Student Samples


Expository and Narrative Student Writing Samples


Growth over time Student Sample

Taylor’s Writing in September of Second Grade

Baseline Writing Sample – prior to instruction

Writing prompt: You go to your grandmother’s farm and she asks you to milk the cow.  You go to the barn to milk the cow and hear a noise.  You go to investigate, tell what you heard and what happens next.

Student Response:

One day I went to my grandmother’s farm.  She asked me to milk the cow so I did.  I went into the barn to milk the cow when I heard a noise.  I went to the corner to see what it was.  It was a puppy.  It was a very cute puppy my grandmother let me keep him I named him Rover. The End.

Annotation:

This student basically reiterated the prompt.  There is little in the way of elaboration except, very cute puppy, which is very general in nature.  No entertaining narrative elements are evident. However, when you look at the writing it is easy to read and this student has potential.

Taylor’s Writing in December of Second Grade

Skills taught:

Genre Study

Elaborative Detail

Entertaining Beginning

Endings

Suspense

Writing prompt: Imagine that you found a sled that is magical.  Tell how it is magical and what happens next.

Student Response:

I was outside on a wintery day.  IT was icey cold and light white and the sky was white like snow.  I was having fun in the cold snow when I saw a gold and silver thing with bright purple, green and turquoise blue diamond.  And it stood on an orange platform.  It seemed to have wheels on the bottom of it.  It started to move and I wondered what it was.  I felt like sitting and I wanted to sit on it so I did. Suddenly I moved and I was riding down a hill like a rocket.  Wow!  Suddenly a steering wheel and a seat belt came up.  I held on tight. Suddenly somehow I did a flip. Cool! Ouch! I feel off in so much pain I could hardly get up.  But I did. I got on again and held tighter and didn’t fall off. That was a fun ride but I was getting tired I told it to take me home and it did. I went inside and I’d never forget that day.

Annotation:

This student clearly applied the skills that were taught up until this point. 

Clear evidence of elaborative detail:

“It was icy cold and light white and the sky was white like snow.  I saw a gold and silver thing with bright purple, green and turquoise blue diamonds.”

I was riding down a hill like a rocket.

Suddenly a steering wheel and a seat belt came up.

Suspense:

Thought – It seemed to have wheels on the bottom of it. It started to move and I wondered what it was.

A red flag word – Suddenly

Main Event: The student predominantly used action to move the story forward.  The teacher did not teach main event at this point.

Extended Ending:

A memory: That was a fun ride but I was getting tired.  I told it to take me home and it did.  I went inside and I’d never forget that day.

Growth over time Student Sample #2

Ben’s Writing in September of Second Grade

Baseline Writing Sample – prior to instruction

Writing prompt: You go to your grandmother’s farm and she asks you to milk the cow.  You go to the barn to milk the cow and hear a noise.  You go to investigate, tell what you heard and what happens next.

Student Response:

I flyed to my granma and milk the cow and BOOM!  I was skared I found what it is making the noise.  Pe yo the cow frtid

Annotation:

Where do you even start?  This student did respond to the prompt, however the response is sparse with no narrative elements evident.  It has an entertaining quality in the last line – I’m sure it made you laugh, but there is almost nothing to say to this student regarding where to go from here.

Ben’s Writing in January of Second Grade

Skills Taught:

Genre Study

Elaborative Detail

Entertaining Beginnings

Endings

Suspense

Writing Prompt: The oldest house in town is on your street.  You go inside to investigate. Tell what you find and what happens next.

Student Response:

I slowly walked inside the oldest house in the town. It smelled like coffins in this house. The black paint was chipped.  I saw some scattered crumbs on the staircase.  I saw some rotten cheese laying on the ground. I wonder if rats live in this house. I think I’ll investigate. I came to a pile of bones and they all come together and a skeleton came out of the bones. He chased me and chased me I saw his hands coming at me I heard clacking sounds.  I finally slammed the door. Now I wish I never went in that old house.

Annotation:

There is evidence of all instruction that has taken place. This is amazing growth based on the initial writing sample. Given time to engage in powerful modeling and time to practice discreet skills this student is on his way!

Entertaining Beginning: Action – I slowly walked inside the oldest house in town.

Elaborative Detail: The student described the old house

The black paint was chipped.  I saw some scattered frames on the staircase. I saw some rotten cheese laying on the ground.

Suspense: A thought – wonder or worry – I wonder if rats live in this house.  I think I’ll investigate.

Main Event is weak – this skill was not taught at this time. The student included some action along with description.

Extended Ending: Wish – Now I wish I never went in that old house.

narrative growth over time

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Growth over time Student Sample - Kindergarten to 1st Grade

Claire’s Kindergarten end-of-year writing sample

Writing Prompt: Write a story about your favorite stuffed animal.

Student Response:

My soft brown bear is smiling.  She has 3 sparklie ribbons. She says I love you.

Annotation:

This student was engaged in writing instruction for an entire year.  The teacher used engaging models and powerful vocabulary during modeling.  This student benefitted from oral language development, sentence variety in the form of sentence starters, and lessons in elaborative detail using productive questions to elicit specific detail. 

Productive Questions:

What kind/color fur?

What is it wearing?

If it could talk, what would it say?

There is evidence of specific detail in response to the productive questions.

Claire’s Grade One end-of-year writing sample

Writing Prompt: Finish this story: The waves crashed against the sand. I plopped my pack down and spread out my towel.  It was going to be a wonder day. Just then…

Student Response:

My little brother pulled the towel out from under me and I fell face first in the sand. The hot gritty sand tasted salty. I could hear Sam laughing and I was getting madder by the minute.  Suddenly I felt something moving by my cheek. When I wiped the sand off my face I saw a nest of sea turtle eggs. Baby sea turtles were hatching out of blue speckled eggs. The minute they hatched they ran right to the ocean. I forgot about my family on the beach and followed the sea turtles into the ocean. I looked down to see the bottom of the ocean and realized I had a mermaid tail. I swam with the sea turtles. We saw red coral dolphins and angel fish. The water was blue and clear. We had fun!  Suddenly I remembered my family on the beach. As I swam toward the beach my tail disappeared. I walked up on the beach and my family wondered where I had been I laughed but never told them about my secret adventure with the sea turtle.

Annotation:

Tremendous growth over a one year time span. 

Instruction:

Genre Study

Beginning, Middle, End

Elaborative Detail including:  Who Where What, 5 senses lessons, modeled segments

Suspense

The student clearly has a strong beginning, middle, and end sequence along with transitional words – Suddenly… the minute they hatched…as I swam toward the beach my tail disappeared – effectively ending the adventure

Evidence of elaboration using the 5 senses – The hot gritty sand tasted salty. Baby sea turtles were hatching out of blue speckled eggs.  I saw red coral, dolphins and angel fish. The water was blue and clear.

In the middle of the story there is a mix of action description, and thoughts: I wiped the sand off my face.  I looked down to see the bottom of the ocean and realized I had a mermaid tail.  I swam with the sea turtles.  The water was blue and clear. Suddenly I remembered my family on the beach. 

A bit of suspense using the word Suddenly as a red flag word.

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