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Literary Nonfiction Inspired Writing

Page history last edited by Dawn Mitchell 14 years, 1 month ago

This page is designed to share the literary nonfiction pieces we have written in class as a result of our literary nonfiction unit of study.  Our course text, Units of Study is based on the underlying framework that what we write should be inspired by what we read. From immersing ourselves in a variety of well-written literary nonfiction text and spending time in close study noticing author's craft, we have each tried our hands at writing our own literary nonfiction pieces.  Please post yours here and specifically address "What have you read that is like what you are trying to write?"  In other words, let us know your mentor text(s) and any author's craft you were intentional about implementing.   *Please add your first and last name and the title and author of your text with your post. 


Kimberly Trott,   Non Fiction Writing

These were taken from material I use on Aesop in class and trying to create a modern non fiction version for the moral of the story. 

The Wolf and the Shepherds, by Aesop, the Moral:

Men are too apt to condemn in others the very things they practice themselves.


A WOLF, passing by, saw some Shepherds in a hut eating for their dinner a haunch of mutton. Approaching them, he said: What a clamor you would raise, if I were to do as you are doing!


Modern Version

A young MAN sitting at his dinner table hears the following: “son don’t drink, son don’t use tobacco, son don’t drive too fast, and son don’t talk on the cell phone when driving.”  The young man notices every day the following: a refrigerator full of milk, tea, and beer, his dad using tobacco, his mom and dad driving over the speed limit, and his parents using the cell phone when driving. 



The One-Eyed Doe, By Aesop, the Moral:

Danger sometimes comes from a source that is least suspected.


A DOE blind of an eye, was accustomed to graze as near to the edge of the sea as she possibly could, to secure greater safety. She turned her eye towards the land, that she might perceive the approach of a hunter or hound, and her injured eye towards the sea, from which she entertained no anticipation of danger.

Some boatmen, sailing by, saw her, and taking a successful aim, mortally wounded her. Said she: O wretched creature that I am, to take such precaution against the land, and, after all, to find this seashore, to which I had come for safety, so much more perilous.


Modern Version

A CHILD, was accustomed to church as the safest place to be, danger never lurking around the corner, a watchful eye need not be had. 


A kind gentle hand extended a visit to the child, a babysitter for the child of a  single mom; hush… a hideous crime has been committed but covered up so none will know.


The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion, by Aesop, the Moral:

False confidence often leads into danger.

AN ASS and a Cock were together, when a Lion, desperate from hunger, approached. He was about to spring upon the Ass, when the Cock (to the sound of whose voice the Lion, it is said, has a singular aversion) crowed loudly, and the Lion fled away. The Ass, observing his trepidation at the mere crowing of a Cock summoned courage to attack him, and galloped after him for that purpose. He had run no long distance when the Lion, turning about, seized him and tore him to pieces.


Modern Version

The young Boy along with his mother and sister walked peacefully through the old grove of massive Sequoia trees.  Enjoying the enchanting scenery, the boy had become slightly separated form his mother and sister.  As the boy shouted for his mother to turn around a mother bear and her two cubs formed a barrier between them.  The boy fled to await the return of his mother and sister.  Luckily, the mother bear allowed them to pass.   

The Tortoise and the Eagle, by Aesop, the Moral:

If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined.

A TORTOISE, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering near, heard her lamentation and demanded what reward she would give him, if he would take her aloft and float her in the air. I will give you, she said, all the riches of the Red Sea. I will teach you to fly then, said the Eagle; and taking her up in his talons he carried her almost to the clouds, - when suddenly letting her go, and she fell on a lofty mountain and dashed her shell to pieces. The Tortoise exclaimed in the moment of death: I have deserved my present fate; for what had I to do with wings and clouds, who can with difficulty move about on the earth?


Modern Version

The nice Couple dreamed of a big beautiful home.  Home prices had been doubling in less than a year.  What a return.  The government wanted to give homeownership to all nice couples.  No settling for less. 


Never mind the final price the monthly mortgage would escalate into.  Never mind that the nice couples didn’t make enough money.  Never mind the bad credit scores.  Never mind!  The nice couples were going to refinance or sell. 


