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 2010 contest.  It was taken by middle school student Nicole Gallant.  You can enlarge the picture by clicking on.

 

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!

 

Post 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

Enchanted Music

By: Genevieve K. – 4th Grade

A spell-binding song

A story with a tune

A melodic message

Her fingers swirl across the ivory

Music flows from the ebony

A burst of applause, a sweeping bow,

Her spell-binding song is ended now

The Piano
By Amy
Grade 6
Julia walked through the front door after a very tiring day of school. She dropped her school bag and went straight to the old Baldwin piano. As her fingers daintily touched the faded yellow keys, Julia’s long hard day was forgotten.
As her fingers ran up and down the keys, the hardships of the day disappeared throughout the house. Her baby brother finally fell asleep with the sound of Julia’s music in his ears. Her mother stopped thinking of all the things she had to do and what little time she had to do it and remembered the joys of life. Julia’s sister danced ‘round and ‘round her room pretending to be a princess. All the office work her father had brought home was forgotten and all was right again in Julia’s family because of the faded yellow and black keys of the old Baldwin piano.
Attachments:
Story by Jeremiah, grade 6, American Embassy School in New Delhi, India
Attachments:

A story by Derrick, a 6th grade student "the Things Dreams Are Made of"

 

A Haiku by Jordan, a 6th grade student

Beautiful Music

Beautiful music

deserves an awesome artist

waiting to be played

 

A poem by Skylar, a 6th grade student

I was inspired by my father,

to play the piano.

I practice hard every day,

all I love to do is play….play….play,

some songs are difficult,

and they take months to learn,

but before my father died,

I promised him that I’d continue playing,

no matter what the circumstances were.

I planned to keep my promise.

I really loved him.

It was hard to see him disappear,

his death was hard on my mother, sister, and I.

Why, oh why, did he have to die?

Attachments:

A Recital

By Wynne, grade 4

Her delicate little fingers touched the keys. She opened her music book to see little notes dancing on the black, shadowy lines. She set her fingers on the sleek keys. She started playing. The music sounded like a song that made you want to cry. Her hand bounced as she played. A tiny smile crept across her face. Then she stopped. She set her hands on her lap. She could breathe again. She could hear the clapping in the distance. She stood up to face the cheering crowd. Slowly she bowed. Then, she walked away.

The Instrument

By Mia, grade 4

The instrument sings.

In the distance, church bells ring.

The hand moves gracefully across the keys.

The notes are played from a book that reads.

The song so pretty it makes you sad.

Yet the harmony soothes and the melody glad.

Black and white all around.

Is the piano with a beautiful sound.

Saving Fingers
Bell gently swept her fingertips across the top of the piano. It was smooth, shiny, and clean. She was grinning and had been for several minutes. The one thing she had always wanted was finally with her. And with music books too? She was almost certain she would have to buy her own since her family was in great debt. Then she noticed something: her mother wasn’t wearing her favorite eight carat gold cross necklace.
“Oh mom you didn’t have to sell Aunt Karin’s necklace! I didn’t need this piano! You could’ve spent the money to help pay off the debt!” Aunt Karin had died of cancer three years ago, when Bell’s family still had money. The necklace was the one thing that reminded Bell’s mother of happier time.
“Don’t worry about it sweetheart. Dad got a job remember?” Bell’s mother said with an attempt at a smile.
“Yes I remember, but it’s a gas station! He’s only getting $1.50 an hour!”
“Bell, you don’t need to be worrying about this. You’re only 12.” Bell’s mother sounded a little irritated now. She turned to the side to hide her tears as Bell turned around retreated to her room.
She threw herself down on her bed and kicked and punched and screamed into pillows. When she set up she felt hot tears rolling from her eyes. This is what happened every time she brought up the debt. She wished she would have just continued being happy let her mom do the same. Or let her mom try to do the same. Why is my life so different from everyone else’s? Why can’t I be normal and go to school and have fun? Why do I always find myself sobbing? Bell thought.
Bell let out a long sigh. She reached for her remote and found herself grabbing air. No T.V. That was sold to. She laid down on the floor and thought. She thought of ideas, ideas to help her family. Most of them were stupid and impossible to her. “More plans that will never work.” She whispered to herself. “I’m not in a movie.”
The next morning at school, after music class, Bell stayed to wait for her best friend, Emmy, she fiddled around on her teacher’s keyboard.
“Bell!” her teacher suddenly said. Bell jumped. Her face must have been pale as she quickly turned to face her teacher, because Mrs. Harmen smiled and said, “ Oh, you’re not in trouble! I was just going to say, I like your music . Is that Silent Night? It’s a little late in the year for that isn’t it?”
“Well, um… it’s all I know how to play…”
“Oh”
“I’m pretty lucky the books have playing directions, right?”
“Don’t rely on those! They won’t teach you a thing. Maybe I could teach you.”
Well, that was sudden. Bell thought.
“Umm… ok. I guess… How much?”
“How much what?”
“Money. How much money?”
“Nothing! You don’t have to pay me! This is a pleasure!”
Bell smiled.
“Okay! Perfect!” Bell said with a huge smile. She ran out the door. Then poked her head back in.
“Wait, what time?”
“Umm… Friday. 4:00. In here.” Said Mrs. Harmen.
“Great! I’ll be there! Definitely!” She skipped out the door.
Three years later
“Thank you so much sweetheart! You have saving fingers!” Bell’s mother said with a smile that just wouldn’t cease. She forced Bell into a choking hug.
Bell was about to say Mom you don’t have to thank me. It was fun. But instead of being modest, she just settled for a simple, “Your welcome.”
Over the years Bell had become an extremely skilled pianist. She had just finished playing her version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at a concert- one of the weekly concerts she performed at. She had earned the money to pay off her family’s two million dollar debt. Her talent had saved her family.

