Things are looking good around here!
This first story is one my 3rd grader wrote me for my birthday. She had my husband type it up in something like size 28 font so it would take up multiple pieces of paper, and then created a little book cover for it. Here goes…
Once upon a time there was a castle. Nobody had lived in it for years. Down the road there was a small village. In that village there was a little home. In that little home there lived a family. In that family there was a boy, a girl, and their mother and father. The boy was seven and the girl was five. The boy’s name was Dicken; the girl’s was Julia. Dicken’s nickname was Dick. Their father grew vegetables out of the few seeds that they had and then sold them at the market.
Chapter 2: The Good News.
One day their father came home with very good news. A soldier had come from the duke and told their father that he was inheriting the castle. (The duke realized this after doing history research.) The family decided to move into the castle in a week’s time. When the time came, they moved into the castle. When they entered the castle Julia began to cry. “I don’t want to live in this dark castle; I want to go home!” she said. Her parents and brother assured her that it was all right. And with a little work they would make the castle cheerful. They started to settle in. They moved the beds into the bedrooms. They moved the counter tops where they wanted them in the kitchen.
Chapter 3: Exploring
Then Dick asked his mother and father if he and Julia could go explore the castle. Their parents said yes. The children went out to explore. They went through dark hallways and all sorts of strange rooms.
Chapter 4: Keys
In one of the rooms they found a drawer with lots of keys in it. Dick grabbed the keys and they went on. Then they finally reached the last room. the room was at the top of the tower. The door to the room was locked, so he tried all the keys on the door. None of them worked! They ran back to the room with the keys. The looked and looked and could not find the room with the keys again. They decided to go back to their parents. They were tired, anyway. As they were making their way back to their parents, Julia stopped. “What’s wrong, ” asked Dick. “Well don’t worry about it now, whatever it is. We don’t want to be late, do we?” But Julia said, “that’s the door.” “What door,” asked Dick. “The door to the room with the keys,” she replied. And it was!
Chapter 5: Treasure
They went in and rushed to the drawer and opened it. They searched in all the corners but they could not find any more keys. Finally, Dick came up with an idea to look in the other drawers. Looking in the last one they found a single, silver key that was larger than all the others. They ran back to the tower, now knowing the way, and found the door. Dick tried the key, and it fit! To their surprise, inside the tower room there were chests stacked to the top of the roof. Dick carefully pulled one of the chests out from the bottom. Surprisingly it was very heavy. They used the same key that had worked on the door, and it worked on the chest as well. It was filled with gold and jewels! They did the same with the rest of the chests. They were all filled with gold and jewels. The opened chests covered the floor in the tower room, out into the hall, and into other rooms nearby. Then Dick noticed how close they were to where their parents were working. They rushed down the hall to where their parents were. They were rich beyond their dreams for the rest of their lives.
Here is a story my 5th grader just finished. While the 3rd grader just wrote her story unprompted and without any drafts, the following story was an assignment from my son’s The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts book and he had been working on it very slowly for a few weeks. The prompt for his story was a paragraph long and sounded like a story all in itself, including the characters and the entire plot!! But my son was encouraged to change any details he wanted and amplify the story to make it interesting and worth reading. Some days his assignment would be just to add a simile or a couple adjectives. I think what has really improved his writing, though has been our Writing and Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press. There a ton of good things I could say about that series, but this post is supposed to be less of a book review and more of a writing sampler, so we’ll skip praise and get right into the untitled story.
“My dog had 4 puppies!” Tim said. “Im going to sell them for $200 each.”
“Oh,” said Blake disappointed. He had wanted a dog for a long time. “Maybe I could get one.” But how could I earn the money, he thought.
As Blake walked home from the park, he thought about getting a soft, brown puppy. When he got home he rushed in the door and went to his mom and dad. He excitedly told them that Tim had puppies for sale. Blake’s dad said that he would give him $100, but Blake had to earn the rest. Blake was excited, but wasn’t sure how he’d earn the money.
The next day as Blake was going to school, he thought about how he could make money. He discovered a need. All the lawns in his neighborhood were like jungles. The grass was so thick and tall, Blake was sure there would be all sorts of strange things hidden in there. Something had to be done. He decided he would mow lawns. He just knew his plan was going to work.
At school that day there was a new boy. He had moved into the house at the end of Blake’s street. His name was George. He wore glasses that were held together with tape. Nobody played with him at recess or sat by him at lunch. Some of the other boys laughed at him. Blake felt sorry for him.
After school, Blake got out the grass green lawn mower and went to his neighbors’ house. He asked them if they would like their lawn to be mowed for $10. Their lawn was full of weeds, and overgrown like the jungles of Africa. They said yes. Blake mowed their lawn, and then he mowed two more lawns. He was so tired, that he had to stop. So he went home and did his homework.
The next day Blake mowed two more lawns, went home, and counted his money. He still needed to earn $50 more.
Later that week, Blake tamed even more jungles. By the next week he had earned $120. The neighborhood was looking pretty good! With the extra $20 he bought a big remote controlled car. He now had enough money to buy a puppy.
After a while he remembered he had to buy food for the puppy. After another week of mowing lawns, he had enough for a big doghouse, dog food, and a few chewy dog toys. He then went to buy the puppy.
As he was walking to Tim’s house, he saw George looking at a picture of new silver glasses. Blake asked George, “Why are you looking at that picture?”
George said, “My parents don’t have any extra money, and I really want these glasses, but they are $95.” George looked disappointed.
Blake thought about how he would feel if he was George. He thought about how the boys at school made fun of George, and that maybe they would stop if he had better glasses. Blake decided he would give George the money. It was a hard decision. Blake finally said, “I’ll give you the $95.”
George looked shocked! He asked, “You’ll really give me the money?”
Blake said he would. He knew helping someone in need was better than getting a puppy. Blake felt a happy feeling as he walked home, even though he didn’t have a puppy.
The next day Tim came to Blake’s door and said, “I heard what you did for George. I thought it was really kind. So I decided to give you this puppy for free.” Blake was so excited. He immediately went into the backyard and played happily with his puppy and Tim.
I like how far my son has come in his writing. It obviously isn’t anything that will be published anytime soon, and it could probably do withe a little more editing. At times it even sounds more like a math problem, or some sort of lesson in entrepreneurship. But I don’t care. It is fabulous! This is from the kid who hates to write!
Next week ends his semester of official grammar and Writing and Rhetoric. He’s pretty excited.
But not as excited as I am. I’ve already got next semesters’ books all ready to go!!