Children’s Writing; ‘Scarlet’s Book’ – What happened next?

Nicole wrote the beginning to a story. She called it ‘Scarlet’s Book’.

Sharon's hand + ancient book
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Stefano Maffei via Compfight

‘It was just a normal night. Dark sky. Stars. Everything was just right … until this very night. A little girl, called Scarlet was fast asleep. Suddenly Scarlet woke right up. She saw a flash of golden light. She leapt out of bed and then crept slowly, following the golden path she could see in front of her. She let herself out through the front door and went along the path, through a deep forest. 

Now everyone knows a child should not go somewhere, in the middle of the night, by themselves. Well Scarlet BROKE that RULE. Then the golden light was gone. The path was gone.

‘Why would you take me here?’, she wondered.

Then the golden light reappeared. It led her to a place in the middle of the forest, where there was a book. Then a light whisper in her ear came to her. It said; 

‘Bring back the spirits’. Scarlet wasn’t quite sure what to do. Maybe the answer was in the book. She would get the book and see what ‘Bring back the spirits’ could mean. So she reached out for the book…’

This is what Niamh thought might happen next;

BUT when she tried to pick it up, her hand passed right through it! Scarlet gasped. She threw pebble at it and it said ‘Ouch’, but the pebble didn’t fall through the book. Then suddenly the book disappeared. The next day, she went back into the forest and back to the same place she had seen the book. There was no trace of it. For the rest of the day, all Scarlet could think about was the book. When she was about to get into bed that night, she saw the light again and she crept outside. This time the light was even closer to her house, but this time the light was red. Scarlet knew this meant danger…

When You See Something Lurking in the Dark, Remember Red Can Spell Danger!
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Tony Hammond via Compfight

This is what JC wrote;

The book hissed,‘Don’t touch me.’ The book went flying down the path and followed the golden light, but then when Scarlet came out the door, the golden light was not there anymore. She tried to follow the path where she last saw the golden light. Then she came to a dead end. There was no way in or out. She tried and tried but she couldn’t find a way out. Then she remembered what the book said. Then she called to the spirits and she was free.

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Behrooz Nobakht via Compfight

Rebecca thought this is what happened next;

Scarlet felt herself being pulled. Scarlet screamed. A deep voice said; ‘How did you get here? Come into the light.’ Scarlet saw a funny little goblin. ‘Come into my house,’ said the goblin. Scarlet followed the goblin through a little door into a little mushroom, but it was so big inside with a big sitting room. ‘The kitchen is this way,’ said the goblin. ‘Wow’, thought Scarlet.

The Mushroom House
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Iva Wilcox via Compfight

Clara wrote;

Scarlet reached into the book and then the book shouted, ‘Take your hands off me !’ Then the book trapped Scarlet’s hands between its pages and pulled her into the book. She was dragged into an ancient land. The voice in the book shouted, ‘You will stay here for a hundred years. There was a castle… Here it is. Scarlet had a plan. She would be troublesome and then they’d have to send her home.

Tallin, Estonia - Toompea Castle
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Claudio.Ar via Compfight

Max predicted;

Scarlet took the book in her hand and the book pulled out of her hand and floated away. Scarlet chased the book and then suddenly she crashed into a tree. Suddenly she woke up and found herself in a goblin jail in a goblin tree. She banged on the window with anger and suddenly the window broke and she crept out of the prison in the goblin tree.

Number 8 - 365
Photo Credit: Nina Matthews via Compfight

Amy thought that this might happen next;

But when Scarlet touched the book, it floated up and lit up her face like golden stars and the book had a face on it and said; ‘He’s coming!’ Then it faded away and a gleaming shadow appeared. It was a WIZARD. The wizard said, ‘Get our of my forest or else’. ‘Or else what?’ said Scarlet. ‘He will come’ answered the wizard. ‘Who?’ asked Scarlet. ‘Barnabus’, said the Wizard.

Photo Credit: jenny downing via Compfight


Scarlet kept following the book. It eventually stopped. There was no sound. Scarlet was scared. She stepped forward and she fell into a hole that suddenly appeared in the ground. Down, down down, She was screaming at the very top of her voice. She found herself in an underground cave. She couldn’t see anything as it was as dark as the black night sky. Suddenly the moon seemed to appear from behind a cloud and Scarlet could see by its light. She started to float…to float towards the light. But it was then she realised that this moving planet was not the moon.

