Writing Workshop Pieces



by Kenneth Weinrauch
(2nd grade)

Earth is 93 million miles from the Sun. It is 4 ½ billion years old. On land, we can play soccer, hike, and play basketball. In water, people swim and dive and float. Air and space surround the Earth. Earth is fun, because it is our home.

Land is made of layers of rock and soil. Gold miners go into the earth and find gold. Water eats away limestone: by eating it, the water forms caves. There was a mountain and the Colorado River wore rock bit by bit and formed a canyon. Mount Everest is the highest place on Earth. Limestone captured sea fossils more than 100 million years ago. The planet Earth is named after its land.

Without water, there would be no life on Earth. Water falls from clouds as rain. There is one big ocean in the world. Water from oceans is too salty to drink. By the late 1800's, scientists had discovered 4,717 new water species. Every year, Antarctica gets a layer of ice: each layer of ice has a record of the air. Raindrops, ponds, lakes, rivers, and oceans support life on Earth.

Air and space surround the earth. Earth spins on an imaginary line from the North Pole to the South Pole. There are two types of planets: rocky ones, and gas giants. Gravity holds everything in place. 500 years ago, people thought that Earth was the center of the solar system. Copernicus shocked everybody. He showed that Earth orbited around the sun. Solar winds would destroy life on earth. Atmosphere is what we breathe.

Air and space surrounds the earth and reaches out into the universe. Water covers about 70 percent of the earth's surface. On land, trees grow, plants grow, and in mountains there are caves. Earth is the planet that we live on.


Kids Discover magazine: Earth. Kids Discover Publishing; Boulder, CO: March, 2004. Volume 14, Issue 3. pp. 8-9, 12-15.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc.; Chicago, IL: 1993. Volume E: pp. 22, 26. Volume O; p. 657. Volume W-X-Y-Z: pp. 120-121.


by Gabriell Shafer
(2nd grade)

For 130 million years, flowers have grown on the earth. There are lots of parts in a flower. Smells and colors help keep away predators, and attract pollinators. There are lots of types of flowers: they all make air. I like flowers seeds.

Flowers have many parts. The anther makes pollen for the plant. Roots are at the ground and help get food for the plant. The stamen is the male part of the plant, and the pistil is the female part. The stigma is on top of the flower, and it receives pollen. All these parts help the plant reproduce.

Flowers are colored to attract pollinators. The African violet contains a pigment called violanin. The wood lily is a reddish-yellow. Forget-me-nots can be blue to white to orange. Saline shooting stars are pinkish-blue. An Indian pipe is bright white and looks like a buttercup. When you are picking a bouquet of flowers, it is good to have lots of colors.

There are lots of types of flowers. Water lilies need to grow in water: you can find them in ponds. The Fly orchid has the shape and color of a fly. Poinsettia leaves turn pink, red, white, and yellow at Christmas. The Rafflesia measures up to three feet wide (91 centimeters), and grows in southeast Asia. Stone plants have leaves that look like stones. There are lots of flowers for different environments.

It's good to have lots of types of flowers in a bouquet. You should only plant good-smelling flowers in your garden. Every time you look at a flower, you see petals, right? People don't usually look inside at the parts of a flower. I love flowers because they grow.


Kids Discover magazine: Flowers. Kids Discover Publishing; Boulder, CO: April, 1995. Volume 5, Issue 4. p. 5.

Went, Frits W. The Plants. Time-Life Books; New York, NY: 1963. pp. 33, 69.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc.; Chicago, IL: 1993. Volume F: pp. 270, 277, 280-281, 285, 287.


by Jasmine Robertson
(3rd grade)

Light has been in our solar system and universe since the beginning of time. The beauty of light makes people stare. Light creates energy for some machines. Sometimes, light is slow, and other times, it is fast. Light is pretty useful because it helps people see objects.

The beauty of light amazes people. A rainbow is formed when sunlight shines through raindrops. The sun rises and sets each day, making the sky full of red, pink, orange, and yellow. The Aurora Borealis colors are green, purple, blue, and turquoise. It looks like a colorful ribbon moving across the sky. Different light wavelengths make colors. When lightning strikes, people see light and energy at the same time. In January 2018, there was a Super Blue Blood moon that amazed people everywhere.

The energy of light helps some machines, plants, and people move. Sunflowers turn their faces to follow the sun. Light gives people Vitamin D so they can have strong bones to move. The Mars Rover depends on the sun so it can roll across Mars. Fire is light that can fly a hot-air balloon. Most people use gas or electricity for energy, but some people have a solar panel farm or a solar panel on the roof. Light is a form of power.