It wasn’t the nice couples fault.  The nice couples were not alone in creating their demise. The loan originators gave the nice couples the mortgages they could not really afford who then sold their mortgages to the Wall Street brokers who then passed the risky loans on to the investors who purchased the worthless securities. 


No down payments, interest only loans, no loan documentation, low-interest rates, and not to mentions all of the home equity loans taken out against the inflated home prices that would never be repaid.  Repaid yes, but not by the borrower but by the tax payers of America. 


Now, the time to pay the piper had come due.  A financial crisis ensued.  A trail of destruction was wrought.  Banks and companies went out of business, unemployment rose, the stock market collapsed, and the credit market tightened all because the nice couples dreamed of a big beautiful home.     



The Lion and the Three Bulls, by Aesop, the Moral:

In union is strength.


THREE BULLS for a long time pastured together. A Lion lay in ambush in the hope of making them his prey, but was afraid to attack them whilst they kept together. Having at last by guileful speeches succeeded in separating them, he attacked them without fear, as they fed alone, and feasted on them one by one at his own leisure.


Modern Version

Two soccer Players who had been playing club soccer since grade school laughed at their new soccer-mates lack of skill.  Henceforth, the players won few games not performing as a team that season.  Low and behold friendships developed amongst the girls and the team became a team.  A winning season was ahead.

Literary Nonfiction We've Written and the Authors Who've Inspired Us

"An Egg's Promise"  written by Dawn Mitchell

This literary nonfiction text is a picture book (doesn't have pictures yet) that was inspired by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long's picture book, "An Egg is Quiet.   Their book was my mentor text for craft.  I found in order to make sure that I had accurate content, I needed some mentor texts for content research as well.  One that I found that was great for the content I needed was "Chick Life Cycle" by Elizabeth Bennett.  It is one book in a series of Life Cycle Books that Scholastic publishes.   In this text, I really wanted to inform the reader about the life cycle of a chick as it develops and then later hatches from an egg, but also really entertain them through well-crafted writing.  The craft I wanted to try try that I learned from my craft mentor text was a repeating line, informative / factual information embedded in the illustrations, use of labels as information, and the emotion embedded within the text.  Because my vision is a picture book, I am not yet ready to share the finished product.  As of now, I only have my text written.  Here it is.


An Egg’s Promise

By : Dawn Mitchell



Page 1:  Mother Hen laid an egg;

a cream-colored, thick-shelled,

beautifully oval-shaped egg

full of hope and holding life.


Page 2:  Mother Hen knew that while

her little egg may not look like much now,

soon it would bear life.

For life is the promise of an egg;

a warm, well-kept egg

nesting beneath its mother.



Page 3:  Mother Hen watched and waited

and kept her cream-colored, thick-shelled,

beautifully oval-shaped egg warm

for weeks and weeks and weeks.



Page 4:  She waited…

waited five days for her chick

to begin to grow and change and develop,

all the while keeping her egg,

her promise, warm and safe.



*Can you see the chick form

into an embryo?  Do you see the

yolk sac form around the embryo?


Page 5:  She waited…

waited nine days for her chick

to continue to grow and change and develop

all the while keeping her egg,

her promise, warm and safe.


*Can you see his

tiny baby body form? 

Look close, and you can

see the chick’s tiny wing

buds and eye.


Page 6:  She waited…

waited 21 days for her chick

to continue to grow and change and develop

all the while keeping her egg,

her promise, warm and safe.



*Can you see his

beak and his claws forming

now?  Look close, you can

even see feathers!



Page 7:  It was a long incubation.

Almost a month Mother Hen

Watched and waited and kept

her little promise warm.

She didn’t complain or give up,

for Mother Hen discovered

that the best, most precious gifts

are worth waiting for.



"How to Be Ancient India"  by Cathy Rode and students.  After reading several different texts, magazines, newspapers, and books about India, I decided to have my students create a "How to be" poem about something from Ancient India.  Our Writing Coach, Dolly Blackwood, teaches faculty how to become betters readers through writing.  She had an example of this "How To Be" poem and had the faculty write a poem as well.  First she read a book then had us brainstorm ideas about what we would like to create a poem about.  I followed this same technique with my class and this is the example I wrote on the overhead with the help of my students of course!


How to Be Ancient India


You're a part of the continent Asia.

