Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Amazing fifth graders

I teach a fifth grade workshop in which the kids interview a parent or grandparent and then write a three-chapter biography.

We talk a lot about the importance of good beginnings.

We also talk a lot about how a biography is a story - so that while it is based on fact, it should be written in a story-like way.

Check out some of these samples of opening paragraphs of biographies written by fifth graders:

  • Thwack, jump, 47. Thwack, jump, 48. Thwack, jump 49. Sherry was a born jump roper. Ever since she was born, August 6, 1949, Sherry had been an active child.

  • Pink balloons fluttered in the breeze on the mailbox at 27 Hawkins Place.

  • Stroke, stroke, dab, dab. An artist was at work. A masterpiece was being painted. Sonia Hutchins had a passion for art.

  • As Jake climbed to the top of the tall pine tree, he could make out the large water tank in the distance. Welcome to Concord was painted in red on the side.

  • Six-year-old Karen Hastings dashed out to the car, anxious to be on time for her tennis lesson. Ever since she was born, June 9, 1952, Karen had loved tennis.

  • Patricia Ann Garrison was born in the middle of March of 1957 and was the middle of five. She slept in the middle bunk, played in the middle of the street and loved the middle of summer.

I mean, we're talking FIFTH GRADERS, folks!!!

P.S. That last example was written by a rough, tough hockey-playing fifth grade boy. I think it's pretty remarkable.


Sara said...

Yeah, I want to STEAL that last one. Holy smoke, what a great opening line. And I'm a middle child, so I know.

Mary Lee said...

I'd say WOW about all of them, but I teach fourth and fifth graders, so I know what they can do!

I'm loving your writing tips! Thanks for co-teaching my writing workshop!