Light travels faster in air than under water. When a star is 1,000,000 miles away from Earth, its light takes light years to reach our eyes. If light raced against runner Carl Lewis, the light would be 186,000 miles out, and Carl would only be 40 feet. Light under water is slower than on land. The light of a star that people see today is probably already burned out. The speed of light is hard to write about.

The starlight people see today is probably from the age of dinosaurs. A solar panel collects light for energy. At night, the beautiful moon, and in the day, an orange sun, give lovely light. Light helps people see in the dark universe.


Kids Discover magazine: Light. Kids Discover Publishing; Boulder, CO: October, 1993. Volume 3, Issue 8. pp. 2-3, 9, 12-13, 17.

Robertson, Mark. McCall, ID: Personal interview. January, 2018.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc.; Chicago, IL: 1993. Volume L: pp. 285, 291. Volume S; p. 975.


fun, easy
passing, blocking, shooting
game, sport, rink, blade
spinning, jumping, gliding
fast, hard

Kenneth Weinrauch (2nd grade)

shady, tall
swaying, falling, breaking
plant, leaves, petals, butterfly
swaying, floating

Nina Giddings (4th grade)

colorful, pretty
disappearing, curving, floating
long, big, droplets, cotton
snowing, raining, shading
fluffy, puffy

Maddison Keplinger (2nd grade)

complicated, fun
folding, making, looking
square, paper, triangular, bearing
fidgeting, spinning, sparking
fun, active
Fidget Spinners

Gabriell Shafer (2nd grade)

bright, hot
shining, burning, spinning
star, orb, rock, satellite
freezing, spinning, orbiting

Kenneth Weinrauch (2nd grade)

hot, bright
burning, building, catching
pit, blaze, water, cloud
dripping, floating, falling
cold, wet

Nina Giddings (4th grade)

hot, electric
sparking, zapping, burning
flash, bolt, crystal, water
freezing, hailing, smashing
cold, slippery

Gabriell Shafer (2nd grade)

high, strong
flying, twisting, spinning
leap, hop, turn, revolve
turning, dizzying, rotating
fun, easy

Maddison Keplinger (2nd grade)

bossy, pretty
singing, demanding, ruling
girl, crown, cape, boy
bossing, walking, eating
clean, exciting

Nina Giddings (4th grade)

big, cozy
playing, sleeping, eating
building, house, classrooms, teachers
learning, reading, writing
fun, easy

Kenneth Weinrauch (2nd grade)

green, fuzzy
inching, munching, crawling
leaves, cocoons, pretty, decorative
fluttering, flapping, floating
delicate, beautiful

Maddison Keplinger (2nd grade)


by Gabriell Shafer
(2nd grade)

Once upon a time, there was an elephant. This elephant was not a regular elephant. . .

He was SMALL! AS! A! CRUMB! And he ate dust. He was stronger than a tornado, but he was still small!

He did not like this. Then: zzzst! He flew away and crashed. He is big now, and he's happy forever. THE END.


by Kenneth Weinrauch
(2nd grade)

Daddy played in the sun:
it was so fun,
he didn't want to be done.

The fun bear was so sad,
he didn't like to be mad.
He wanted to play with his dad.

The yellow dog couldn't be seen –
he was as small as a bean,
and didn't like to see a machine.


by Maddison Keplinger
(2nd grade)

I love to slide on the ice probably more than everybody. I love to ice skate with my friends: come and skate with me! We will have a great time together. Ice skating is as fun as going down water slides. I love to do my favorite tricks, like one-foot glides. I love to do them so much. Come and glide on the ice with me. My blades sound like: cccch.


by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

My pets are Fluffy my bunny, Stormaggedon and Houdini, my kittens, and Mr. Bubbles my fish. Out of all those pets, Fluffy's the best: he has a little pink nose and soft fur. He's adorable.

My bunny Fluffy is very soft. He likes to travel, but doesn't like the driving. He feels like a stuffed animal, and smells like dirt. He doesn't make any sound, but is the size a picture book, and is black and white.

Stormaggedon and Houdini, my cats, are orange, and feel like soft blankets. They smell like tuna, and like to be petted, but they don't like to be held. We found them on the side of the road. They are new members of the family.

Our fish, Mr. Bubbles, is our oldest pet. Fish wake up with any quiet sound. He feels like a snake and is red and blue. He's a Beta fish, and has big eyes.


by Maddison Keplinger
(2nd grade)

The brown rattlesnake
loves to be fake,
and always bakes his friends birthday cake.