Surrounded in the north by Himalayan Mountains

the Hindu Kush in the North West.

Your land is encompassed around three bodies of water.

The Arabian Sea to the south west;

the Indian Ocean on the southern side and to the southeast lay the Bay of Bengal.


Your land would be covered with

a desert

a mountain

a jungle

and a forest.

The Indus River would be the heart of your people

Also would be a river that time forgets:

River Saraswati


Nature would be your enemy through



and droughts 


Your people would be Indians

There were no slaves

but there were untouchables.

Your people would be polythestic

Hinduistic or Buddhist probably


Inventions that your people create a vast

Aryabhatta, the great astronomer and scientist, discovered zero.

Ancient Indians had a well developed concept of water harvesting.

Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India.

Games like chess would be invented.


All people would marvel one day

That you would be called, "Golden Bird"

for all of your wealth.


Written by Cathy Rode and 6th grade Inman Intermediate students


 Books that I read for content were "How Things Grow from Egg to Duck" by Sally Morgan.  "Mallards" by Margaret Hall. We are hatching duck eggs in the classroom and we have read several texts that explains about the development and the incubation and caring of the ducks when they hatch. We have had several obstacles to overcome with the eggs and the story has not ended as of yet. This is not a final copy but a very rough draft. 



Crystal Weathers 


     "Mrs. Weathers, there's a package for you in the office," Ms. Gilmore announced over the intercom in our class. "Yah." all the children shouted, "they're here." 

     Yes they were here. We had been preparing for days for the arrival of twelve mallard duck eggs to incubate and hatch. The incubator had been prepared for days and the children knew that it had to be a constant 99.5 degrees and that it had to have water in the incubator at all times to keep the humidity level high so that the eggs didn't dry out. And most importantly they knew that it took twenty-six days for the eggs to hatch and they had created a calendar so that the days could be marked off as each day passed. 

     "Twenty-six days, that's forever." Brooke sighed. 

     "The ducks need time to develop in their shell." the teacher replied. "Let me explain. The ducks will have tiny blood vessels that will attach to the yolk of the egg. That is what the duck will eat until it is strong enough to break out of the shell and live on its own. And it takes twenty six days for the duck to become strong enough to break out of its shell." 

     We marked off six days and it was time to candle the eggs, candling is when an egg is placed over a ligh in a dark room and you can see through the egg and know whether the duck is developing. Twelve eggs were candled and eleven eggs were growing into ducks. One egg had to be removed from the incubator.

     "Why didn't it have a duck inside?" all the children wanted to know. 

     "Sometimes an egg is just meant to be an egg." said the teacher and that answer seemed to satisfy the children. 

     On day twelve tragedies struck for the first time. 

     "Mrs. Weathers, the light isn't on." Luis cried one morning. "The temperature is down to 72 degrees in the incubator." 

     "It must be the bulb; I will get another one and replace it." But it wasn't the bulb and we had to think fast if we were going to save the eggs. We rigged up a light help up with four cups over the incubator and it was a perfect 99.5 degrees. Maybe we had saved them, only time would tell. 

     "Will the ducks still hatch?" they all wanted know. 

     "We will have to wait and see, we have fourteen more days to go." All the children sighed. 

     As the days passed the eggs were candled again and they all seemed to be doing well. Then tragedy stuck again. 

     One afternnon the teacher decided to stay late and clean the room. She was trying to put some books on the shelf and her feet got caught in the cord to the incubator. CRASH!!! The incubator fell off the counter and the eggs rolled onto the floor. 

     "NOOOOOOOOOOOO," cried the teacher. But it was too late for three eggs were broken beyond saving. Crying, the teacher placed the remaining eggs back into the incubator. Some of the eggs had very tiny cracks and others had large cracks, but she was still hopeful that some of the ducks would survive. 


     The story cannot be completed as of today. I am going in tomorrow and tell the children what happened on Thursday, they don't know yet. I am going to candle the remaining eggs to see if they are still viable. So the story will end on wednesday or Thursday when the ducks are due to hatch. Say a little prayer.  


Literary Nonfiction


Martha Vest


My Dear Aunt Sally   by Martha Vest

Silly Story to enthuse students about Order of Operations

My inspirational text is Spaghetti and Meatballs for All:A Mathematical Story  by Marion Burns.

