting up all over the place. In many parts of the country snow is melting, creating little rivers and pools throughout the countryside.

Take a look a the picture below. Write a story that takes place in this spring landscape. Is this someone's backyard? Is it out in the wilderness? Do elves and fairies live there or is it a wading pool for kids. Use your imagination to craft a springtime tale.

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

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Read It Here First - Student Poetry "Pond"

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Read It Here First - Student Poetry "Pond"

Below is another verdant poem written by a student in our poetry residency program at Sunset Elementary in San Francisco. This is from a writing activity called, "If You Want to Find Golden" and is part of our "Take My Portrait" curriculum that explores how to paint vivid, memorable portraits in words and transport the reader to another place. 

Pond

Gaze up
At the thin green canopy
of branches.
The small
Beams of sunlight
That
Manage to push through.
The beam
Looks almost green
As it shimmers down on
You.
If you want to find green.

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Why Not Write Wednesday: A Camping Adventure

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Why Not Write Wednesday: A Camping Adventure

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self! 

Today's writing prompt is about camping.  Have you ever gone on a camping trip? What was it like? Imagine you are going to take a trip to the wilderness for a few days.  Write a descriptive story about the things you seehear and smell on your wilderness adventure.

Write about where you will set up camp. Will your tent be in a rustic spot in the middle of a forest or in a field of green grass?  Who will join you on this camping trip, will it be a large group, a few special people or would you go alone?  Would you come across any wild animals or have to deal with stormy weather?  Take us along on your adventure and tell us what happens next!

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

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Read It Here First – Student Poetry!

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Read It Here First – Student Poetry!

Below is a lush poem written by a student in our poetry residency program at Sunset Elementary in San Francisco. This is from a writing activity called, “If You Want to Find Golden” and is part of our “Take My Portrait” curriculum that explores how to paint vivid, memorable portraits in words.  Enjoy!

If You Want To Find…
by Sophia

If you want to find green,
Have a picnic
At the park.


Set down a soft
Green blanket that
Disappears
Into the vibrant
Green grass.
Sit down
And
Pull open the
Picnic basket
Pull out
A sandwich
That has
crunchy green lettuce.

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Read It Here First – Spring Has Sprung!

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Read It Here First – Spring Has Sprung!

Happy First Day of Spring!  Nia, one of our intrepid Next Chapter Club Writers wrote this excellent story about mischievous Spring. Enjoy!

I was grinning in triumph! I had stolen Independence Day from the unsuspecting Summer. We were currently in one of those girl drama situations, and, to get back at her for saying I was reckless and irresponsible, I stole Independence day. Of course, that would only affect America because other countries celebrate Independence Day on different days. But, at the time, I was, yes, reckless and irresponsible, so I didn’t bother to think. I knew the mature Summer would chase after me sooner or later, but I didn’t think about that either. I chose the Fourth of July instead of Father’s Day because I wanted something less boring than Mother’s Day to be in my range of holidays.

People were really confused. One person said, “Hey, did you hear that the Fourth of July moved to April?” “What?” said his friend. “My calendar says it’s on July 4.” People traditionally eat summer fruits on the Fourth of July and are in the mood for barbecuing in the summer, so, things changed. A lot. I moved Fourth of July to a Sunday. So, the kids couldn’t stay up to watch the fireworks because it was a school night. They couldn’t eat watermelon because it wasn’t in season. Summer ratted me out to Autumn (my best friend), and gossipy, giggly Autumn told Winter. When Winter gets mad, she goes crazy and insta-freezes everything in sight. So, yeah. Winter was so mad that she froze everyone until I apologized and reversed it. “Okay, fine. I’m really sorry,” I said. “I’ll reverse this. Here, Summer. You can have the Fourth of July back.” And from then on, I thought before I did something.

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: What Are You Afraid Of?

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: What Are You Afraid Of?

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self! 

Today’s writing prompt is about what scares you.  A few weeks ago we posted some mystery stories on our blog that were written by TMWFI 3rd grade students in North Virginia.  The students embraced their fears and wrote about strange noises in the night, ghosts and killer shark attacks.  Did you know that writing about something that really scares you is a great way to get over your fear?

Write a mystery story about something that scares you.  If you need ideas or inspiration check out our blog post from March 10th.  Notice how our mystery writers took their time building up the suspense and using lots of descriptions for the things they could see, hear and feel.

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.




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See It Here First: "Take My Word For It!" Students' Art!

Our students at New Traditions in San Francisco are not just amazing poets, they are also visual artists.  This winter they worked on a curriculum piece called "Take My Portrait" that had an art component added to it.  Students stretched their imagination to create these one of a kind abstract self portraits.  Research shows that adding arts to education enhances the experience for learners.  As you can see from the focused and smiling faces in the pictures below, these kids would agree!

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: What Would You Do With a Pot of Gold?