Falling Down
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: niko si  via Compfight

Cian thought this is what happened next;

The next morning Scarlet went to school,  she brought the book with her. She opened it. A voice in her ear whispered ‘Pick a page’. Scarlet picked the page with the castle on it. She reached out and touched the picture. The book closed on her hand. It sucked her in. She was forbidden to return to Earth.

To be continued …

Dun, dun, dun-dun DUN!

Earth Day 2012 mosaic 4
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Images by John ‘K’ via Compfight

This was Shauna’s idea;

But when Scarlet went to pick up the book it floated. Scarlet put her hand under the book. As soon as that happened the book came down on her hand. Then it opened on the index page and Scarlet looked up ‘spirits’. Scarlet found the answer was right in front of her, and she soon had done what she was told.

Old book index
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: hugovk via Compfight

Cian wrote;

Scarlet took the book tightly in her hand and went home but that voice had not done talking. It said ‘Keep the book safe..VERY VERY SAFE because the spirits are in the book’. But she was too late, the golden path went and it was dark and wet and she could not get home. She was scared. In the morning, it was light and she managed to find her way home. As soon as she got in the door, her Mum and Dad said ‘Where were you?’ She did not answer. Scarlet ran up the stairs to her room.

Girl on Stairs
Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner via Compfight

Julia thought;

Her hand went right through the book. Scarlet gasped. The wizard was right beside her. ‘What are you doing with that?’‘I was just looking … ”You should not be here,’ bellowed the wizard. ‘Now you will pay’. Suddenly the wizard magicked up some angry elves. They had swords. But suddenly, by magic another sword was in Scarlet’s hand,  but she was scared anyway. Scarlet ran and ran home as fast as she could.

The Bubble-Catcher
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Diego da Silva via Compfight

Lewis said;

Scarlet read the page in front of her. It said a long time ago, there was a spirit. The spirit was around for one thousand years. The spirit lies in the forest. Scarlet flung the book onto the ground. Scarlet went out to find the spirit. A storm came upon Scarlet. Scarlet searched for ages and she found the golden light on a mountain. Woosh, woosh, the wind blew. Scarlet got blown back. She tripped over a rock. She fell down the mountain. She was unconcious. When she woke up, she was lost. She called out. No one heard her. She got up and ran…

Clouds in Yosemite Valley
Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe via Compfight

 Well done everyone. I enjoyed reading your work. 

Children’s Writing; ‘Scarlet’s Book’ by Nicole

Teacher was tidying up the classroom at the end of the day.

The children had all gone home.

She found a story that Nicole had started.

She thought it was very good.

Here it is;


It was just a normal night.

Dark sky.

Violet Dreams
Photo Credit: Matt Reinbold via Compfight


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: spodzone via Compfight

Everything was just right …

until this very night.


A little girl,

called Scarlet was fast asleep.

Photo Credit: thejbird via Compfight

Suddenly Scarlet woke right up.


She saw a flash of golden light.

She leapt out of bed

and then

crept slowly,

following the golden path

she could see

in front of her.


She let herself out

through the front door

and went along the path,

through a deep forest.

Photo Credit: frontriver via Compfight

Now everyone knows

a child should not go


in the middle of the night,

by themselves.


Well Scarlet BROKE that RULE.


Then the golden light was gone.

The path was gone.


‘Why would you take me here?’,

she wondered.


Then the golden light reappeared.

It led her to a place

in the middle of the forest,

where there was a book.

 magic book cover 1
Photo Credit: Ferd Frederix via Compfight

Then a light whisper in her ear

came to her.

It said;

‘Bring back the spirits’.


Scarlet wasn’t quite sure what to do.

Maybe the answer was in the book.

She would get the book

and see what ‘Bring back the spirits’

could mean.


So she reached out for the book…

 263/365 reach out
Photo Credit: Lazurite via Compfight

Teacher asked the class what they think happens next.

This is what they wrote.

Children’s Writing; ‘An Unusual Pet’ by Rebecca

There is a pet.

I see it everywhere I go.

It is BIG

and green

with blue spots

and purple prickles.


Disney - Sulley
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Joe Penniston via Compfight

It creeps up every night

and then …



I tell my Mum

but she does not believe me.


I show my friend,

but she does not see it.

She said;

‘What are you talking about?

I can’t see anything!’

‘But it’s right there,’ I say.

‘You are light in the head.

Go home to your Mum,’

she said.


After that I tried

to show my Dad.