In this, Burns describes a huge family reunion and the spaghetti meal planned.  Through humor, she exposes students to the idea of perimeter and area.

Using humor, I use this story every year to draw students into the concept of Order of Operations.


My Dear Aunt Sally

Martha Vest


“Children, today we will be learning the correct order of operations.  Who knows the correct order?? Well, I often forget myself so I have invited my dear Aunt Sally to join us soon to show us the way,” explains Mrs. Vest.


“Now, class, before my dear Aunt Sally gets here I must tell you that she is tiny but she is tough.  She has a black belt in karate and she will fight fearlessly against any vicious animal that might try to come here to hurt you.”


Joanie’s eyes get big as saucers.


“What might hurt us here?” she asks.


“Well, dear child, very soon there might be some danger.  I read in the paper that some wild dinosaurs have escaped from the zoo and are headed this way.”


The class falls silent. Then there is pounding at the door. AUNT SALLY!


Mrs. Vest opens the door and leads a very tiny, gray haired woman in.  She smiles at the class and tells them to get ready for combat.


She screams, “HIYA!” and does a 360 degree turn and kicks her minute leg into the air, knocking Mrs. Vest’s earring right out of her ear.  Fists are slashing the air and then Aunt Sally pulls a MATRIX move and scissor kicks and overhead projector into the air and catches it in her teeth!


Tough broad, this Aunt Sally.


“Class, I’m going to teach you the warfare you need to fight the dragons that will be coming down the hall in 3 minutes.  Listen carefully because your very life depends on it.


These dragons can only be destroyed by using your quick wit, proper procedures, and your handy dandy weapon…this weapon is often thought of as a mere pencil but it is far more today.  Raise your weapons and let’s do it.


What you must remember is this:







The “Please” stands for parentheses.  Work inside the parentheses first.


The “Excuse” stands for Exponents.  Work out all exponential values next.


The “My=Dear” stands for Multiplication and Division.  These are equal operations, so neither is more important that the other.  If there is one of each, just work left to right.


Example:   40     8  X  5  =


Here children,  Divide first just because it came first before the Multiplication.


The “Aunt=Sally” stands for Addition and Subtraction.  These are also equal operations, so work left to right.


Example:   18  +   50   -  45  =


Here, children, Add first because it comes before the Subtraction in this problem.”


Suddenly, a roar comes down the hall.  Pounding footsteps.  Jaws rattling.  Posters falling.  Children screaming.  Mrs. Vest paralyzed.


Aunt Sally draws her handy dandy weapon and yells, “Get your swords and for goodness sakes, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally!!”


The awful, foul smelling dragon enters the room.  But we’re ready for him.


The dragon is:


45    Divided by (3 X 5) X 7  +  (55- 4 ) - 8 =


Aunt Sally calls on Marie to make the first attack against the dragon. 


“Work inside the parentheses.  But first solve the exponents to get 15 and 39.”


“Good job, Warrior Marie.  You just cut off both of his ears!”


“Bobby, hurry and tell me what our next karate move should be.”


Bobby stammers, “Uh….uh…….”


“Hurry up child before he eats you up….hurrrrrrrryyy!”


“Divide?????Divide because it comes before the multiplication??? 45 divided by 15 is 3.”


“Yes!!  Bobby you just cut off the dragon’s foot and boy is he mad.”


Aunt Sally whips out her machete and whip and yells to Martin. “Quick, what do we do now?”


“3 X 7 =21”


“ Martin, you have the honor of cutting off the tail.”


“Suzie Q, show off your best move, Girl”


Suzie puffs up her little chest and bravely yells, “Add the 21 and the 39!”


Auntie proudly announces that Suzie Q just stabbed the dragon in the heart.


A roar of anger comes from the dragon and he lunges at Mrs. Vest.


In a do or die move, Vest lifts her dry erase marker sword and subtracts the 8 from the 60 and writes 52 on the board just in the nick of time.


The ugly, angry, frightening dragon falls to the floor and “POOF” he disappears.  The magic spell has been broken and the whole class breathes a sigh of relief.


As always, mathematicians always triumph when they PLEASE EXCUSE MY DEAR AUNT SALLY!


