Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Writing is one of the subjects that I have the hardest time teaching and grading. Math, grammar, spelling - they are all so cut and dry. I never quite know what I should expect from the girls for their age/grade level.

Whenever I give Ellie a writing assignment, she usually groans and says that it's too hard or that it's no fun. I am hoping to make this subject more exciting and to instill in her a love of writing.

Here is a story that Ellie wrote during our school break. It is a rough draft and I have typed it - mistakes and all (and no paragraphs!) - to show her work before proofreading/editing. I was impressed with her choice of descriptive words in her writing. I am hoping that I can encourage her to keep at it!
Ballet Slippers by Lipson
Ballet Slippers

Pointe by Ellie Woods (age 9)
Chapter One
Sakari sighed as she slowly dragged herself out of bed and onto her feet. She was very excited but tired. It was summer break and today she was going to try out for the summer ballet show. Even though she was almost at the highest rank of ballet, she still was nervous. She walked over to her dresser, put her tights and leotard on and her street clothes on top. She threw her water bottle, pointe shoes, and her hair kit in her flower-embroidered bag. She walked out her door and into the kitchen. Her mom was there making bacon and pancakes. Her dad was at his last day of work. "What's wrong honey?" her mom said in a worried tone. "I'm just nervous" she mumbled as she plopped down some pancakes and bacon and started out the door. "Bye honey!" her mom yelled as Sakari ran down the street. She waved to Sarah her best friend who ran up to her. "You're trying out too?" Sakari panted. "No, I'm trying out for the butterfly - not the sun princess" Sarah panted back. Finally, they reached the dance theatre. There was already a small line forming for the tryouts. "Hi" a sarcasticly sweet voice said. "Oh brother!" groaned Sarah and Sakari together. They spun around and there was the snotty and stuck-up Mikenzie. "good luck losing" she said in a snotty voice. Sarah glared at her and Sakari stamped on her toe and pulled Sarah to the line. "All Sun princess tryouts line up in front of me" said a loud squeaky voice. Sakari waved goodbye to Sarah and got into thelong line. Sakari looked at who was talking. Suddenly, she gasped. It was Miss Manel, her old ballet teacher. She lead them over to a fancy dressing room door. "go in and change". You have 10 minutes said miss Manel. When Sakari walked in the room she snorted. there were 15 cubbies one overflowing trash can and a single toilet. "Why does the dressing room look so small?" said Mikenzie looking disgusted. "Well maybe this was all they could afford" said a beautiful little girl around the age of 11. "you don't even have pointe shoes yet, so stop talking" "actually I do and I won't stop" she snapped back. Sakari walked over and said "What's your name?" "Jamie" she replied in a freindly tone. the girls hastily changed and did their hair. They scamper out into a line. "Exellent. Follow me." said Miss Manel. She lead them to a huge red door. She opend it and they walked in. It was a slightly large theatre. Jamie and Sakari jogged down to the front row while Mikenzie sniffed to herself about how ugly the theatre was. By the time Mikenzie got down, Miss Manel wheezed "When I call your name you will come up and perform your routine your teacher taught you." "Jamie Glider" she said. Jamie breathed a slow calming breath and walked on stage. Smiling, she performed her dance. At the end only Miss Manel and Sakari clapped and Mikenzie snorted. "Mikenzie Zilech" she said again. Mikenzie hopped up and started doing her dance but she couldn't balance long enough on her arabasque and toppled on the floor. She got up and sniffed and screamed "I'm outta here!" and ran up slamming the door behind her. "Sakari Anderson" she said. Sakari ran up and started her dance. She held her arabasque for 20 seconds instead of her usual ten. She almost flew off stage with pride. "Good job!" exclamed Jamie "and the part goes to....Sakari Anderson" said Miss Manel. "and the role of moon princess goes to Jamie Glider". Sakari and Jamie with exitement and triumph hugged and laughed.

Chapter Two
The next few days were tiring. Sakari, Jamie and the other cast worked every day on the play and got what it seemed like to Sakari, a jazillion corrections. "all this practicing is so hard" groaned Sakari rubbing her extremly sore feet. "Well practice makes perfect" said Sarah and Jamie at the same time. "Oh, stop being like Miss Manel" Sakari said, although grinning. Sarah pulled out a green apple and started munching. "Girls" said miss Manel "you need to got to the costume room and try your costumes" "Cmthing" said Sarah still eating. Sakari and Jamie rolled on the floor with laugheder. A couple of minuets later the girls were in their coustumes. Jamie's was a silver tutu with a matching crown and shoes. Sarah's was a hot pink and electric green tutu with wings and oen pink shoe one green shoe. Sakari's was like Jamie's exept it waas pure gold. After they admired one anothers coustumes from every inch the girls went upstairs changed and went into town for some ice cream. They walked into Breandes ice cream parlor. They ordered cones and sat down. They looked around and gasped. Mikenzie was sitting behind them with her gang of girls. "Sakari is so mean" she wined. "I need that part! My mom says I need to be in 5 plays before I turn 16 but I've only been in 4 and I'll let down my mom" she droned on and on for minutes untill finally they left. "Wow! Mikenzie's mom is harsh!" said Sarah "Yeah" said Sakari. They said bye and went home, thinking of the show tomorrow.

Chapter 3
Sakari woke up the next morning feeling scared to death. She got out of bed put on some clothes and slowely walked into the kitchen. her mom and dad were busy. She ate a bit of toast and said " bye mom and dad" "Bye honey! Break a leg!" She zoomed as fast as she could into the theatre, upstairs into the dressing room and sunk to the floor. "I'm so tired!" Sakari gasped as Jamie and Sarah were rushing over with worried looks. "I'm fine" said Sakari in a firmer voice. "I've just never run that fast." She pulled herself up and started putting on her costume. The orchestra began to play. the play was starting. Jamie went down a secret staircase to the wings on the side of the stage. She gracefully lept out of the sides and started dancing. Suddenly Sakari got a swoop in her stomach. What if she fell in front of all those people? "What's wrong?" said Sarah in a soothing voice. "Stage fright" said Sakari. Sakari heard clapping now, it was Sarah's turn. She went down. Now Sakari's dance was almost starting. Sarah rushed up and Sakari ran down. She took a calming breath and walked on stage and started. She dance for what seemed like forever then with the most beautiful arabasque. Sarah and Jamie grasped one of Sakari's hands and took a deep bow and a huge burst of applase followed they were each presented with a boquet. As Sakari looked at the crowd she felt like she could jump up to the sky.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I am impressed. I think you should try out that write your own novel program from konos, I believe. I forgot the name of it, but I can find out if you are interested in it. It seems that she would be a natural for it.

Great Work!!!



Andrea said...

That is an amazing story. Ellie did a fantastic job. She is a great story teller, I loved it!!!!

Mrs. Edwards said...

Great writing! I thought it was very expressive: "sarcasticly sweet", "Sakari stamped on her toe", "a jazillion corrections", "swoop in her stomach."
I like those phrases!