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Writing Workshop Pieces


The American Revolution

by Betsy Sabala
5th grade

The American Revolution lasted from 1775 to 1783. The Revolution began because tension had been building between Great Britain and the American colonies for more than ten years. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia by fifty-six members of the Continental Congress. Leaders involved in the Revolutionary War included John Burgoyne, who was the General of the British troops, and George Washington as the leader for the Continental soldiers. There is a lot to learn about the American Revolution. It is very interesting as a study of how our nation began.

Until 1773, the British ruled the American Colonists, who did not like to be controlled. In the mid-1760's the British government started a series of laws to increase their power over the colonies. The Colonists strongly opposed the new laws, especially tax laws. On the evening of December 16, 1773, fifty prominent residents of Boston dressed up as Mohawk Indians. They went aboard three British ships and threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, worth about $2 million in today's money. The British must have been really angry. The British government ordered their soldiers to go to Boston and take action against the rebels. The Revolutionary War broke out not long after that. The War started on April 19, 1775, and lasted until September 3, 1783, when Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, helping to recognize the independence of the United States.

The leaders of the colonies decided they needed to list the reasons why they wanted to be free from Britain, so they wrote the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration can be divided into four parts: the Preamble, a Declaration of Rights, a list of complaints about the King's actions, and a statement of Independence. On July 2, 1776, deputies at the Continental Congress voted the thirteen colonies "Free and Independent States". Two days later, they approved the Declaration of Independence. The thirteen colonies were: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. John Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration. The Declaration was not signed by other delegates until early August. The Liberty Bell is a symbol of the signing of the Declaration of Independence because it rang with other church bells in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, to announce the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Many important people were involved in the Revolutionary War. George Washington was the leader of the Continental soldiers. He was courageous in battle, incorruptible, and utterly dedicated to the cause of independence. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson; the Declaration remains his best work. In July of 1776, Benjamin Franklin advised Jefferson during the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was also an inventor and a scientist. After he helped Jefferson, he went to ask King Louis XVI of France for help in the war against the British. After the war, he became the first American ambassador to France. John Hancock served as President of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777. As President, he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Congress.

The Revolutionary War established a new nation -- The United States of America. Many people involved in the Revolution became heroes. They wrote the Declaration of Independence to convince the colonists and other countries why they felt it was necessary to fight the British. The British were controlling the colonists and the colonists did not like being controlled: that is why the Revolution began. Because the revolutionaries fought the war, we are free today.


by Baylee Holsman
4th grade

Hurricanes in many tropical parts of the world are very dangerous. These tropical storms are made by harsh winds rotating around the eye and feeding off warm moist air from the oceans. An example of a dangerous hurricane is Hugo, which hit the southern United States in 1989. Weather alerts around the world are very important to moist regions. Hurricanes are super interesting to study because it is easier to get people out of trouble if we know a lot about such storms.

When moist air rises and strong winds collide, a hurricane begins. In the northern hemisphere winds rotate clockwise, but in the southern hemisphere winds rotate counterclockwise. This causes the rotation of air around the eye of a hurricane. While air currents rotate, air flows from high- to low-pressure regions. As the pressure changes, the winds go faster. When a hurricane is close to the equator, there is a chance that it will be a worse hurricane. The waters around the equator are eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and if a hurricane feeds off warm moist air, then it will get even faster.

A hurricane that hit the southern United States in 1989 was Hugo. When this dangerous hurricane started in Africa on September 11, it had winds of 175 mph. When Hugo smashed into St. Criox on September 18, the city was a mess. Most of the houses were blown away and torn apart, and the streets were broken. In Puerto Rico on September 19, ships had enough time to return to port because they were warned before the hurricane reached them. When they arrived in port, the waves were wild. This hurricane was very rough and serious because most hurricanes only reach winds of 100-150 mph. In South Carolina on September 21, the winds of Hugo were at 135 mph and Hugo was still causing damage. Finally, on September 25, Hugo moved east and disappeared from sight.

Meteorologists are the weather-watchers of our world. These scientists can tell if a hurricane is coming by a few very important tools such as hygrometers, barometers, and anemometers. A hygrometer measures humidity in the air, while a barometer measures air pressure, and an anemometer measures wind speed. All of these tools put together can tell if a hurricane is coming. When there is lots of humidity and high temperatures with low air pressure and very strong winds, meteorologists know there is going to be a hurricane. Meteorologists study weather in most moist places like Florida. Weather observation is a very important activity to moist states and countries. Meteorologists and their tools are important to human safety.