Don’t leave home without it!


From Beneath the Surface


Amber McDonald

Carbon far beneath the land that,

Lies for years pressed by earthly events as

Volcanic eruptions and violent earthquakes move it to the surface

Carved and smoothed to be aesthetically pleasing


Places itself and stays till time’s end

Moving from a small atom to a beautifully carved rock

At the work of the hands of a scientist to bring it from the surface and natural state

To the place where it is etched, rounded, and made into a precious stone


From below the surface to adorn the life... 


This particular type of writing was very difficult for me to do. I am not sure if I am even on the right track to the way it needs to be presented. I wanted to do some kind of poetry that describes a diamond. I had found a few poetry books in my classroom that would tell the scientific information about a subject but also done in a poetic way. That is sort of what I was hoping for. Should I incorporate the craft of repeating lines and repeat the first line or another line. I just need some help as to where to go from here... 



Katrina by Heather Yordy - I suppose my inspirational writing would be the many magazine articles that I read about people's journeys through life... National Geographic, etc.  This is the story of what it's like to evacuate from a hurricane. 


I always wondered what it would be like to live in a coastal town as a hurricane comes barreling toward it.  In 2005, I found out.  I had just moved to New Orleans for graduate school.  It was late July and I had only four weeks until school began.  I spent every day of those four weeks seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and tasting the sweetness of the bayou.  We had our first week of classes and that Friday I had my first two quizzes of graduate school.  


That afternoon, there was a knock on the door.  “Mandatory evacuations of the campus will begin tomorrow morning at 8am, but we encourage those that can to leave earlier to avoid the traffic.”


I had seen the weather forecast already.  Hurricane Katrina had blasted through Florida and hit the warm waters of the gulf.  It was forecasting to hit New Orleans directly.  Yet no one knew how strong she was going to get.


I asked the guard what we should take.  He told me that he was told to load up two weeks of clothes and any medications.  If the power went out or there was mild flooding, we might be out for a few weeks.  Being that I had all of my important paperwork – birth certificate, passport, old tax documents – well, I loaded up a couple of file boxes and my computer tower along with those two weeks worth of clothes.  Some of the upperclassmen mocked me – “why are you taking all of that?”  Just a few days later, they wouldn’t be saying much of anything at all.


My four roommates and I loaded up our cars and decided to head out early.  They hadn’t called for contra-flow yet, but the traffic was already horrendous.  While stopped on the Causeway between New Orleans and Slidell, I got out my Comfort Inn book and called the very hotel in which I stayed just four weeks previous on my way to my new home.  As I reserved the only room they had left for the four of us, the idea of home overwhelmed me.  I no longer knew if I had one.


We pulled into the hotel at around 9:30pm and there were already a handful of people setting up their make-shift beds in the lobby.  The televisions were on the news and we all sat and watched and waited to see what was going to happen as the outer bands of the hurricane began to come onshore.

The predictions were getting worse, and we soon realized that it would be at least a couple of weeks before we would get back to New Orleans.  They were predicting that Katrina, who was barreling toward New Orleans, would be a near-Category 5 hurricane with mass destruction left in her wake.  I called back to my friends in Spartanburg, South Carolina and they told me to “come home.”  Yet, I had no home.


The next morning, I dropped one roommate off at the airport so she could fly to her parents’ home in Texas and the other two roommates headed for Tennessee to be with their families.  I fled to South Carolina where I had a great group of friends and family to take me in.  I pulled into the driveway of the house of my minister and friend; his wife hugged me, knowing that was just what I needed.  We walked in and on the big screen television in the living room we watched New Orleans, what was my home, sink under water.


In the year after the hurricane, I lived in fourteen different places.  And in their own special way, each one became home.  That was but one of many lessons learned from my dear friend Katrina.  Another lesson learned – that I no longer have the curiosity to know what it would be like to live in a coastal town with a hurricane on the horizon.




Cammie's literary nonfiction 


I used The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins as my mentor text for creating my story. The nonfiction part of the story, where you actually learn about fishing, is written in italics. I used A Good Day’s Fishing by James Prosek to gather my information about going on a fishing trip.



