Looking at Writing

1st Grade: Writing Sample 2

Context of writing

A first grade girl wrote this story. After reading William Steig's Amos and Boris, students were prompted to write a story with an unlikely friendship between two animal characters.

What is this child able to do as a writer?
  • She has generated an idea for a story — characters ('leprd selu' and 'penglen'), a setting ('the wodr'), and a probem ('sumtims leprd sele was in the wodre').
  • She includes a title that tells what the story is about and sticks to that topic.
  • She experiments with punctuation (period and exclamation point).

What does this child need to learn next?

This student started with a problem — the penguin was afraid to go in the water with the leopard seal — but the problem does not have a very interesting solution. She writes that the penguin went into the water and they became friends. In addition, her picture does not include enough details to help the reader fill in the missing gaps. Providing this student with a story frame where she could pre-write with pictures or words may help her plan a more interesting solution to the problem.

Move your cursor over each image marker for more information about this student's writing.

1st Grade, Writing Sample 2 Image


Click image above to view the full size sample.
Full transcript also available.

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."

— Anton Chekhov


Try it! Share it!

Looking at writing – lots of it – is one of the best ways to hone your observational and instructional skills. Exchanging ideas with other teachers is also incredibly valuable. We invite you to take a look at a new writing sample, analyze it, and share your ideas with our online community of teachers. Try it!

"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney