Star Bright, Star Light

Posted January 20, 2020 & filed under mentor text, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

I looked up into the sky,

And saw a young star.

I asked the star to speak to me

of freedom,

And the star replied,

Nothing in the world will

ever be given to you, Gabe.

Everything, you must fight for.

You see…the world will put

chains with locks on you…

And everything you love.

To find freedom, find the key.

To find happiness, overcome depression and anxiety.

To find yourself, accept your identity.

To love your family, accept your culture.

To be free, find the key.

Fight for your freedom.


by Gabe, 12th grade


Posted May 14, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

The water is blue

and green

The leaves are

flowing away

The leaves are

itching and hurting

The water makes

them flow away

The leaves are

itching and hurting

But the waves

are flowing

They go whoosh

whoosh, whoosh

The water keeps

flowing and


By Gema, age 4

Climb Every Mountain

Posted March 13, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

old-men-of-storr-by-inguana-jo-via-flickr.jpgAs a WITS writer, I try to help students realize that the knowledge and experiences they already have are the perfect fodder for their writing. Last week I noticed that the third graders were completing a unit on earth science. To help students review what they learned about landforms, I came up with a new lesson.

What would it feel like to be a canyon, a mesa, a desert, or a mountain?

I split the class into groups of three or four and assigned each group a different geography. In groups, students brainstormed a list of ideas about their land form. Each group presented their ideas; the audience gave positive feedback and also suggested ideas that could be added to the list. After defining personification, I had the students help me write a class poem on a land form that no groups were assigned.

Now it was time for students to write individually. Each one wrote a poem that personified their chosen formation.

If I Were a Mountain

I am a mountain,

I start as a low piece of land.

Then when an earthquake or lava

Comes out of earth,

I expand.

I keep expanding

When these things happen.

Now I’m so high

I can see through the sky.

I’m so high

I see through space.

I see Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiterwits-blog-pics-007.jpg

by Mary, 3rd Grade

posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools

(photo by iguana jo via flickr)

She Sells Sea Shells

Posted March 3, 2008 & filed under Notebook.



Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration. I brought in seashells for the class to observe. The children put the shells against their ears and listened to the sounds of the waves. They admired the delicate beauty of the shells. They smelled them and shook them a bit, listening for clues about the soul of a shell.

Next the students brainstormed a list of words to describe the shells’ properties, such as “smooth, pointy, and colorful.” Their lists also included any other ideas they had about shells, such has “hermit crabs live in them” and “they live in the ocean.” We discussed the different ideas generated, and I created a word bank on the chalkboard. Each student created a poem that personified the shell.

A Perfect Shell

I am a shell, as
black as writing ink,
hard as a brick,
and whirly like rich

I am lovely like pasta
on the inside.
I am like glass,
so delicate and

Then one day I will wash
upon a beach where
someone will pick me up and
put me in a big red pail.

Don’t you want to be a shell?amy-lin-in-a-maze.jpg

Jonathan, 3rd Grade

posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools

(photo by ramislevy via Flickr)

Nature by Zenobia

Posted October 15, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day I like nature because the flowers are a part of nature. I like beautiful flowers. I love to watch the birds fly high and free in the sky. The little bugs may look nasty on the outside but they are nice on the inside, so don’t kill them.

Trees and grass are a part of us. If we did not have them, we would not be able to live. I think we should keep nature clean. We should not pollute the air because things will die. Plants cannot grow when the air is polluted. It is also very difficult for people to breathe without clean air.

We need clean water for vegetable and fruit crops to survive. The earth is our environment. We must take care of it. We need to clean up the oil in the oceans, pick up litter from the ground, and clean up after our pets.

We can show that we care for nature. The cleaner the environment, the better we are. Keep our environment clean in any way you can.

by Zenobia , 3rd grade
Writers in the Schools (WITS)