A Really Big Catch



            When I began dating Phillip in April 2006, I quickly learned that I would be competing with his fishing hobby for his time.  He was passionate about fishing and enjoyed fishing during all of his free time.  The weather was getting warmer, and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, so Phillip carefully taught me how to “go fishing” with him.  This was not as simple as it sounded.

            First, Phillip had to find the perfect rod and reel for me to use. It had to be the exact right size. After the rod and reel were picked out…on to the tackle shop.  There we purchased bait for brim fishing, hooks, weights, and bobbers.  The bait consisted of live worms, fake worms, and crickets. We also got fishing line and bug spray. We packed the jeep with our fishing rods, tackle box, worms, a cooler, and 2 tailgating chairs.  I had no idea fishing required preparation!  On the way to Lake Bowen, we also stopped at the quick stop for boiled peanuts and coke. Phillip also said this was a must while fishing.

            It was very important to Phillip that I get it all right and perfect the first time fishing. Therefore, I had many practice rounds of casting.  Finally, I was ready. I had to hook the worm on and then cast out into the water. It felt like forever but I eventually had a nibble. When I felt the bite, I had to “set the hook.” Setting the hook means to jerk it and reel it in. Once I got the fish out of the water on the deck, I let Phillip have the honors of taking the fish off the hook.  On this first trip fishing, I caught 2 very small brim.

            Phillip and I continued to fish often…some days were more successful than others. Each time we went, I learned something new about fishing. We had many long conversations on our tailgating chairs while waiting for the bite. I now appreciate why he enjoys fishing so much.

            On September 1, 2008 we both had off work for Labor Day and decided what better to do than go fishing. On the way, we stopped and picked up bait and our peanuts and coke. After no luck getting a fish on, I was ready to give up. But that was not okay with Phillip so I took over his rod and reel that were already in Lake Bowen. After anxiously waiting and never feeling a bit, I finally pulled the rod out of the water and brought it to the deck. I noticed a tiny circle on the hook. At first, I thought it was some gadget Phillip had added until I turned around to ask him and he was on one knee. It was my engagement ring that I pulled from 12 feet of water!  I really have enjoyed our fishing excursions together, but nothing could top the fishing that day! What a catch I found!


Schule is Cool by Sarah Stephanoff.  Inspired by feature articles like those found in Ranger Rick, Click, and Time for Kids.


The Invention of Kindergarten

Germans invented kindergarten. However, now kindergarten is not required but most kids choose to attend.


Hey No Fair!

On the first day of school, German students receive a schultute - a cone filled with candy and treats. (right) {To the right will be a picture of a little girl holding her schultute.} Kids go to grundschule for 1st-4th grade. They learn reading, writing, math, social studies, and science just like us. They also have separate teachers for music and P.E.


Moving On

After grundschule, German kids have 3 choices:

1. Hauptschule - grades 5-9

Kids learn how to do a job.

2. Realschule - grades 5-10

Kids learn regular subjects and how to do a job.

3. Gymnasium - grades 5-13

Kids learn subjects like math, science and different languages.

{below will be a diagram showing the different school options}


Mmm I'm Hungry

German students have to wait until 12 or 1 for lunch. They good news is that after they go home for lunch, they don't go back to school! Some kids go to daycare after school where they eat lunch. {below will be a picture of spaghetti and meatballs}


Fast Facts

- Schools in Germany don't have sports teams.

- Kids join clubs to play sports.

{above will be a picture of a German boy playing soccer}



Literary Nonfiction - Joan Green

I wanted to write this piece in a similar style as Wolfsnail by Sarah C. Campbell.  The present tense in her book helps the reader feel like they are part of the story.  


Mother Leopard

By Joan Green



Page 1

The sun has disappeared over the African horizon.  Mother Leopard rouses her two sleeping cubs.  She must find a safe hiding place for them so she can hunt.  The trio moves silently through the tall grasses.  The mother’s light color and distinctive dark spots help to camouflage her.  She finds a place to leave the two grayish cubs whose spots are barely visible.



Page 2

Mother Leopard comes to a wide river.  Unafraid, she leaps into the water and swims to the other side.  Along the way, a fish has become a tasty snack for the hungry mother.



Page 3

In the darkening night, Mother Leopard hides herself in a tree above the edge of the river.  Many animals come here to drink.  Hopefully, she won’t have to wait long for a meal to arrive.



