Students in our after-school and community classes are exploring all the different ways writers generate ideas, and put captivating words on the page.

Here are writing excerpts and some photos of our young authors working with instructor, Lauran Weinmann at Redwood Heights Elementary in the East Bay:


From “What Are You Made Of?” self-recipe exercise:


Recipe for Josie

Josie-Magda_Redwood Heights ½ cup pure awesomeness

2 tons of coolness

2 blue-ish eyes

2 cups brown hair

1 pinch anger

1 pinch powdered Unicorn hair

1 quart of strangeness


Step 1: Preheat oven to 360

Step 2: Stir the awesomeness and coolness together (unless you are in bed in the hospital because you threw out your back lifting 2 tons of coolness)

Step 3: Pour the cool-awesome mixture on to the blue-ish eyes, making sure they are thoroughly soaked

Step 4: Sprinkle brown hair and anger into the quart of strangeness

Step 5: Sprinkle powdered unicorn hair onto strange-angry-brown hair.

Step 6: Mix it all together.

Step 7: Put in oven for 45 minutes.

Step 8: EAT.


Recipe for Maddie

Maddie-Riley_Redwood Heights 20 pounds of chocolate

Half cup of fun

Drop of sarcasm

Quart of awesomeness

5 ounces of pure talent


Recipe for Reilly

  1. Mix friendship and animal lover until smooth, but leave a few chunks
  2. Stir in blond hair and freckles
  3. Chop older sister until microscopic and mince with annoying
  4. Leave chocolate by itself
  5. Stick in oven at 353 and leave in for 45 minutes
  6. Let it go in the wild, but close to 3536 Monterey Blvd., Oakland CA


Recipe for Alex L.

Alex L._Redwood Heights 5 tons legos

1/1000 pinch of dog walker

1 gallon robotics

½ cup noisy

1 ½ cups stubborn

1 cup of awesomeness (pure if possible)


Preheat oven to 3,000 degrees. Stir ½ cup noisy with ½ cup stubborn for 2 hours. Put in oven for one day.


More food writing exercises...


By Magda 

Personification: Broccoli

Hello, my name’s Barak oh Broccoli, and yes, I am broccoli. I’m the president of the field. I’m 29 broccoli years old, and my favorite hobby is eating broccoli soup. AAAAAA I’m a cannibal! I just ate my cousin Nina!

By Sydney:

(If I were a food, I’d be...)

I would be a lime because usually people don’t like limes. And if they do like limes, it’s to make limeade so they would juice me and that would probably feel good.

Sydney-Justine_Redwood Heights

By Justine

(Food metaphors/similes)

Cantaloupe: Smells like a rose blooming in late summer. Tastes like late spring and early summer.

Gummy bunny: Smells like an edible rose where the petals are made out of fruit. Tastes like an explosion of gooey fruit in my mouth.


By Alex H.

(Food metaphors/similes)

Gummy bunny: Smooth as plastic; squishy as mud; cold as the refrigerator; stretchy as gum.

Cantaloupe: Orange as my hair; juicy as water; sweet as candy; yummy as apricots.

Graham cracker: Crunchy as tree bark; rough as sandpaper; smells like nothing; brown like my shirt with trees on it.