Student Writing

What can my students write? That’s a good question. Some of my students are great. Most of them make real progress.

Here is a writing sample from one student. This person attends a Korean middle school where English is taught at a low level. This student spent one year in a North American school so English is this person’s second language.

The purpose of this writing exercise was to develop the writer’s voice. I did that by asking the writer to become a different character. In other words, to see the world from a different perspective and write about what the character sees.

Here is this student’s writing. It is the result of three edits. The writing has not been changed by me; all errors have been left in the story.


How gentle is the rain that falls softly on the meadow. It is a beautiful morning. But my babies are crying for food. I have to get bugs.

“Mom. I am dying of hunger.” says my baby bird.

“Me too. Help me” another baby said.

So I stand straight, open my wings and jump in to the blue sky. It is hard to find bugs today. I guess I have to go deeper in to the woods.

“Bang. Bang.”

Oh. That is the sound of the hunters’ gun. I have to get out of here. Wait. There are bugs under that tree. I should get them and go back to my babies. The hunter is coming. I should go. The hunter is looking at me and now running towards me. Again, stand up straight and open my wings and jump into the sky.


Wow that was close. I almost got killed by the hunter. I can see my babies over there crying for me.

“Mommy, I’m hungry.”

Baby birds take the bugs I brought and start to eat like my old friend piggy the pig. It is a wonderful day today.


Nice work.

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