Meteorologists can announce that a dangerous tropical storm is arriving by using tools to detect harsh winds, low air pressure, and humidity. Hugo was a dangerous hurricane that began in Africa on September 11, 1989. This hurricane damaged many American states, homes, and streets. Eventually, Hugo disappeared from sight. A hurricane rotates faster when it is close to the equator's warm waters because moist air and 80 degree temperatures create stronger storms. Often, a tropical depression or a tropical storm develops into a hurricane. If meteorologists could capture the energy of a hurricane, then the problem of global warming could be solved.

Icy Realm

by Conner Charles

Skiing is like freedom:
it makes me feel like a mountain lion
hunting for its prey.
I'm always excited to try tricks, as
riding up the chair lift I go:
ready to stalk a zebra;
anxious to be free; roaming for more territory.
Finally, up on the summit, cold frosty snow tastes
like raw meat.
Unleashed, I race my brother
down, just feeling icy snow charge our faces.
The race has begun!
Dodging trees, as well as people,
it's like playing dodgeball at 100 miles per hour.
I'm ahead halfway down, ready to claim my territory.
Oh...he's going off jumps ahead of me!
Faster than a lion vaults,
taking unidentified shortcuts along the way,
staring into green eyes, neck and neck,
straight ahead lies my territory.
I look back at my brother:
there's no one there.
Ahead in the far distance,
my brother has claimed the territory.

The Greatest Feeling

by Betsy Sabala

Some people think that soccer is just scoring goals, but it is a lot more fun. I like soccer because I like to be in control.

I like to play forward. Forward is the two or three players who are trying to make goals. The feeling of scoring a goal feels like you got the spotlight of the game.

My team is always there for each other. We work great together. When we have soccer games, our faces are as red as tomatoes. We all try to do our best.

When you kick the ball, it flies happily through the air up into the corner of the net. That goal wins the game: the greatest feeling ever.

My Dog

by Ben Crogh

Ruger loves to run out-
side. At the moment
he is hurting because I
fell off a rock
and landed on him. He
is as fat as a
barrel but he can still
run. His ears feel
like fluffed-up velvet. Ruger's
outrageous breath smells like
a dog that never takes
a bath. When we sled, he pulls
our hats and gloves off with his
sharp teeth. He hates it
when snow falls
off the roof and boxes
us in. Every time Ruger drinks,
he slobbers waterfalls of
saliva on me. When his leg hurts
really bad, he can't even
crawl up the stairs. Ruger
is a big fat fluffy dog,
but I love him.


by Dillon Hill

Football is my number one sport. I like my position because I get the ball a lot and run for the end zone. I like football because you get to run for the touchdown and tackle people.

Football is a very hard game. My favorite Quarterback is Tom Bradey. My favorite pro Running Back is Kevin Faulk and Cory Dillon.

I have only been playing for two months and it is my favorite sport. The best part of football is to tackle people. The only bad thing is you can get tackled.

The Sun

by Heather Crawford
5th grade

The Sun is a massive ball of heat and gas at the center of the solar system. Today, many humans, plants, and animals rely on the Sun for life. If the Sun had not formed 4.6 billion years ago, there would be no life on Earth, and no solar system. The Sun heats Earth, giving that planet hot, cold, warm, and cool climates. Nebulae are clouds of gas, dust, and ice particles that form into shapes that humans name: stars form inside them. Stars die when they become neutron stars. Without the Sun, there would be no life in our solar system.

