Monday, September 22, 2008

Writing Prompt: Insect Experience

At a training on Friday, we were all invited to spend ten minutes and write in response to a fifth grade writing prompt. This one happened to be last year's for Idaho's Direct Writing Assessment. When I read the prompt, I balked. I have no personal experiences with insects. And by insect, does that mean that one cannot write about a spider or other non-six legged creatures? But then I remembered this little adventure in college...So here's my first draft, written in 10 minutes, typed for your reading pleasure. If you choose to jot out a response to this writing prompt, feel free to post it! I'd love to read it.

Fifth-Grade Narrative Direct Writing Assessment 2007-08
Writing Assignment
: Write a personal narrative for your teacher about an experience you had with an insect.

Shrieks echoed down the hallway of the girls’ dorm. Startled, I dropped my books and darted into the hall, looking for the source of noise. More cries spiraled out of an open doorway, these more distinguishable.

“Amber! Where’s Amber?” Squeals, terrified and high-pitched, followed.

Pounding footsteps thudded toward me, and I saw my sister zipping down toward the open door, her long hair flying behind me.

“I’m coming,” she yelled.

I followed more slowly, worried, curious, a bit perplexed. What I found bemused me further. My sister huddled scrunched up on the ground, butt in the air, as she peered beneath the bed, one arm extended, the other supporting her.

“I’ve almost got it,” she announced.

Girls, who crowded the doorway but refused to entered, collectively gasped, making various “yuck” sounds.

“What’s it?” I asked, noticing that I alone actually stood in the room.

“A cockroach!” someone answered just as the insect crawled to safety, spread its wings, and buzzed into restricted airspace.

My sister leaped to her feet. “Broom!” she called. “I need a broom!”

Just as I felt a weight land on my head, prickling through strands of hair, I heard my sister say. “Don’t move, Sis. Stay. Still.”

She crept toward me as if stalking skittish prey. “Easy now,” she whispered.

Blood drained from my face. But my younger sister, once the tag-along tattle-tale nuisance, reached past sibling rivalry and plucked the cockroach, sticky feet clinging, to become my newest hero.


Anonymous said...

nice piece. I too balked at the prompt, but only because it sounded to me like it was silly or elementary (yes, I know it was for elementary school children, but you know what I mean). After reading your response to it, it appears that even the silliest of prompts can bring about good work. And it was indeed good work.

Also, I know many girls that that squeal when any bug appears - like my wife. :P

Alex Moore said...

thanks, took a couple of moments to think of something that had happened to me. I can't imagine what it's like being a fifth grader trying to come up with something!

Inland Empire Girl said...

What an interesting prompt. I may have to try this with my students.