Writing Lesson of the Month Network

...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!

Each year, the WritingFix website sponsors a Digital Photo Contest for students and teachers nationwide.  The goal is for students to take pictures that would inspire their classmates to want to write the "story behind a picture."


Click here to access WritingFix's Digital Photo Resource Page! 


At right, you see the student-winning digital photograph from our 2009 contest.  It was taken by high school student Caitlyn Smith.


If you use this photo in class as a writing prompt, and then have a student like what they're writing so much that they take their writing through the writing process, we want to see their published stories posted here!


No rough drafts please.  We're looking for polished writing inspired by this photograph!  Final drafts of stories can be pasted or attached in the "Reply to This" box below.


Very Important:  Teachers, please only share your students' first name and grade level with us when you post the writing on their behalf.  Do not post last names or school names, or the posts will be deleted.


Twenty-five Teachers every semester will win a free classroom resource!  Each semester, we choose 25 new students to publish at our online lessons directly at the world-famous WritingFix website. To have your students' writing considered, it can be posted below in the box underneath  this posting.  In November and May, we will select the 25 students whose writing impressed us the most, and if your student(s) is selected, you will be asked to choose from any of the NNWP Print Publications (http://www.unr.edu/educ/nnwp/publications.html) for us to send to your classroom.


Help us celebrate your writers.


--Corbett Harrison, WritingFix Webmaster

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Replies to This Discussion

One of my 7th graders responded to the "Cake" photograph.  Here is her piece.

Dreadful Birthday

By: Virginia H. – 4th Grade

Bad birthday

I can’t seem to have a good birthday

 Really wanted ice cream but got cake

The smashing of cake

Helps me calm down

Dad didn’t come to celebrate with me

Annoyed is how I feel

You probably don’t know I how feel, you have the perfect life.  

Here are some entries by 4th graders.
Another 4th grade story

A poem


6th grade


The Bad Birthday

By Darius, a 5th grade writer


I am going to tell you a story about two little girls. One survived the Cake monster. Is he a myth or a legend? You will learn in this story. If you are having a birthday party and you see a weird looking thing running toward you throw the cake and run for your life. P.S don’t eat cake.


“Ahh!” “Run for your life otherwise he will eat you!” “Just give him the cake!” “Ok!” “Hurry up!” Right when Emily was going to throw the cake Shelly got eaten alive by the Cake Monster. “Shelly!” Then Emily throws the cake and runs home for her life. She waits for an hour then runs back to the crime scene. While Emily’s coming, the Cake Monster devours the cake and starts looking for another birthday party to destroy. Emily bent down and examined the cake. It was torn to bits. She ran to her friend’s house and told Shelly’s parents that she was eaten alive.


During the 10 o’clock News the broadcasters said,  “First we are going to warn you about the Cake Monster. If you are having a birthday party, do not eat cake. He loves chocolate cake.” Then Emily turned of the TV and fell asleep on the couch. The next morning Emily got up, got dressed, and ate breakfast. Then she went out to look for the monster. She looked for an hour then remembered that he loves chocolate cake so Emily ran back home and baked a cake. She put firecrackers on the cake. Then she put it on the front porch. When the monster was running toward the cake, Emily lit the firecrackers and slammed the door and locked it. All she heard was a BAM a BAM a BAM!!





A Different Birthday

                                                                     By Hunter, a 5th grade writer


There once was this girl who lived in Nevada. She was turning 16 in four days, her name is Shelly. She really likes to have cake at her party. Last year it wasn’t such a good idea because when she ate a whole cake, well I’ll let you figure that out yourself. She is really excited before her party so she over decorates. She also loves to have a clown but it always goes out of control and messes up the whole entire house.


Her heart is pumping so fast her heart could beat a full speed locomotive in a speed race, only on her birthday party though. She also likes having a whole bunch of friends over also.


Since her birthday party is tomorrow, she can’t wait that long to eat her cake so she eats the cake, every time she ate ohhh I’d say about every inch of the cake she ate, she grew about two feet. Also she took down some of her decorating things so it’s not a too crazy of a party that is full of decorative things. She also finally didn’t order a clown so this year her house is probably not going to be messy when her mom and dad get back from Buffalo Wild Wings.


Since today is her birthday party and she is not having a birthday cake at her party (since she ate it all last night), a lot more people are also coming over because she doesn’t have that much decorating things. Instead of having cake and ice cream she is just having ice cream. So this year is going to be a much much better birthday party.

Rebecca, 6th Grade                                                                                          3/21/11

Cake Drama



 My favorite time of year is my birthday. What’s yours? Every year I count the days until my birthday. Well, this year Mandy Fender, me, is turning seven which is so much older than six. I want my birthday party to be the best party ever. I’m going to have the perfect dress, the perfect theme, the perfect hair and most importantly the perfect cake. It’s going to be fantabulous. The cake is going to be white cake with strawberry frosting. It’s going to have white hearts, a rainbow and five perfectly pink flowers. The only problem is that I haven’t ordered my cake yet, and my party’s tomorrow!!!!  Mommy’s taking me to go shopping for it today. I hope it doesn’t take too long because if it does then we’re not going to get to do other planning for my birthday party that is really important. For example, I need to get my party favors, choose which candies to put in them and then put the candies in the bags. That’s a lot of work for an almost seven year old.