Until around four billion, 600 million years ago, our solar system was just a colossal cloud of gas, dust, and ice particles. This cloud could have included leftovers of a star that had previously exploded (a supernova), or it could have been part of a collection of gasses that were tossed from the surface of huge stars. When the temperature at the middle of the cloud got to be around two million degrees Fahrenheit, the Sun formed. As this cloud started to spin and whirl around, gravity caused it to shrink. The part on the inside became the Sun. The part on the outside of the cloud took shape as the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Heat and pressure inside the cloud created nuclear fusion. The Sun's nuclear core is about the size of Jupiter, but much denser. The temperature of the Sun's core is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

The sun is a source of heat, light, and other different types of energy. All life on Earth -- people, animals, and plants -- rely on this energy from the sun to live. Earth, Venus, and Mars are three neighboring planets which are all about the same size. Billions of years ago, Venus and Mars had water, one of the most important things needed for living. Today, the planets have barely enough water to produce life, if they even have any. The water on Venus and Mars evaporated into space, partly because of the huge impact of solar wind. However, Earth's magnetic field protects its surface from the effects of solar wind. Tropical regions near the equator of the Earth have a hot climate, because the sun's brightness shines almost straight overhead at noon. But other regions closer to the North Pole and South Pole have a cooler climate, because the sun never rises up very far above the horizon. Sunlight combined with water makes weather. For example, the sun makes water evaporate to form clouds. Those clouds reflect about 34% of the sun's light back into space. This reflection helps humans live on Earth, because if the clouds did not reflect any sunlight back into space, all humans on Earth would die of heat. These clouds help regulate Earth's temperature, too. They help to reflect just enough light back into space and let just enough light through them for humans to not overheat or freeze. Venus and Mars have no magnetic field, so they are not protected from the sun's effects.

A star such as our sun could begin as a nebula, and its potential end could be as a neutron star. A nebula is a cloud of gas, dust, and ice floating in space. If these clouds are big enough, stars can form within them. Clusters of 100,000 or more stars the size of our sun can form within a single nebula. The word "nebula" comes from the Latin word for cloud. Early astronomers also used the word for galaxies beyond the Milky Way. A supernova is the explosion of a star. The center part a star that has lost its outer layers in a supernova is called a "neutron star". Neutron stars collapse under gravity and become extremely dense. In about 5 billion years, scientists believe that the sun will die a spectacular death. As its hydrogen runs low, it will start to burn helium. Then the sun will bloat into a Red Giant, growing to where Venus orbits today. Once the helium is used up, it will shrink into a hot, white dwarf star about the size of Earth. Then it will cool. Even if there is life somewhere else in the universe, humans might not ever find it. Distances are so enormous in space that they are measured in light years. The closest star to our sun, Proxima Centauri, takes four light years to reach.

A beginning of a star could be a nebula, and the end could be a neutron star; yet stars and nebulae are too far away to be able to see clearly with the naked eye. The star that lights our solar system, the Sun, heats the planets and provides light, food, and even life on Earth. Our solar system used to be a massive cloud of gas, dust, and ice particles, but then it began to spin then shrink to form our sun and planets. The Sun provides life on Earth: without it there would be no food, no water, no weather-- no life at all. Without the food and water the Sun provides, humans would cease to exist.


by Heather Crawford

Crabs of all colors
scuttle beside me
as I walk along smooth dunes.
I am barely aware
of soft, smooth sand
below my feet;
in between my toes.
The sea looks like
a great blue sapphire without
any scratches. Salty mist from
the ocean swirls around my head.
I take one last look
at the beautiful blue stone:
the setting sun streaks it with
orange strands. The sea
looks elegant -- like a queen:
glittering and graceful and valiant.
And then I stop
and say to myself,
"Someday, I think I'll return
to this beautiful place."

Wackin' Tennis

by Ben Crogh

I like tennis because you get to hit the ball hard and run a lot. Tennis is just a really good challenge for people who like to be quick. It's really fun if you have the right technique. I get as mad as a bee when I miss. It's just the sport to get your blood going. I have a really good tennis racket and it's just the tool to have fun.


by Dillon Hill

Hockey is my number two sport.
It's really fun. I am the
team captain. When I score
a goal it feels as good as making one million
dollars. Slap shots make big
BOOMS! I like to shoot
the puck: my favorite shot is the wrist
shot. It has good power if you
do it right. The only thing
I don't like
about captain is
you have to do everything for your
team. But being captain is
still fun.


by Ben Crogh

Roaring Springs is my favorite
water park. Cold water gushes out of
the machines like a waterfall. When
I slide, the water
feels glacial cold. Every jump,
the splash explodes. Like fleece stockings,
the sidewalk warms my feet. The corndogs
are hot and delicious. I like their snow-
cones the best. Then I go home
tired and sleepy.