Lauren 5th grade

The Piano Concert

 

It’s eventually the big day

I am very nervous.

My beautiful gown is shimmering;

my shoes clack

as I walk onto the stage.

 

My fingers are shaking

my heart is pounding

as I am just sitting on my bench

 

“Boom!”

I’m on the spot light.

I begin the song

I am finally getting the hang of it

 

my heart stops pounding

and my fingers are crafting the song

the crowd loves it.

 

                                                       By: Rachel

My Hands

 

 

My hands run swiftly across the keys,

as the sweat tumbles down my neck.

The page curves so slightly

 when all the sudden

 a thought dawns on me.

 

 I think how magic my hands can be

 as soon as they touch those keys.

 

The sounds of music they bring

 fills the silence

 that this world has become.

 

On this night we become one.

 

 

 

By:  Hands (Paige)

The music just takes over me

 

 

The music takes right over me

As soon as I sit down

I put my fingers on the board

And make a beautiful sound

I start to play a melody

And then when I am done

I start to make a peaceful song

Which takes my worries to none

 

The music takes right over me

I know because of this

When I finish playing a song

I start to write the rest

 

The music just takes over me

And here is how I know

The only one I really like

His name starts with a b

His name is Baldwin

He’s my piano

My best friend in the world

He’s like a brother

Begging me to play

And when he makes

That puppy face

I just can’t say no

 

The music just takes over me

Don’t worry I’ll explain

What this means is

That music tells me

“Play me, play me, play!”

There’s no way I can stop myself

I’m in love with music

 

 

 

 

 

 

But one day I just couldn’t do

I was paralyzed

I died

And my funeral friends

All instruments

Violin, Trombone, Trumpet, and all

Even Baldwin, my favorite of all

I wish I could take him with me

But no, I just can’t

And as I left, up the steps

I remembered

The music took over me

But the heavens wanted me to

They wanted me to play for them

A fancy, dancing tune

 

So when I reached them

I begged them

“Please! Bring my Baldwin back to me!”

They said to me

“You’re in music heaven

You can only get here if

You love music just like you do

Isn’t this what you want?”

I told them what I wanted most

They told me, “Wow oh wow!”

“No wonder you are here today.

The music took you over!”

 

They gave me a map

And sent me off

I wonder where I’m going

I saw a house and went in side…

And sitting there was Baldwin!

I ran right over

And played and played

But while I played I repeated this

“The music takes right over me

As soon as I sit down

I put my hands on the instruments…

And play, and play, and play.”

I knew I was there because

I loved music like I do today and…

The music took right over me.

 

By: Emily (Rachel)

Piano Days

 

 

As I lay my hands down on the keys

Nothing else matters but thee.

 

So soft the music so hard to play

So much to see so much to

Say

 

I hear my name get shouted behind

As the rays of sunshine light my

Mind

 

As I’m speaking these words

That I had wrote my finger

Tips float from note to note

 

With one more key to go but

Not one word to say I’m

Proud of what I did today

 

By: Kayla

 

 

 

 

The Piano

 

There once was a girl named Nimaway who yearned to play piano.

There once was a girl named Nimaway who

Injured her hand and couldn’t play

Piano.

There once was a girl named Nimaway who cried to

Many doctors about her hand and they said you’ll be crippled for life and will never again play

Piano.

There once was a girl named Nimaway who out of devastation for her piano threw herself out of a train to the rocky ocean below,

And died because she couldn’t play

Piano.

 

By,

Nimaway(Jaylynn)

 

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