The snake was slimy and green:
he acts like a silly bean,
and he loves to lean.

My dad felt so sad
then my dad became glad,
because I was skating so rad.


by Jasmine Robertson
(3rd grade)

Snuggling is so much fun with my cat Cosmo. He can be a pill sometimes, because Cosmo is a stubborn cat. My cat is as stubborn as a rhino. I like snuggling with Cosmo because he is as big and fluffy as a wooly mammoth. All we care about when we snuggle my cat is that we love him and he loves us.

When my cat purrs, Cosmo sounds like a motorcycle going down the highway. But my cat is truly singing a song. He sings: "I love you, yes, it is truuuue. I doooooo!" Now that's why I like snuggling with my cat Cosmo.


by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

Apple sweet; apple sour, I pick you off my tree in the fall. As soft as a blanket in a cozy chair, this apple is as sweet as a lollipop; as soft as taffy. You can eat it when it falls off the tree. Crabapples are like cherry blossoms: good smelling and great, blowing off one tree to the other. I'll eat you 'til I'm full.


by Jasmine Robertson
(3rd grade)

Just ripe as a cherry;
sweet as sugar cane;
sour as a pickle. Inside:
as soft as a cat. It looks
like an apple, but
a crabapple will stay with
me for two minutes.


by Maddison Keplinger
(2nd grade)

Dogs have existed for more than 10,000 years in every country in the world. Puppies need their mothers' help to grow big and strong. It is hard work to care for your dog. Many types of dogs have different talents. I think dogs are cute because they have big eyes.

Puppies are baby dogs. Baby dogs get milk from their mothers. Dogs make noises to send messages, like barking or growling. They nip each other to tell the other dogs who is boss. Every twelve weeks, a pup is ready to leave home. All puppies become dogs.

It is very hard to take care of a dog. Owners must give their pets water in a bowl. Some dogs get food from cans or eat cooked eggs or cottage cheese. You need to cut their nails with special cutters, and brush their fur. Owners must play with their dogs because dogs like play.

There are many kinds of dogs. A bloodhound can sniff out the best hiding place, and a terrier can chase foxes and badgers. Working dogs help rescue people and drag sleds. Herding dogs help farmers bring sheep to their pens, and sporting dogs help bird hunters sniff out and capture birds. Some kinds of dogs don't like to play or fetch. There are more than 300 kinds of dogs in the world.

There are more than ninety types of dogs in the world. Owners must give their dogs water when they are thirsty, because like flowers, dogs grow if you give them water. Dogs are very special because some of them rescue people, and that is special about dogs.


Kids Discover magazine: Dogs. Kids Discover Publishing; Boulder, CO: August, 2000. Volume 10, Issue 7. pp. 4-5, 12-13.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc.; Chicago, IL: 1993. Volume D: pp. 278-279.

Rain Forests

by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

Rain forests grow in tropical places near the equator. They have existed since plants were starting to grow. The Amazon River is a place that many people explore. Many plants only grow in the rain forest. The animals in the rain forest are unique and brightly-colored. I've always loved to see pictures of rain forests. Rain forests are beautiful.

The Amazon River is in South America. It is the second largest river in the world. At some places, the river is too wide to see across. In a few places, the river can be forty feet deep. The Amazon River is 4,000 miles long: longer than the route between New York City and San Francisco. More than 1,500 birds make their home in the Amazon.

Plants make rain forests green and spectacular. Rain forests are home to half the world's plants and animals. The biggest flower in the world, the Rafflesia, is three feet wide and weighs twenty pounds. In some places in the rain forests, 325 inches of rain may fall per year. The canopy of many trees reaches a height of 150 feet. Rain forest plants even grow in the rivers. All of these plants need water to survive.

Some rain forest animals use camouflage and it's like they're not even there. Others are colored brightly and can be spotted easily. One square mile of South America's Amazon rain forest may be home to as many as 1,500 species of butterflies. A piranha's teeth are so sharp, some people use them for tools. Squirrel monkeys look kind of like flying squirrels, and are about as big as a kitten. They only live in the rain forests of South and Central America. A few toucans have bills longer than their own bodies. Almost all of the animals in the rain forest depend on other animals and plants for food, water, and shelter.

The plants in the rain forest are unusual. Many animals of the rain forest attract mates by dancing in strange ways. The Amazon River basin makes up almost one third of all the rain forest we have. Rain forests are being cut down for paper and wood, but many people are trying to protect them. It is important to remember all of that because animals are losing their homes, and even just a little bit of help helps.