Crazy Dog

by Hannah Bodily

My dog has the
of a child with
A.D.H.D. on Mountain Dew.
If you hooked her up
to a Christmas tree
the lights would glow. Someday,
I hope to use this indispensable
to power a car. For now,
she powers my long board,
pulling me with her old
leather leash. She's
a rainbow of colors from
to shepherd-grey. She has
the build of a lab, and the
brain of one, too.
The legs of a shepherd, with the spunk
of a Chihuahua. She snarls
up her face and rears
like a stallion. She can
be so many different
things, like
a workhorse,
a power source,
and a wrestler. I'm not sure
if she's a dog at
all. One thing's for sure:
...she's crazy.

Run, Skip, Play

by Conner Charles

My little puppy, Molly,
just likes to run and play --
the cutest golden retriever you could ever have.
Sometimes she's so hyper
she could explode!
She's even more adorable than a baby;
she's the most precious pup in the world.

The Solar System

by Ben Crogh
4th grade

The Solar System came into being 4.6 billion years ago. The Sun is the center of our Solar System. Planets were gradually formed as the Solar System got older. After the planets were formed, meteoroids, chunks of iron in space which float through atmospheres, began to break up as they fell. It is fun to learn about the Solar System.

The Sun is a star at the center of our Solar System. A star is a ball of gasses that gets hot and starts to burn. Stars can last about 10,000,000,000 year. The Sun is middle-aged, as it is only 4,600,000,000 years old. The Sun's gasses burn at 18,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the center, which cause Solar Flares, sudden blasts of burning gas that catch fire and explode. Even though the Sun is hot, it is cool to learn about.

The order of the planets around the Sun is: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Every planet rotates because of gravity around the Sun in space. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, so it has the hottest temperatures. If all the planets in every solar system were the same distance from the Sun as the Earth is, there would be a hundred thousand planets with intelligent life. The planet Jupiter has the most cloudy atmosphere, with raging storms and lightening. Venus and Earth are twins, but they both are different when it comes to life: Earth has life and Venus does not. Pluto was a planet, but now it's a dwarf planet. It is the coldest planet in the Solar System. Planets are the number one thing students learn in science.

Meteors are small pieces of iron created when two asteroids collide. Meteoroids are called meteors when falling through an atmosphere. They break up and burn when entering an atmosphere. Sometimes pieces of them make it through the atmosphere and hit the earth where they form a crater. One meteor shower named "Lyrids" happens on April 19-24 every year. Meteors can be small or big but they are always meteors.

Meteors are small and big and in some places in space there are no meteors or meteoroids. Planets have land and atmospheres, but meteors do not have all of that. The Sun is made of gasses and keeps us warm so we do not freeze. the Sun is the biggest thing we can see that is a star. Some stars are bigger than the Sun, but they are far, far away, so they look small. The Solar System is what has all of this stuff inside of it; all of these things are what helps us stay living on planet Earth. Learning about the Solar System is fun and is also hard.


by Kathryn Egnew
6th grade

Soccer is a game that almost everyone has heard of. It has been played for hundreds of years in countries all over the world. For the people in Brazil, England, Germany, and many other places, soccer is the most popular sport. Some soccer historians think soccer evolved somewhere between 1200 B.C. and 300 A.D. In history, soccer was a game played in hundreds of places with many different names. The most important skills in soccer are passing, dribbling, and tackling. A few of the most famous players are David Beckham, Mia Hamm, and Franz Beckerbaur. Soccer is a great sport because it is easily understood yet pretty hard to play.

The history of soccer goes back a long time. Games that resembled soccer were played by Native Americans and Romans, and most likely evolved around 1700 B.C. In ancient Rome a soccer-like game was played. This game was called Harpashum. The Romans played with a hair-filled ball. Nobody knows if the ball could be touched with hands during Roman games, but some soccer historians think the Romans introduced the game to Britain where the modern game of soccer originated. Another game like soccer was played by some eastern tribes of Native Americans. The game was called Pasuckquakkohowog, meaning, "they gather to play ball with the foot." Each game consisted of teams from forty to 1000 players! In 1775 an English monk named William Fitzstephen described a game like soccer called ludus pilae. It was a rough and violent game: teams of no fewer than 100 players raced through city streets chasing a pig-skin ball. Over the centuries, various kings tried to suspend the game, but to no avail. All of these games resembled the game played today called soccer. Due to World War II, the World Cup was suspended from 1939-1945.