We just got to the store to buy my cake and I’m so excited. Mommy said that I might not be able to get everything I wanted on my cake because it is really expensive. I told Mommy, “I don’t care how much it is since you’re the one paying for it.” Then Mommy just sighed. I had no idea why since there was nothing sighable about this conversation. When we finally got to the cake counter, I told the nice lady with the big hair what I wanted. Then mommy whispered something in the lady’s ear but I was too busy looking at pictures to tell what she was saying.


When we got back in the car, I asked Mommy, “What were you whispering about?”


She said, “I was just telling the lady that we can’t include everything on your cake and might have to take out three of the flowers.”


 When I heard this I got really sad, but then I started to think like a mature seven year old and realized that the cake probably did cost a lot of money and if we have to take off a flower  or two it’s ok  with me.


Finally, it’s the day of my birthday party and I am so excited. My friends are just starting to come, so soon we will start the activities.  The part that I am most excited about is the cake. Mommy wouldn’t let me see it because she said it was going to be a surprise. My friends are really eager too because I told them how pretty it is going to be and they want proof. When it was finally time for cake, I told Mommy that I wanted all the lights off so the only lights you saw were the candles on my cake. I soon learned that was a really bad idea because as Mommy was bringing the cake to our beige kitchen, she slipped on my rubber ball that I left on the tile floor earlier that I had “forgotten” to put away. I was so devastated when I saw her, cake in hand, crash to the ground. I ran to her side and picked up the cake only to realize that it was ruined. The cake looked like the slop they feed people when you’re in jail, only pinker. I wanted to cry my eyes out, but I knew I couldn’t because if I did, my friends would laugh at me and besides seven year olds don’t act that way. That’s so last year.


Instead I helped Mommy up and told her: “it’s ok that you dropped the cake, it’s the effort that counts.”

The Worst Birthday Ever

It’s my birthday, but it’s all gone wrong,
All my birthdays were fine all along.
My cake got dropped,
And my tears never stopped.
My favorite jeans got torn,
And my foot got hurt from a thorn.

Emily 5th
Dropped the cake
On the way to my worst enemy’s birthday party I was told to pick up her Birthday cake. And all of a sudden I dropped Jade’s Birthday cake. I called Jade to tell her the news. She rushed to the scene of the crime. She got on her knees and cried like a young child. I think Jade was being a total DRAMA QUEEN like she always is. I tried and tried to tell Jade I would go get her a new cake but she just would not listen. For an hour I sat there trying to cheer her up. I tiptoed off and got the exact same cake! Once I got back and gave her the cake she hugged me and then ran off. She was running so fast she tripped and the cake splattered in her face! Everyone laughed including Jade. And after that we all lived happily ever after.

Taylor 5th



       It was the day of Mackenzie Hess’ sweet 16 and everything was going wonderfully. The decorations were exquisite, her hair looked amazing, and her dress was stunning. Everything was finished and looked great except the cake.

          The party started in 2 hours and the baker, Pete Vaitman, was no where to be found. Her mom Kim, grandmother Carol, Aunt Connie, cousins Alex and Olivia, and the owner of the venue were taking turns calling him nonstop, but he didn’t pick up.

          Mackenzie was scrambling frantically making sure everything was turning out to be exactly what she wanted. She was testing the bubble machines, going over the playlist with the DJ, and of course, waiting for her cake.

          With only 1 hour and 30 minutes until the party began Mackenzie spotted Pete driving quickly but cautiously through the parking lot.

          He climbed out of  the truck and began  running toward the French doors that lead into the lower level of the venue, Meridith Manor.

          They burst open and he flew through them panting, “Sorry. I’m late. There was. A car  accident. On route. 100.”, he said doubled over and out of breath.

“Where’s my cake?!” Mackenzie said in a state of panic.

“Oh! I’ll go get it!” he said already ¾ of the way to the door.

He sprinted to his truck and got the cake out of the back.

The 4 square tiers were covered in lavender, light green, pink and zebra print fondant. On top was a white 16 that sparkled brilliantly in the sun light.

 Mackenzie was very happy with the way her cake turned out and was 99.9%  sure  everything  was going to be perfect. But that all went down the drain when Pete began to run. This made Mackenzie a little nervous. She didn’t want Pete to drop the cake but 5 seconds after the bad thought popped into her head it happened.

Pete tripped over his shoe lace and the cake went flying. As soon as the cake hit the ground chunks of chocolate and vanilla cake went soaring through the air.

Mackenzie didn’t make a sound. She just walked through the parking lot, kneeled by a large chunk of cake, and cried. She wasn’t going to have the sweet 16 she had dreamed of all because Pete Vaitman dropped her cake. Pete stood up slowly and started dusting the cake crumbs of his pants and peeled a large piece of pink fondant off his chef’s coat.

“I’m so sorry” he said in a barely audible tone. That was all he said. After the apology he just stood there speechless.

Only 1 hour and 20 minutes remained until the start of the party. This proved to Mackenzie that there was no way there would be a cake at her now not so sweet 16.

By:  Olivia



§      UN LUCKY                                                                        As I look back and say to myself

I am sorry mom

I did not mean to drop your birthday cake.

I pick up the broken parts of me

and turn back and look at your grave.

I am so sorry.

I walk to your grave,

and lay down on it

as tears drift down my face.

I think to my self

right now

I feel too devastated

I can not go back home yet.





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