Student spotlight: Samuel


“It is so hot the sand in the desert is a wavy wooden floor.”

Brave Writer mom, Lilian writes:

Hi Julie,

We are 1st year Bravewriters and loving it for so many reasons. As per your suggestion, we started the school year with 8 Friday Freewrites. My son, Samuel (age 10), then selected one to revise and has worked on it the last 2-3 weeks. He focused on expanding on sentences (I think he did 3 additional freewrites of individual sentences), adding more “colorful” verbs and adjectives, avoiding repetition of words/phrases and capitalization & spelling.

I would love to share his original and final copy. He typed it up himself this morning and was clearly very proud. It has been a great writing exercise that was met with interest, enthusiasm and pride.

Really enjoying your Daily Writing Tips. Keep many of them on file for down the road. You truly have made writing fun in our household.

Thanks for your stimulating curriculum. It is the great addition to our school day this year, for sure.



(original 7 minute freewrite)

I have army Guys that I like to Play with. I like to play with them because I imagine that they are actully fighting and their guns and shooting. I like to Play with them in the family room not the tv room but the other one. The army are at war with cowboys and Indins. I always mak it realictick. Also I make the army win because they have a lot more men than just the cowboy and Indin. (because they are only 2 people.)

(final copy)

The temperature is 108 F. It is so hot the sand in the desert is a wavy wooden floor. The smell of burning toast arises out of the tall, grassy battlefield. It provides shelter for all sorts of creepy creatures. The sound of guns is like a very, very, VERY big firework. I introduce to you . . .

The cowboy’s name is Bob and the Indian’s name is Joe. They formed an alliance because they have a sonar system that detected the army. So they got ready. By the way, the cowboy invited more cowboys (they will attack from behind). The Indian did the same. In my battle the cowboy and Indian do terrific stunts like back flips to avoid the bullets. Also they say hiiiiiiiiii yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! and karate chop the heads of the soldiers.

One thousand one-inch men march vigorously across my living room. The sergeants look like they are surrendering and have a grenade in one hand and a pistol in the other. My favorite army man is a running soldier holding a machine gun. The generals reveal pistols and walkie –talkies. One type of soldier crouches and aims his machine gun. Another stands up and looks like he is about to fire. One more jumps to avoid a bullet.

The pack of soldiers is loaded with guns and gun powder. Bob and Joe are crouched beneath the tall, dry grass. Joe keeps whispering to Bob about sneaking around to the side and attacking but Bob says “It’s too risky.” The soldiers load and fire because they detect Bob and Joe. Finally, Bob and Joe come into action. They backflip and karate chop the soldiers with their guns. Bob fires and hurts a soldier. The second Bob land, he gets shot. Joe must help him. Joe yelps Berr-nerr Berr-nerr Berr-nerr , his call for backup. One hundred cowboys have guns loaded. One soldier loads and fires at Joe. Joe doesn’t notice and gets shot and belly flops on the ground. The army fires and fires and fires and FIRES until all the cowboys and Indians are killed. Sixty- five soldiers were wounded and one sergeant got hurt. The army was victorious!

What a great example of the freewriting and revision processes! I was utterly riveted throughout. Samuel’s use of detail (108 degrees, wavy wooden floor), vivid verbs (crouches and aims), karate chop sounds (onomatopoeia), and suspense (“It’s too risky!”) were genius. Loved the rapport between Bob and Joe. Perfect.


Image by .EVO.

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