The most important skills in soccer are passing, dribbling, tackling, and juggling. When passing, the player with the ball looks for a teammate who does not have a player from the other team guarding her. The most direct pass uses the inside of the foot, as the player with the ball points his shoulders where the ball should go. Dribbling is another very important skill for soccer. When dribbling, a player uses both feet to move the ball up the field. Players try not to look at their feet so they can see where they are going and where they can pass the ball. Another skill is tackling. When tackling, a player uses her feet to steal the ball from a player on the other team. The easiest way to tackle is to tap or pull the ball out from under the other player with the feet only. Tackling is usually pretty aggressive. Shooting is usually a skill only a forward needs to know. When the forward shoots the ball, she wants the ball to go into the net so the team can score. For maximum power, the player leans forward slightly and drives through the ball to land on the kicking foot. To get the ball to go into the air, a player leans back slightly so the ball can flip up into the air. The last important skill is juggling. Juggling helps players learn control of the ball. When players juggle, they want to keep the ball in the air using any part of their body except their hands. When done correctly, strong skills can be very efficient.

Some of the world's most famous soccer players are Mia Hamm, David Beckham, Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele'), Franz Beckenbaur, and Roberto Baggio. Mia Hamm is an American female soccer player. She was born on March 17, 1973 in Selma, Alabama. She is probably one of the world's best-known female soccer players. She was the youngest female to play on the U.S. Nationals team: she played when she was only fifteen. David Beckham is another very famous soccer player. Beckham was born on May 12, 1975 in Leystone (a section of London), England. Beckham's soccer career started when he was seventeen and played for the team Manchester United. Edson Arantes do Nascimento (also known as Pele') was an amazing player from Brazil's champion soccer team. Pele' scored over 1,200 goals in his lifetime and led Brazil to the World Cup Championship in 1962 (when he was only 17), 1970, and 1985. A civil war was stopped so the Biafra soldiers could watch Pele' play. Franz Beckenbaur captained and coached West Germany's team to World Cup glory. Franz was voted his country's top player four times. He became so great at soccer because, when he was a boy, he foot-juggled with a tennis ball. Another famous player is Roberto Baggio. Baggio is a striker (forward) for Italy's team. The team paid $15 million to obtain his skills. He is a master at the back-heel pass, and ranks among the world's best dribblers.

In the United States there are many skillful soccer players, both male and female. When playing soccer, the skills and technique that a player has will reveal just how good she really is. Soccer is a famous sport all over the world. Thousands of people have played this sport for hundreds of years. Soccer is a great sport which helps players to be more active, quick, and strong. It can also help everyone with foot-eye coordination. Millions of fans watch the World cup and other soccer games every time they can.

Crazy Dog

by Hannah Bodily

My dog has the
of a child with
A.D.H.D. on Mountain Dew.
If you hooked her up
to a Christmas tree
the lights would glow. Someday,
I hope to use this indispensable
to power a car. For now,
she powers my long board,
pulling me with her old
leather leash. She's
a rainbow of colors from
to shepherd-grey. She has
the build of a lab, and the
brain of one, too.
The legs of a shepherd, with the spunk
of a Chihuahua. She snarls
up her face and rears
like a stallion. She can
be so many different
things, like
a workhorse,
a power source,
and a wrestler. I'm not sure
if she's a dog at
all. One thing's for sure:
...she's crazy.


by Conner Charles
5th grade

Aztecs are very interesting people who lived in Mexico. They were strong between 1325 and 1519; they invented cool things like a concept of time and calendars. Aztecs believed that once every fifty-two years the sun would not rise, and the world would end. The Aztecs had a hierarchy of merit and treated their leader like a god. Aztecs are interesting to learn about because they are both civilized and uncivilized.

The Aztecs lived on an island in the middle of Lake Texacoco in present-day Mexico. They had a hierarchy of merit, and the leader controlled the Aztec society. The person who controlled the tribe was called the "Great Speaker," and at the bottom of the social ladder were slaves. Military skill was one way Aztec warriors could get ahead. Warriors fought other tribes to capture prisoners for religious rites. One type of soldier was a spy called the "Jaguar." The soldiers had to work and get their own food, but the "Great Speaker" did not: he was treated like a god.