He said

‘There is nothing there.

Time for bed.

Sweet dreams’

Sweet Dreamer
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Patrick via Compfight 


I still see it,

when I close my eyes!

Photo Credit: Brian Gurrola via Compfight

Children’s Writing; ‘I wish I had Superpowers’ by Julia

I wish I had superpowers.

I wish I was invisible.

Then no one could see me.

No one could find me.

I would love that.

el invisible
Photo Credit: Alejandro Peters via Compfight

It’s not just the power

of being invisible,

I also wish I was SUPER WOMAN,

saving people.

Photo Credit: disfraz via Compfight

I would be famous.

I would be in the Hall of Fame.

But I am just me.


Well I do not need powers really.

I am happy.

God created me

and gave me talents.

I can sing

and I can act.

That is the way God created me.


I would love to pretend

to be a Superhero.


I wish it was really happening now.

Do you know what it is like to be a hero?

Children’s Writing; ‘Going back in time’ by Nicole

I would love to go back in time.

Time Machine 4
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Tau Zero via Compfight

This is how I think it would happen:

Well here we go

going back in time

So where to first

I want to see how kids worked

in Victorian times.


Right we are here.

Wow, look at the children.

I am happy my life is not like that.


OK where to next

How about the rich children

in Victorian times 1,2,3

We are here.

So come with me

to see their lives.

That looks a bit better.

Victorian Boy
Photo Credit: Sean via Compfight

Oh look, they have toys

and they went to school.

I feel sorry for the poor children

Oh no here comes the kids

I better hide.

I have to hurry

before I am trapped in this time.

Well we better go 1,2,3


Wow I had a really good time.

It felt like I was really there.

Well goodbye

I really want to travel back in time now.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story.

Children’s Writing; ‘A Friend’ by Alice

A friend to me, is a very special person.

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Pankaj Kaushal via Compfight

Sometimes if a friend is mean,

you always give your friend

a 2nd chance.

One way your friend

can be mean to you

is not letting your other friends play

and leaving them out.

Nicole is my BFF

and we’ve never ever

in the whole of our lives

been mean to each other.

We are always very kind.

One very good thing

to always remember is

NEVER disagree

or if you do

talk it through

and sort it out quickly.

or else you might not be friends


Children’s Writing; ‘If I had an imaginary pet’, by Max

The Beholder by V&A Steamworks
Photo Credit: Guy H via Compfight

If I had an imaginary pet,

it would be blue grey.

It would have long arms

and shiny white teeth.

When it jumps it falls 

straight back down

on its feet.

When it flips

you can see

two wings

spread out

two metres

in length.

I could sneak it

into my room at night.

It could sleep

under my bed.

It would be very noisy

because it snores

when it sleeps.

I would call it Bouncy One Eyed Jim.

Children’s Writing; ‘If I could change a school rule’ by Shane

If I could change a school rule

it would be the one about 

no running.


No Running
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: duncan c via Compfight


I know it’s hard to tell a child

not to run.


To be honest,

I run in the yard,

even though

I am not supposed to.


Also nearly all the good games

have running in them,

like Catch or Build Up.


All my friends play 

those games with me.


Some times we slip past the teachers

so they don’t see us.


I know we shouldn’t.

It’s just too hard to stop running

and I’m trying to get faster

for the Wicklow Races

for 3rd Class.



I’ll never stop running.

I am a boy

and that is just me.


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Phil Hilfiker via Compfight

Children’s writing; ‘If I was an animal’ by JC

If I turned into an animal for even a single day,

I would love to be

a Great White Shark


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: gaftels via Compfight


because I would be at the top of the food chain.

During that time,

I would eat



and almost everything else,

except garlic.

I would go world wide.

I would feel like Neptune,


Neptune with dancing water spirits
Photo Credit: Cornelia Kopp via Compfight


God of the deep, blue ocean.

I would feel that I was


The other sea animals would be

so, so, so

terrified of me

and even my shadow

would make them shake

in their big shoes!!!

That’s how things might be

if I were a Great White Shark

but all in all

I am just happy

being me.

Mumbling Bees by Daphne Lister

Bee Landing
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: David Reece via Compfight


Mumbling Bees

by Daphne Lister


All around the garden flowers

Big velvet bees are bumbling,

They hover low and as they go

They’re mumbling, mumbling, mumbling.

To lavender and snapdragons

The busy bees keep coming,

And all the busy afternoon

They’re humming, humming, humming.

