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Showing posts from March, 2007

About This Blog

The host of this blog is Alice C. Linsley. If you teach writing, you are invited to send me some of your students' best pieces and I will consider publishing them. All of the writings on this blog are the work of my students or of students whose writing has been sent to me by teachers I know. Students must agree to publication and, in the case of minors, I must verify parental permission before work can be published at this site. Only the student's name and grade are published, no other identifying information.

If you would like to know more about the logistics of publishing your students' work at this site, please contact me. I may be reached at

I do not publish any writings that include profanity or erotica. The purpose of this blog is to help teachers teach good writing and to publish good student writing. If a piece has been published elsewhere, the publication is cited here.

My writing students learn the craft of writing as if they were going to beco…

Nature Clips

Most students love nature and have enough experience of phenomena to be able to write reflectively. It is best not to ask them to write long poems about nature, as their experiences usually cannot sustain extended exploration, but a strong short poem is better than a long weak one. Here are some nature clips written by students.

View of the Sea
Justin Clements (California)
Grade 10

The sea eats ships
beneath an endless darkness.
Salt burns eyes and dries flesh.
Slippery greens tickle fish at play
and moored boats
rise and
as waves crash.

Winter's Alliteration
Justin Clements (California)
Grade 10

Frail relationships are made firm
when flurries fly.
Families form
when frost falls.
Neighborhoods forget
distances, fences and yards
watching children frolic
in winter's frigid fantasy.

Morning Birdsong
Sam Whitaker (Ohio)
Grade 11

Still sleepy eyed,
the birds taunt me
to join in song and so I do.
Together, in perfect harmony
we praise the sunrise.
For one glad moment
I feel all the happiness promised
of a new…

Focus on Details

Alice C. Linsley

One challenge facing every writer is learning to focus on something long enough to notice the finer details. Students who aren't able to focus on details produce flat writing. They need to practice being observant and putting their observations in writing. This is the objective of focused writing assignments, such as this work by Danny Trent of Kentucky, grade 10.

Hard Boiled Egg (Jan. 17, 2004)

I've been asked to focus on and write a description of a single simple object and I selected a hard boiled egg. I'm sitting at the dining room table with the hard boiled egg in front of me. It is resting in an Easter egg cup. This egg cup is one of my Mom's that she uses to serve soft boiled eggs on Easter morning. The egg cup has a sky blue zigzag pattern with pink dots. This pattern runs horizontally around the cup. I will focus on the egg and relate it to the cup, but the cup is not the focus of my writing. I'm focusing on the hard boiled egg.

The egg …