The Aztecs inhabited twenty square miles of land. They invented a certain type of calendar called the sacred calendar, or sacred almanac; it was 260 days long. It had two wheels: the left one had notches and the right one had pegs. The wheels turned together so that each time the named days spun, they fit with a new number. This sacred calendar had thirteen months of twenty days each. The right-hand wheel had twenty named days. The left-hand wheel had thirteen weeks. For the Aztecs, keeping track of time was very important because of religious reasons and because of their crops. They claimed to have sacrificed 80,000 prisoners to the dedication of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan, in order to keep their sun god, Huitzilopuchtli, calm.

Aztec astrologers studied the stars and used the sacred calendar to predict the future. At the end of the 52nd year, the first day of the sacred and solar calendars happened at the same exact time. The Aztecs feared that, at that point in time, the sun would not rise again. The Aztecs believed that those final days were dangerous because the world would stop existing. The five days at the end of the year were known as nemontimi, or "nothing days." The Aztecs believed that if a baby were born on one of those five days he would not do them any good. On midnight of the twelfth day of the 53rd year, the priests sacrificed a human victim and carried torches around the countryside so that the land would be safe for another 52 years.

At the end of every 52 years, the Aztec sacred and solar calendars began a new year at the same exact time. It was believed that the sun would not rise because of this conjunction, so the Aztecs sacrificed a person to make their society safe for another 52 years. The Aztecs invented two different calendars because one was to tell them when to grow crops and the other was for religious events. Living in what is now Mexico, the Aztecs treated their leader like a god. The Aztecs invented cool things like ways to measure time, and had a hierarchy of merit. Even though Aztecs are very interesting and fun, they still know how to be serious when it comes to sacrifices.

Ski Racing

by Hannah Bodily

My mind is racing, the tension is building up in my stomach, and I feel like someone dunked me in water and then in the freezer. I'm fifth in what seems to be a never-ending line of speed suits. I'm slowly advancing as the racers, one-by-one, go through the gate and down the course. My mind is drowning in a sea of thoughts: Will I crash? Will I win? Will I lose?

I need to round up my renegade thoughts because I'm in the start gate. I can hear the man at the start talking into his radio: "Racer number four is on the course, and racer number five's in the gate." I gaze down at the course and see gates staring at me menacingly. I can hear my teammates cheering me on wildly. It's time.

The man says, "Racer ready. 5...4...3...2...1! With a strong push, I'm out. I get into my rhythm and hear the steady tone of my shins making contact with the gate: whoosh, click, whoosh, click. As I advance down the course, I can hear the announcer: "Hannah Bodily on the course, and Sadi Mosko in the gate."

I'm more than halfway down the course and almost there. I skate through the finish. I hear a bunch of congratulating voices. I go over to the time board and see that I'm in the lead by seven seconds!

I can taste victory: It's pizza! I go into the lodge to have a slice. Then I realize that I have a second run.


by Conner Charles

My whole family is like the whole world!
I have seven people in my family
when they're all home.
All you can hear is, "bla,bla,bla: go football team!"
We are the family that has the most attraction to sports.
The whole family wears down
the coauch all day. And then, of course,
you have to play with Molly
our light gold golden retriever -- the fluffiest
dog ever.


by Betsy Sabala

Skating is like riding a bike
for the first time: you try and
try until it is perfect.
When you tie your skates on and
get ready to glide onto the ice
everything disappears
out of your head.Waiting
for your name to be called and
the music to start, you hear
the crowd yelling:
"Go win!" "Get the gold!"
Then Silence falls, quiet
as snow falling to the ground.

all you have
to do is
your best.

Tactics of Golf

by Conner Charles

Golf is probably the most challenging sport ever known to man.It took me eighty years to learn how to play.A lot of people think they can play golf, but they can't.When you first start, it seems you have to hit the ball twenty miles. When you hit the ball, you don't want to hit too hard or too easy; it's like trying to hit it over boiling lava to the tiny green that the hole is on.