Inside each bell-shaped flower and rose

They busily go stumbling,

Collecting pollen all day long

bumbling, bumbling, bumbling.


Can you spot the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs?


We have begun reading ‘Emlyn’s Moon’ by Jenny Nimmo

We finished reading ‘The Snow Spider’ by Jenny Nimmo.

Certainly it was challenging for 2nd class to read as a class novel.

But we were drawn into Jenny Nimmo’s magical world.

So much so, we are continuing with the next book in the trilogy;

‘Emlyn’s Moon’.

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Ron Lute via Compfight

We can see how it was adapted for ITV.

Click here to see ‘Emlyn’s Moon’ Part One

I would remind parents not to let

their children watch You Tube unsupervised.

The internet is a wonderful gift,

but it has the potential to be Pandora’s Box.

She is the Colour of Bronze… (Thoughts for Mother’s Day)

We wrote these poems in groups in class for Mother’s Day

To Our Mums

If my mother was a sound,
she would be a soft breeze
If she was a flower

she would be a tiger lily
She is the colour of bronze
because she is strong and beautiful
She would be like soft bread
She is a lioness
because she protects her young

She is summer all year round

My Mum
If my mother was a sound
she would be snow falling
because she is quiet and pretty.
She is the colour of the summer sky
She is strawberries and cream
because that is my favourite
She would be a snow leopard
because she is protective of her cubs
She is Christmas all year round

For Mother’s Day
She is the sound of the dishwasher closing
She is the colour white,
the same colour as the washing machine.
she would be a comfy armchair
She is ice cream
because she is cool when things go bad
She is a tiger because she protects me
She is a golden daffodil, standing tall
She is birthdays all year round

The Best Mum
She is an electric blanket
She is the colour purple
She is hot chocolate
because she is warm and comforting
She is an owl
because she is beautiful at night
She is Bora Bora weather
She is February
because she is romantic

An Irish Greeting based on a Mihi from New Zealand

On this Link to Class Blog for Y7/8 Room 5, Melville Intermediate School, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

we read how

A Mihi

is a Maori introduction or greeting,

which contains information about yourself”.


We saw the students introducing themselves.

It was very interesting.

They talk about the name of their canoe,

the nearest mountain to them,

the closest river,

their meeting place,

their tribe,

their chief

and last of all their names. .


We decided to make our introductions

to these students from

Room 5 Melville Intermediate School,

because we are working with them at the moment.


They are teaching us about New Zealand

and they are learning about Ireland.


This is our podcast:

‘Dia Dhaoibh (May God be with you)

to our new friends in Room 5,

Melville Intermediate School

in Hamilton

New Zealand

We liked your greeting,

your Mihi.

So we decided to send you one back

In Irish we say

‘Céad míle fáilte romhat!’


to a visitor.


This means

‘A hundred thousand welcomes’

We come from Ireland

We live close to the

Little Sugar Loaf Mountain.


The Three Trout River is our nearest river


The name of our county is Wicklow

This means ‘Viking Meadow’.


The Vikings were

fierce warriors

who came to Ireland

 from countries to the North 

from 795 AD


We meet in our local town Greystones

In the 1800s the sailors who had passed

our local beach would call it

‘The Grey Stones’.

They would say

‘There was a storm at the Greystones’,


‘There was good fishing at The Greystones’.

This is how our town got it’s name.


The name of our school is Saint Brigid’s.

She was born over fifteen hundred years ago!

But people remember her because

she was good to the poor, the sick and the old.

February 1st is her Feast Day

so we will have No Homework 😀 to celebrate.

Bye for now.

Click here for the earlier post on sharing learning with Room 5, Melville School

Audioboo – Time for Grammar – Nouns and Naming Words

We are learning about nouns and naming words.

A noun is the name of anything.


Sometimes it is helpful to say

‘If I can take a photograph of something, it is a noun’.

But this is not always true.

Some nouns would be hard to take pictures of.

Many of these special nouns end in -ness.

For example: happiness and sadness.

These special nouns are called ‘abstract’ nouns.


Love is a noun but it would be hard to take a picture of it.

Clara drew of picture of what love means to her.

Nicole also drew one.

So did Niamh.


Learn a little more about nouns that you could not take a photograph of!


We gave examples of nouns we knew on this Audioboo:


These are nouns you could not take a photograph of:


Abstract Nouns – Part 2

Senan drew a picture to illustrate the abstract noun ‘sound’.