Page 4

The warthog bends down to get a drink.  In a blur of movement, Mother Leopard has killed her prey.  She and her cubs will have food tonight.



Page 5

Mother Leopard drags the dead warthog across the ground and up into a tree.  High up in the tree, the food will be safe from scavenging hyenas.



Page 6

Mother Leopard and her cubs have food this night.  She has greater and greater difficulty finding food in her diminishing habitat. 




Renee Phillips Literary Nonfiction 

This my attempt to write under the influence of the author that wrote Atlantic. Since I do not have a lot of facts in my story I plan on adding a page at the end that gives Facts About Charleston. Below is my rough draft. In my mind it is a picture book.


By Renee Phillips



I am Charleston South Carolina, one of the oldest cities in the United States.





I am historic homes that have weathered the years and the storms and still stand tall along the streets and harbor.



I am the constant movement of the market that once was the place where slaves were sold but now holds fenders of all kinds.



I am the Battery where hundreds of people walk each day and many ships pass on their way into the harbor.



I rub shoulders with the Atlantic, the Cooper River, and Intercoastal Water Way.



My beaches are the vacation spot of thousands of people from all over the country and the world.  My palm trees welcome them all year long.



I am the home for some of the best restaurants in our state and the place where any type of food can be found.



The College of Charleston and The Citadel are located in my city and bring thousands of young people each year as they start their adult life in college. Many of them never leave.



I am the Plantations that have been here since the beginning of our country. Once they were the homes of the wealthiest citizens but now they are the visiting places of tourist.



I am the roadside markets of the Basket Ladies that spend each day weaving the sweet grass baskets the same way their ancestor did before they ever came here to be slaves.



I am connected by the bridges that my people cross each day as they go to school, work, and play.



I am Charleston South Carolina.




April Camp's Literary Nonfiction Content-Specific Unit on Electricity



student samples.docx  

Here are my students pieces of writing. Their writing was inspired by many literary non-fiction texts that we read and were mainly focused on H is for Homerun, using the ABC format and then adding in alliterations. Using the figurative langauge format just like Thomas Locker my students added in the task of writing in alliterations. With some this became tough but they worked through it and did the best that they could.


I first thought that this unit will be very easy to do, we were already studing electricity and the kids had good background information on the topic. However it did not go as well as I had hoped. I still have some students who are not done with their writing and some who never really got started. As a class they decided that they wanted to create an ABC book so I thought that would be easy. It was not, trying to find the words to go with each letter and the information for the words. I did enjoy this study and I do plan on using it again in another way. The writing samples that I have gotten so far have turned out really nicely. The ones that are not done will be working on this at the end of the year in order for them to have a completed copy. But I have realized there are many things I will need to do differently when I use this study again.  

I would first have them do more research on the topics that we were writing about. I felt like doing the ABC book really limited what they could write about and did not give us the freedom that I was hoping for as a class project. Many were frustrated that they could not write about their topic and had no desire to finish the unit. I think that I would give a lot more choice in the way the final project was turned in and let groups work together in order to complete the writing, where everyone added pieces in as a whole. 

However I do really look forward to using this concpet again and I have a lot to work with for next year so I plan on putting my thinking cap on this summer and making it work.




Lori Milan

Student Work. **Each one has a heading based on what they focused on.



My Literary Non-Fiction unit went ok. This the second time that I had tried KWR's technique, but the first time I did it by actually going by the text. Before, I heard her speak and went with it. I had a very hard time having my kids notice features. They were trying to say..."there are words!" Yes, but what do you notice about the words??? as I look at chapter 13 though, it makes since. We don't have time to think, or have the students think. Standards are driving the curriculum.  Once they got the part about noticing, they enjoyed it. They recieved a grade for Social Studies and ELA as this was their assessment on the Middle Ages. I think that when I begin the year next year with this process, I will start smaller. I may have students all have one Mentor text instead of choosing. While KWR's Units are fabulous and I do believe that they will work, I think that I tried too hard to just jump in. It is a process and a model process at that. I expected perfection and much to my dismay, I didn't necessarily get it the first time. I hope to grow from this experience and start the modeling at the beginning of next year to be more successful in units of study.


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