When you swing with the club, you can't bend or move your knees or else the ball won't go where you need it to go.A player must keep his arms straight when he swings, and follow through after he hits the ball. When you get the hang of it, it feels like you can play like Tiger Woods.


by Hannah Bodily
6th grade

Without flowers, all living things would be extinct. Through pollination, flowers make fruits and vegetables. Flowers are a very important part of the food chain. Flowers come in all different shapes and sizes, and bloom in different times of the day. Some flowers are more peculiar than that. For instance, there is a flower that weighs up to twenty pounds. On the other hand, there is a flower that is no bigger than the head of a pin. Flowers are an important addition to the world that allow life to exist on earth.

Pollination is a very delicate and important process. Without it, there would be no flowers. No flowers = no fruits and vegetables. Without fruits and vegetables, there would be no life on Earth. That is one of the many reasons pollination is important. For this process to go through, a flower must have a stamen and pistils. Most flowers have both. The stamen is the male part of the flower, and the pistils are the female part. Flowers cannot pollinate on their own, though they can with the help of bees and other pollinators. On its way to get nectar, the bee picks up pollen from the stamen on the bee's fuzz. Then the bee rubs off the pollen onto the pistils. The pollen travels down the pistils and into the ovaries, and makes seeds. The path seeds take to get outside the flower differs from flower to flower. If it is a fruiting flower, birds will come and eat the fruit, and the seeds will fall out and become new flowers. Sometimes the flower falls off the stem and the seeds develop into new plants. Bees are not the only pollinators. Other pollinators include birds, flies, butterflies, and even bats.

Flowers are usually pollinated by animals that are suited to the flower. For instance, flowers pollinated by hummingbirds have cup-like entrances for the birds' straw-like beaks, while bee flowers usually have landing pads. Although pollination is what creates life, even that could not exist without help from the occasional bird, bat, bee, or bug.

Just as a child needs at least nine hours of sleep, flowers need six to eight hours of darkness. The amount of darkness a flower needs to bloom the next day is called "critical night length". Some flowers have more demanding critical night lengths than others. These flowers are classified as short-day plants, or SDP's. These flowers are known to grow best in the Spring and Fall, because of the short days and long nights. These flowers need at least sixteen hours of sleep. Even if one hour of extra light occurs, the flower will not bloom. There are also LDP's, or Long Day Plants. LDP's grow best in the summer when nights are short and days are long. LDP's are not affected by extra hours of sunlight. With very few hours of darkness, LDP's achieve their critical night length and bloom. Some flowers, however, need no "sleep" to bloom. These DNP's, or Day Neutral Plants, grow best from Spring to Fall. One biologist made a clock to show the blooming time of certain flowers. His name was Carrolus Linnaeus. He studied flowers and noted what times they bloomed. After observing enough flowers, he put one flower where every hour should be on the face of a clock. For instance, he put a picture of a lily at seven AM, and a mouse-ear hawkweed at eight AM. When flowers reach their critical night length and bloom, they make the world a beautiful place to be.

Not all flowers are small, delicate, and good-smelling. For instance, the rafflesia weighs twenty pounds and smells like rotten meat. This stench attracts its main pollinator: the fly (no other pollinator would dare touch it). A similar flower is the carrion. It also stinks and even looks like rotten meat (thus, the name "carrion"). Some flowers use trickery to attract pollinators. The Bee Orchid looks and smells like a female bee. The male bees attempt to mate with it, but end up pollinating the flowers instead. With these flowers it truly is survival of the fittest. They have learned to evolve and adapt to their harsh rainforest environment, where weeds and trees rule. Human society could certainly learn from these flowers, daring to live where no human would.

Flowers reveal examples of how to adapt in a harsh environment. They make earth a wonderous place to live. All the credit should not go to flowers, however, because without their pollinators, they would cease to thrive. Most importantly, flowers offer food, medicine, and health products. Fruit and vegetables from flowers make up approximately two-fifths of the food group. Since every part of the food group is important for nourishment, humans would die out without flowers.

King of the House

by Heather Quiel

Never giving us a break
of his kitty playfulness, he doesn't
look like a Siamese, but he
is a Siamese cat, and
a big, dark one
at that.
Rascal looks like a
furry, plump marshmallow,
with a Siamese face.
Rascal thinks he's king of everything.
As you set out his food, you can
hear a "plop, plop, plop,"
up the stairs and a
"crash!" on the table, like
a lion ganging up on its

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