It would be challenging to take a photograph of a ‘noise’ or a ‘sound’.

Christmas Holidays – How are you spending them?

Previously we have used ‘Answer Garden’ on this blog.

Now we are going to experiment with ‘Wall Wisher’.


Would you like to tell me about your Christmas holidays?

Remember to start your sentences with a capital letter

and end them with a full stop.

Your comment will appear here when it has been moderated.


Double click anywhere on the page and a little box will appear.

You are invited to write in this!


To close the box after you have finished writing

just click anywhere outside the box.


A Visualization based on ‘Winter Song’ by by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

Today we listened to a beautiful song:


‘Winter Song’ by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

This is what Matthew drew.


‘Winter Song’ was familiar to many of the students

because it is currently being used in an often repeated

advertisement on the television.


We studied the lyrics.

We used our imagination

and we sketched some pictures

that the lyrics put into our heads.


Then we took a look at a

wonderful animation on Vimeo

to inspire us even further.

‘Winter Song’ by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson


Initially we used white chalk

on black sugar paper.

Then we added colour.

This is what we did:


These are the results:

Winter Pictures in Chalk on PhotoPeach


We would love to hear what you think of our artwork.

Do leave a comment.

We would love to hear from you.

If you would like to comment,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and a comment box will appear.

A Word to the Wise:

Please don’t leave your child to explore Vimeo or Photopeach unattended  :)

The internet is a portal to the world outside. Children should be supervised.

Encouraging Boys To Read

The difference between what boys like to read and girls was also discussed at many Parent Teacher meetings.

Research shows whereas girls prefer fiction that many boys have a preference for non fiction.

Though girls might like these too, boys like graphic novels, information books, adventure, humour/joke books.

The Guinness Book Of Records and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not are popular.

Roddy Doyle ‘The Giggler Treatment’ and ‘Captain Underpants’ though not ‘politically correct’ do encourage some boys to read.

The ‘Beast Quest’ series by Adam Blade is popular with independent readers.

Then there is Irish author Kieran Fanning’s Code Crackers series.

These books are not read from beginning to end.

Children reading these books have to solve clues, codes, problems and other puzzles to continue with the story.


The staff in bookshops and your local librarian can also be very helpful

if you ask them about books that are popular with boys or girls of this age.

A lively horse, by Jake

Visualizing scenes from ‘The Hodgeheg’ by Dick King Smith

We are following the programme in comprehension:

‘Building Bridges of Understanding’.

We are learning comprehension strategies.


As a whole-school, we concentrated on ‘prediction’ in September and October.

Now we are practising ‘visualization’.

We are reading ‘The Hodgeheg’ by Dick King Smith.

We are also learning a lot about hedgehogs and road safety in class too.

Nicole drew this one:

We drew lots of pictures to illustrate The Hedgehog Family:

Ma, Pa, Peony, Petunia, Pansy and Max.

This is Owen’s one to show you the family…

‘… sitting in a flower-bed at their home,

the garden of Number 5A

of a row of semi-detached houses

in a suburban street.
This is Julia’s

Some other children also drew what they could visualize when we read:

‘On the other side of the road was a Park,

very popular with the local hedgehogs

on account of the good hunting it offered.


As well as worms and slugs and snails,

which they could find in their own gardens,

there were special attractions in the Park.


Mice lived under the Bandstand,

feasting on the crumbs

dropped from listeners’ sandwiches;


frogs dwelt in the Lily-Pond,


and in the Ornamental Gardens 

grass-snakes slithered through the shrubbery’.

JC included all these special features.

Here are our visualizations:

Visualizing ‘The Hodgeheg’ by Dick King Smith on PhotoPeach

Here is an Animoto of our work:


We would love to hear what you think of our work.

If you would like to comment,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and a comment box will appear.

A Reminder:

Please don’t leave your child to explore online unattended
The internet is a portal to the world outside. Children should be supervised.

Book Review: It was a Dark and Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

Teacher read  ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’

to the children in 2nd Class, Room 6.

‘It was A Dark And Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

It was a big hit.

It is a ‘laugh out loud’ book with plenty of scope

for dramatisation and funny voices.


Great fun to read aloud in class!

It was impossible to predict what was going to happen next in the story.

But guessing was fun too.


Book Review by Jack S

Antonio is the hero.

He is eight, the same age as me.


Antonio is captured by brigands.

The Chief of the Brigands is bored.