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!  Today's writing prompt is about St. Patrick's Day.  Four leaf clovers, green hats and necklaces and mischievous leprechauns are popping up everywhere you look these days.  Legend has it that IF you catch a leprechaun you get either a pot of gold or three wishes.

Write a story about how you would outsmart and capture a leprechaun.  Would you take the 3 wishes or take the pot of gold? What three things would you wish for and what would you do with all that gold!?

 

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

 

 

 

 

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Read It Here First - What a Mystery Stories!

Our 3rd grade TMWFI students in Northern Virginia did a little mystery writing this winter.  From things that go bang and scratch in the night to great white shark attacks, these stories are sure to give you a scare!

 

Mystery by Mayra

On a cold Friday night, McKenzie Robinson was alone in her house studying for the SAT next week. Since nobody was home, McKenzie let her hair down and put on her glasses (at school she wore contacts) when suddenly, she heard a noise, “scratch, scratch, bang!”

“Wow,” McKenzie yelled, while falling off her beige recliner. “What was that noise?” she wondered. “Aaghh!” McKenzie screeched softly. “I have to focus on my pre-studying session.

McKenzie remembered back in middle school when she heard a sound similar to this, “scratch, scratch, mew” instead of  “scratch, scratch, bang.” McKenzie didn’t know what it was, but she was curious, so she followed the noise upstairs into the bathroom and found a cat stuck in her bathtub.”(McKenzie loved cats; she was even in a band called The Cats.”)

McKenzie tried gently lifting the kitty out of the tub, but it would not budge. She tried again with a more firm grip but the cat wouldn’t move. McKenzie was losing patience now, so she tugged on the cat: tug, tug, then “Pop! The so-called cat popped right out, but McKenzie quickly realized it was a stuffed cat!

McKenzie saw a bucket dangling precariously over her head. She tried jumping out of the way, but it was too late. McKenzie had paint poured all over her. “That’s when me and Mary clicked,” McKenzie said, giggling.

“What’s this?” she said, feeling the scratch on the couch. This was never here before, McKenzie thought. McKenzie slowly got off the couch, heart thumping. She jumped up as the noise suddenly grew. “Scratch, scratch, BANG!”

“Aaahh!” McKenzie screeched, edging back to grab her lime-neon-green baseball bat. She swung it in front of her like claws. She heard the noise worsening, “Scratch, meow, scratch, bang, BANG!”

She turned to see her nightstand edge closer on the “bang!” There it was: “bang, edge, bang, edge.”

McKenzie came closer to the noise and pushed back the nightstand and a kitty appeared. McKenzie poked it to make sure it was real. Unlike last time, it was. “Awww, let’s get you home,” McKenzie said.

The End

 

Mystery by Kathleen

On a windy Friday night, Gabby was in her room doing her essay. She heard a sound in her living room: “bang, bang, bang.” Gabby was scared, but she was thinking about what college she was going to. While she was finishing up her essay, she smelled something burning. That smell of burning reminded her of when she was little. When Gabby was a little girl, she used to watch her mom cook. One time, the doorbell rang. Her mom went to open the door. While her mom as at the front door, the stove started burning. Gabby tried to get her mom’s attention, but she couldn’t. So Gabby screamed. Wondering what the noise was, Gabby was scared, but she was also thirsty. She went downstairs and noticed something different. Her whole house was full of straws! Gabby looked outside. Her neighbor’s house was burning! Gabby ran over as fast as she could. The neighbors’ stove was burning! The lady who lived there was upstairs with her baby. Gabby knocked on her door. One of her children opened it. Gabby ran in and turned off the stove. The neighbors thanked her, and Gabby decided she wanted to be a detective.

The End

The Last Little Box A Nora Nilson Mystery By Alice

Nora Nilson is 8 years old. She is pretty, smart and kind. Nora lives in a big house. Nora’s room is up stairs. Her room has a desk, her family’s picture, a piano, and a pink bed. When Nora goes to her room, she is happy. When Nora is doing her homework, she hears a little sound: “scrape, scrape, scrape”. She looks around. The sound is coming from next to the piano. Nora can’t move because she is too scared. “Nora! Dinner Time!” called her mom. “I’m…I’m coming,” said Nora. She ran to the kitchen. When she finished her dinner, she said, “Mom, there’s a ghost in my room,” “Ha, Ha, Ha,” her dad laughed. “You are joking, right?” “I’m not joking, shouted Nora.” “I don’t believe you,” said her younger sister. Nora walked to the living room and sat on the sofa. She sighed. “Nobody believes me,” she said. “Mom!” called Nora. Yes?” answered her mom. “I don’t want to sleep in my room,” said Nora. “Why?” asked her mom. “Because the ghost is in my room!” “I told you at dinner, just forget about it.” In her dream that night, Nora is being chased by the ghost. “Aaaagh!” Nora screamed. “Wake up, Sweetheart,” called mom. “Mom, the ghost is chasing me!” said Nora. “Go and eat breakfast,” said Mom. “Mom, what day is it?” asked Nora. “It’s Saturday,” said Mom. Nora went to the kitchen and ate breakfast. It was almost 12 o’clock. Then Nora went to the bathroom. “Aaaaagh!” something was making a ghost sound. “Yikes!” yelled Nora. “G-G-Ghost!” “Ha-Ha-Ha,” somebody laughed. “Sara and Nick! You scared me! And how did you get in my house?” asked Nora. “When you were sleeping, we asked your mom,” said Sara. “Can you help me?” asked Nora. “Because the ghost is in my room, next to the piano.” “OK,” said Sara and Nick. “Let go and find the ghost.” They went up to Nora’s room. “I can’t hear a sound,” said Nick. “Scrape, scrape.” Nora ran out of her bedroom and ran into the living room.” “Wait,” called Sara and Nick. Nora stopped running. “What do I do now?” she asked. “Oh, I got an idea!” said Sara. “Nick and I will open the box, and Nora, you stay here.” “Great idea,” shouted Nora. Sara and Nick went up to Nora’s room and Nora waited. While she is waiting, she can hear Nick and Sara’s voices. “Catch that, Sara!” yelled Nick. “I want to!” shouted Sara. “I wonder what they are catching!” thought Nora. Finally Sara and Nick came down. “What are you trying to catch?” asked Nora. Sara and Nick smiled and showed Nora something. “A cute little puppy!” yelled Nora. “Just what I wanted!” “What is its name?” asked Nick “Ummm…Mystery,” said Nora “Ha, ha, ha,” everyone laughed and Mystery _____. “Seat down, Mystery.” Mystery sat down. “Who gave her to me?” asked Nora. “We don’t know; it’s a MYSTERY!” everyone shouted.

The End

 

The Attack of the Great White By Annie

Hi, my name is Steven Brown. I am thirty years old and live with my brother, Ryan Brown, in New Jersey. One day me and my partner, Sally Lee, were walking on the beach, but then a shark jumped up and grabbed a rotten fish! We know that it was far away, so we kept on walking, but then the shark jumped up and grabbed us, pulling us into the sea’s coral reef! As we were in the water, we saw a lot of stinky sea creatures. One smelled like Ryan’s room! When Sally and I got pulled into the Shark’s cave, we stayed there for 15 minutes, and then we heard a loud noise! We thought it was somebody who was trying to steal something, but instead, it was a broken submarine!  Then the shark left…

The End

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New Traditions Poetry Reading

Young writers at New Traditions in San Francisco have been hard at work writing and illustrating poetry with Take My Word For It! teacher Annie. A few weeks ago they shared their end of session work at a very special reading with teachers, family and friends. One of the parents at the event shared some pictures with TMWFI and we think you will agree they did a wonderful job capturing the pride, thoughtfulness, vulnerability and joy of these young poets. Pictures from the Reading

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: What's Your Favorite Book?

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!  Today's writing prompt is all about books.  Many schools across the country are still enjoying Read Across America week.  Kids are reading Dr. Seuss, joining in read-a-thons, listening and reading to books out loud and reading some more!  All this reading makes us wonder, what's your favorite book?

Tell us all about what makes your favorite book special.  Is it a book you like to have someone read out loud to you?  Is it the first chapter book you read and re-read?  Tell us about the story.  Where does it take place?  Who is the main character?  Why is it special to you?  Try and convince us with your writing that if we read this book it would become our favorite too!

 

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

 

 

 

 

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Read Across America Day - March 2, 2015

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You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, To pick up a book and read with a child. You're never too busy, too cool, or too hot, To pick up a book and share what you've got.

In schools and communities, Let's gather around, Let's pick up a book, Let's pass it around.

There are kids all around you, Kids who will need Someone to hug, Someone to read.

Come join us March 3rd Your own special way And make this America's Read to Kids Day.

©Anita Merina

For more information, activity and event ideas go to: http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: The Invisible Girl

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!  For today's writing prompt, imagine you are invisible.  Write a little story about what life might be like for an invisible person.  What kind of adventures would you have?

Write about the good and the bad parts of being invisible.  What does your family think about it? How do your friends and teachers react? Tell us how you became invisible.  Is it a permanent state of being?  Do you become invisible whenever you feel embarrassed?  Is it something you make happen with a special spell or magical item?

 

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

 

 

 

 

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Why Not Write Wednesdays: Rocket Adventure

Every Wednesday our creative writing prompt challenges you to pick up your pen and indulge your author self!  Today's writing prompt is about adventure.  Imagine you could take a rocket to the moon or another far away land that no one has ever set foot on before.

What or who would you take with you?  Would you say goodbye to your parents before you left?  What would be the first thing you did when you got there?  Would you meet any people or aliens on your journey?  Tell us what happens next!

 

Share with us! Post your story in the comments section of our blog.

 

 

 

 

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