Kids Discover magazine: Rain Forests. Kids Discover Publishing; Boulder, CO: May, 1993. Volume 3, Issue 5. pp. 2, 4, 6, 9.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book, Inc.; Chicago, IL: 1993. Volume A: pp. 402-403. Volume D: p. 520. Volume T: p. 450.


by Kenneth Weinrauch
(2nd grade)

School is fun, because my friends and I like to learn. We all like school because we can makes puzzles and play with blocks at recess. The blocks are hard to stack. When the blocks fall, they make a Boom! We all make hard puzzles, with 500 pieces.

I like walking in the hallways because you have to be very quiet. Then we go outside and play cops and robbers. It is fun playing with each other. The teacher gives us spelling and math and cursive.


by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

Jasmine has divorced parents, but she's not lonely. She has all thirteen of her pets: eight chickens, two dogs, five fish, and her cat Cosmo. She also has a lot of animals in her backyard, too. She has cattle, fox, deer, elk, birds, and chipmunks. When she's in her backyard, she's really peaceful.

When Jasmine is bored, she'll probably write a book or listen to music. When she's listening to upbeat music, she says, "It motivates me!"

Every year when January 8th comes, she's really excited. It's her birthday. When she gets out of bed, she thinks: "Wahoo! My birthday!" On Christmas, she helps make cookies and then they have a feast. Jasmine thinks, "Christmas is amazing."

Jasmine says that, if she could have a whale, she would ride it to see all the other animals in the ocean.


by Gabriell Shafer
(2nd grade)

A big brown school
fell in a huge pool.
The cat started to drool.

The white fluffy cat
sat on the black fuzzy mat.
He patted that little rat's hat.

The sad dad
turned very bad.
He'd rather be glad.


by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

Once, there was an owl named Burt. He was just a little owl. When he hatched from his egg he was so adorable, his mom loved him. But one day, when his mom left to get some food, some workers came and put a red mark on their tree. Now, Burt was watching all this. He wondered what they were doing.

The next day, when his mom left, the workers came again; but his time, the workers started cutting down his tree! It was really loud. When Burt heard a final CHOP, the tree started falling!

Burt started to cry. He cried and wept. When his mom came back, she was surprised to see nothing. The workers had towed the tree with Burt away.

When the workers took the tree off the truck, they noticed a hole. They looked inside to find: Burt! Burt squeaked: he was scared.

The workers didn't know what to do, so they walked to the animal rescue center, where they gave Burt to an expert, who said, "We'll call him Burt." What a coincidence, thought Burt.

The next day, a helper took Burt to an examining room, where they gave Burt a checkup. Then the helper took Burt to a different room, which had logs and trees and plants. It was dark and had feed bowls all over. There were five other owls and Burt had hope to live.

The next day, Burt made a friend. His name was Andy. They played tag every day, and ate together, and slept together, and did everything together. The helpers taught them many things like how to catch mice, and how to fly. Burt loved it there.

One day, a helper took Burt and Andy and put them outside. Burt and Andy didn't know what to do. The helper was shooing them away, so they flew away. Later, Andy ran into something, so Burt flew over, and you'll never believe who it was: Burt's mom! Ever since, that day, they've been living with Burt's mom.


by Jasmine Robertson
(3rd grade)

There was a cat
that always sat
on the terrible mystery hat.

There was a mystery school
which lived in a very haunted pool
created by a nasty drip of drool.

I have an enormous kite;
it's a mystery when it gets white.
Then amazingly, it takes flight.

Beautiful, amazing Monday
watching sailboats on Crab Bay
from a trail of wet, soggy hay.

I once did frog origami
while I ate stinky, stinky salami
during a long tsunami.

There was a long, long, long line
in your wonderful mind
to a magnificent star that will shine.

Fidget Spinners

by Gabriell Shafer
(2nd grade)

Fidget spinners are fun, because they spin fast. I love how they spin. They sound like: eeeek! They can spin for two days. You can spin them with me - - we can spin them together. They have three points, which you flick to spin them.


by Nina Giddings
(4th grade)

The crazy hatter
asked, "What's the matter?"
to the gooey batter.

The very big cruel,
terrible, horrible school
made the worst, most treacherous rule.

In the morning on Monday,
Harriet was humming, when we heard someone say,
"Go, go, go RUN to the watery bay!"

The very colorful kite
took an amazing flight
in the dank, damp night.

The big gray school
had a nice cool,
watery, green pool.

There was a wet, dark mine
which had a big brown sign.
The sign said, "Be good and shine!"

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