He tells Antonio to tell a story to pass the time.


Antonio’s story is about


and sharks,


and killer parrots.

There is a castle in his story with a ‘Thingy’ in the moat.


Antonio uses the story telling

to distract the brigands

so he can escape,

and get back to to his own family.


I would recommend this book to children my age. It made me laugh.

Create your own Animation

Finally we made a podcast of what we thought was best about this book.

If you would like to comment,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and a comment box will appear.

AnswerGarden: Give some examples of ‘kind’ words.

We are doing a whole school poster competition.

We have to design a poster about good behaviour in school.

The theme is:


Kind Hands

Kind Feet

and Kind Words.


As part of Anti Bullying Week

a.k.a ‘Be Kind and Be a Good Friend Week’,

we were talking in school about kind words.


These are the ones we thought of.

John Paul did very well.

He thought of five phrases

and John Paul’s first language is Spanish.

Well done John Paul!


We used ‘Answer Garden’ to record the words we thought of.

Give some examples of ‘kind’ words…. at

Why has Teacher not corrected this week’s creative writing? :)

I have just spent some very enjoyable time correcting the children’s ‘free writing’ copies. The children’s writing has been imaginative and entertaining.

Having an audience is an important part of the writing process. I have commented on their work. I also hope to give their work a wider audience by recording regular podcasts on

To start the week their classmates and I will give the children feedback. Parents are the most important people in a child’s life, so they would really appreciate your feedback too.

‘Free writing’ is very valuable as it allows the teacher to assess and monitor where the young writer is at and gives children confidence to write. It is considered ‘good practice’ that the ‘free writing’ copy should not be corrected. You may well remember the sinking feeling of being handed back a piece of writing criss crossed with red ‘x’s.

“My story on Monday began;
Mountainous seas crashed on the cliffs,
And the desolate land grew wetter …
The teacher wrote a little note;
Remember the capital letter! “

Short excerpt from a great poem with an important message ‘Creative Writing’ by Gervase Phinn

I have been teaching a hundred years, so I find it very hard not to correct work. Even when the bank manager writes to me I want to correct his punctuation! But it is important that the children enjoy their ‘free writing’ and are proud of their work. Instead I will make a positive comment. Old habits die hard and I may take a recurring error and explain it to the child. Later I may do a mini lesson on this with the whole class.

– Sentence begin with a capital letter and end in a full stop.
– Writing ‘walkt’ or ‘walkd’ for ‘walked.’
– The Magic ‘E’

This post I hope explains then, why the free writing copies are not corrected 🙂

‘Children learn to walk by walking;
children learn to talk by talking;
and children learn to write by writing’.
A wise but anonymous person 

A colourful portrait by Jake

Writing Good Quality Sentences in 2nd Class Room 6

Dear Parent

In a previous post I advised that when the children are writing sentences using the words from the Dolch List, that the sentences should

– make sense

– begin with a capital letter and end in a full stop.

– not be as  simple as  ‘Where am I?’ ‘Here I am’ and ‘I am funny’.

The simplest way to write good quality sentences is to develop the child’s initial attempt at writing a sentence by finding the answers to questions like:

Who are we writing about?

Where are they?

What are they?


Why? or How?


But there are other ways of working on a sentence to make it a better one.For example take the simple sentence: ‘I see a cat‘,
and supposing that ‘cat’ is the word to be learned from the Dolch List:
Step 1 Can you think of a more interesting action word to use instead of ‘see’?
I spy a cat.
Step 2 Can you think of an action word to describe what the cat is doing.
I spy a cat creeping.

Step 3 And a word to describe how he is creeping.

I spy a cat creeping carefully.

I tell the children in class, that two or more words beginning with the same letter in a sentence sounds good.

Step 4 Can you think of a describing word to describe the cat

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully.

Step 5 Tell me a little more about the cat. Why is he creeping carefully?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a mouse.

Step 6 What can you tell me about the mouse?

I spy a clever cat creeping carefully after a sleepy mouse.

This may seem very contrived, but with practice the children will do this naturally and this will result in more natural sentences.

Reading, of course and, being read to will enrich a children language and writing style.

To begin with I use terms like action and describing words but the words ‘verbs’ and ‘adjectives’ may be introduced as the children apppear ready for them.


“Three Rules for Literary Success:

1. Read a lot.

2. Write a lot.

3. Read a lot more, write a lot more.”

Robert Silverberg