These are samples of a 7th grade writing assignment. The students took the information below and tried to make a visual picture for the reader in only 1-2 sentences:
Ten year old girl
long, blonde, curly hair
Saying: "School, school, the Golden Rule, spell your name and go to school."
A ten year old girl was jump roping chanting, "School, school, the golden rule, spell your name and go to school" and as she jumped her long, curly, blonde hair bounced around her freckled face.
"A ten-year-old girl stood outside my window, her long, blonde, curly hair bouncing as she jump roped. Her freckled cheeks lined a smile as she chanted, "School, school, the golden rule, spell your name and go to school."
The rope hit against the pavement in cohesion with each beat of her song, "School, school, the golden rule," her bleached curls thumped against her back and face as she was unable to push them from her freckled nose, she continued her rhyme "spell your name and go to school."
The ten year old girl jumped over the rope over and over again, her blond, curly hair swept over her freckles as she chanted, "School, school, the golden rule, spell your name and go to school."
The ten year old girl was jump roping and her long, blonde, curly hair danced around the freckles that blanketed her face. "School, school, the golden rule. Spell your name and go to school!" she chanted as the rope hit the pavement repeatedly.
Ten year old Marilyn Trabbie jump roped down the sidewalk, her long blonde hair bouncing in every which way right along with her freckles that were sprinkled on her tan face. "School, school, the golden rule, spell your name and go to school," she exclaimed as she skipped past my brothers and me.
The ten year old girl's long, blonde, curly hair was blowing into her freckled face as she jump roped and sang, "School, school, the golden rule, spell your name and go to school."
These are excerpts from stories written by my 6th graders this year. We have been focusing on word choice. The following excerpts exemplify great choice in wording:
Max Solgard awoke with a start. Blood was beading down his forehead. He was crouched under a gnarled black tree, its jagged, pointy branches providing a somewhat established sense of security. Breathing heavily, he looked around the desolate swamp. Isolated between large amounts of murky, blue-brown water, small, circular mounds of mud were scattered around the swamp. The swamp itself seemed to stretch on for miles. Like his island, the mounds were covered in long, dark green grass with a few tall ferns scattered here and there. The other mounds were not as large and had no trees. As far as he could tell, Max was sitting under the only tree in the swamp, and gathered a better appreciation for it. Its bare branches reached far above the bushes around it, as if it were trying to reach above the surrounding grey cliffs, and into the dark green sky.
The sound of the beaten-down, old clock rang in my ears. My eyes flitted open. Midnight, I thought. I stumbled out of the rock hard mattress, tripping on my threadbare blanket. I glanced at the basket near my bed. It was imprinted with my name. I groaned. The basket was empty. They must have taken my clothes to be washed. A nightgown would have to do. When I tiptoed across the room, the floorboards creaked loudly beneath my cold, bare feet. I froze and sucked in a small breath. Beads of sweat collected around my forehead and my eyes darted across the room, every once in a while landing on the door. I sighed and silently scolded myself but thankfully, no one had heard me.
A sudden pain ripped through [my] abdomen. I flailed back, breathing in short, stopped breaths. The fist came at me again, and instinct took over my body. I dropped down, narrowly avoiding the punch. Breathing was still difficult but no longer felt impossible. I started to stand, but a kick hit my shin causing me to crumple. A groan escaped my lips. Another attack came, this time connecting with my face. Something hot trickled past my lips into my mouth. I recognized it as the metallic and salty taste of blood. I felt tears start to rise. No, I commanded myself, you will not cry. I stood up on shaky legs and looked my opponent right in the eye. A cocky smile played across his lips.
The exotic birds began to chirp to the music of new noise. Along with it, candescent sunlight began to wash away the sinister tint of gloom. The surging sounds of waterfalls once again took over, and pops of color bloomed anew. An array of trilling and warbling sounds detonated all around as the forest came alive with the dawning. Like precious gems, butterflies twirled around in the air. Monkeys hooted and hollered up in the understory, revving up the voices of all other animals. Darkness had retreated again, waiting silently for its call.
Cammie leapt from the pungent dumpster, her dive rewarded her with a pair of tattered and slimy jeans followed by an oversized, stained hoodie. “Good enough,” she thought to herself as she pulled the dumpster clothes over her thin, ragged pajamas. At least they were warm, although she must look a sight in them. On top of it all, her blonde hair had not been washed in days and was a murky brown color, and her usually bright blue eyes were sunken from fatigue and hunger. She then reached into the dirty-green dumpster once more and pulled out a rather large wool blanket. It must have once been a baby-blue color, but now had a grayish hue to it. She picked up her sack and the blanket and headed back farther into the alleyway. She found a dead end with stacks of wooded crates piled beside the barbwire fence. She arranged the crates and threw the blanket over the top, making a makeshift shelter. It had begun to rain as she finished the rest of her little shelter so she quickly clambered inside.
It had looked like a tiger with its terrifying white fangs and the bold, death black stripes on its razor back. I thought different though when I saw the face. It had no eyes. I then saw its six great, blood-thirsty claws just waiting for revenge.
Faraline gazed at the lovely lilacs gracefully dancing over the looming field. The grass was a palette of brown, yellow, and orange, hardly comparing to the complex lilacs and lilies, lonely in the wretched land. It had a foreboding feeling, for Faraline knew that soon the Deconstructor would finish off the old ranch, tugging the testy territory from its roots.
I awoke to the crisp smell of pollen. I remember the vivid chirping of the miniature maroon orioles. Their brown beaks were like the tree trunks of that ever so warm July. Their admiring, loving eyes, blue like a wave on a sandy beach. Their tiny, miniature sized feet. The sound of the stream running, hitting the rocks. The water clear and cold. The sound of bacon popping and the smell of fresh sausage. The bb guns shooting, hitting the cans. Tink, tink, tink. The green mountains, the tips just barely frosty.
Just walking around main street tires me out. The ladies stroll down the streets giggling about all of the newest gossip while the bright, glimmering lights on the store-fronts shine on the street full of honking cars and expensive limousines. But that’s not even half as much grandeur as there is on nights of big concerts or parties. Just stepping out of the schooling center gets you lost in the sea of people. Constant traffic line the streets while the smell of city food drifts up into your nose.
I fiddled with my pen, trying to soak in the perfect weather. The temperature always seemed to vary from either too bitter or too humid. Today was one of the rare days where the climate is ideal.
“If only every day is like this,” I thought, sighing contently.
Wind is very random. It’s like somebody is rolling a dice to decide if there is going to be a large gale of wind, a moderate whisk, a slight breeze, or no wind at all.
As I walked upon the sandy shore, I felt as if I had no worries. The feeling of the warm sand embracing my feet made my head feel blank. Birds were singing like it was a more than ordinary day. When the waves crashed downward onto the shore it made the sand shimmer pink. Water droplets covered my body and made me want to stay here forever.
I took a step into the ocean and stared at the never ending unknown. I wondered what was out there. Then I plunged into the ocean without thinking. I was under the water running out of air, but I stayed submerged.
As I walked through the streets, sights and scents surrounded me that I had never before experienced. Horses’ hooves clipped and clopped along a straight cobblestone road. The crisp crack of the whip by their side drove them to glide smoothly forward so that it looked as though their hooves never touched the ground. Near the shops lining the road, ladies under their parasols giggled and whispered rumors as men in shiny black suits strode by. The shops themselves lined the road, so close together a hare could not squeeze between them.