Looking at Writing

1st Grade: Writing Sample 5

Context of writing

A first grade boy 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?

  • This child has generated ideas for characters, several settings, and several problems for his story.
  • He uses descriptive language and creative ideas to add to the story ('but CJ was CPR certified')
  • He has a good sequence to his story. His sentences flow to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • He uses a variety of sentence beginnings ('Once upon a time...,' 'On his trip...,' and "Then Shack...'")

What does this child need to learn next?

This student is not using any punctuation in his writing. He may be so excited to get all of his information on the page when he writes that he can't think about using mechanics at the same time. He should be encouraged to re-read his writing aloud to himself or someone else. He could be taught to listen for natural pauses in his words which would signal the ends of sentences.

The writer's story jumps around a bit. Working through a story sequence chart (15K PDF) or story map may help the author keep track of the settings and the transitions in his writing.

He also seems to experiment with capital letters for proper nouns. He may be guided to look for the names of his characters and cities and make sure he starts all of them with capital letters.

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

1st Grade, Writing Sample 5 Image
1st Grade, Writing Sample 5 Image


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Full transcript also available.

"Give weather reports. It helps the reality of a scene if foghorns are blowing or kites are in the sky on a windy afternoon or the day's so hot wallpaper is peeling off the walls.”

— Sid Fleischman


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"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman