The students at Beach Elementary School in Piedmont have been having a lot of fun, exploring writerly topics such as:

-Listening vs. hearing
-The importance of observation
-Paying attention to detail
-Tapping the imagination
-Where do writers get ideas?

Here are some excerpts from their writing:

Once upon a time there was a cowgirl who loved to eat frog's legs. One day the cowgirl said, "Mom, can I catch frogs with you?"

"Yes," her mom answered. They were in the swamp looking for frogs, then she saw one sleeping in the water.

"Okay, first things first, whatever you do don't..." But it was too late.

The cowgirl was running toward the frog with her mouth foaming up with delight. Then she came and squeezed the frog.


"What are you doing?" her mom asked.

"Dad said if you squeeze a frog they'll give you frog's legs!"

She yelled, "No! Frog legs come from frogs."

She yelled, "What? Then I'm never eating frog's legs again!" -Gabriella (from a free-write)

It was a time of despair as all the aliens were pelting boxes everywhere. Each one blew up taking air to Mars for the aliens. People tried to get out but there was only one space and it was too small.

Finally a fern-like robot started exploding the boxes before the aliens took anymore air. Then it blew up the barrier and all the air came back. But the aliens killed him. But all ten pieces of him became new ones.

Soon all the Earth was full of them. -David (from a activity using list-making to inspire story ideas)


"What's that?" Willie the Whale said.

He picked it up. It belonged to Joe the reading Tuna fish.

"I must give it back to him!" He dove underneath the surface to the dark tuna areas.

"Excuse me, but do you know where Joe the reading Tuna fish is?" aked Willie the Whale.

"Over there," grumbled a tuna fish. He heard pages flipping, he smelled books, he could feel bubbles coming from the pages. It was Joe!

"Here's your book," Willie said.

"Thank Heavens!! I thought I lost it!" He grabbed the book and said, "Now I can finish my studies on Shnobwagon!"  -Thomas Henry, aka TH (from a free write)

"It sounds like something being wound up a lot because something big is about to happen." -Max (describing what the sound of a whisk scraping a metal bowl)

"The evil man was sentenced to death. He walked down the narrow walkway and took off his mask and entered the big round room with holes everywhere. The big ceiling rose showing the sky. The evil man remembered when he looked at the sky with his dad. The ceiling went down slowly at first, but coming ever so closer. The evil man yelled, "Mercy," but the ceiling crushed him and his evil soul perished." -Griffin (on describing in detail an object's purpose - in this case, a potato ricer. He obviously had no idea what it was, but has a very active imagination and quite a way with words.)


This is a photo the Beach Elementary kids exploring why listening is an important skill for writers to develop. They listened carefully to a variety of sounds and then described what they heard and the images the sounds brought to mind. (They're wearing blindfolds to make it easier to focus on listening!)

Beach kids writing Fall 2010

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