By Jamie Nanfara
As the end of summer rapidly approaches it is time to start thinking about the new school year and the many questions that come with it. Will my best friend be in the same class? What will my classroom look like? Who is my new teacher?
One thing is for sure – you can easily impress your new teacher with just a little preparation. Almost all teachers will ask you to write a story about one of your summer adventures during the first week of school. It’s their way of getting to know you and your writing style. Get a head start with these five easy steps and impress your teacher the very first week of school!
Step 1: Choose a Topic
Make a list of places you visited or problems you encountered this summer. Then, narrow it down to one or two that really give you the feels! Try to pick small topics – not the entire weeklong road trip you took to Uncle Ben’s lake house. Instead, write about the day you had a cannonball contest at the town pool or about how a rainstorm forced you to invent a new game of indoor hide and seek.
Step 2: Write with Detail
First we put on our bathing suits. Then we jumped into the pool. We had fun. Then we went home. Don’t write like a robot. Your new teacher wants to hear details about your summer adventure. How did you feel? What were people saying? What was your body doing? Did you spring off the diving board, scrunch your legs into your body, and land in the water with the biggest splash of the day? Then write it!
Step 3: Have Fun with It
Get creative! Writing can be so much more than just words on paper. Use bold print or CAPITAL letters to show your excitement. Use sound words like SPLASH, kerplunk, and drip. Use ellipses to show … SUSPENSE! Add pictures and speech bubbles to show action and dialogue. Have fun with your story!
Step 4: End Strong
Wrap up your story with an ending that doesn’t leave your reader asking, “… and then what?!” End with a thought, strong feeling, or wish for the future. It was the best day of the summer and I can’t wait to jump off the diving board again!
Step 5: Proofread
When you finish writing, reread your story out loud to see if it makes sense. Check for misspelled words and make sure you’re using proper punctuation and capitalization. Then, get ready for your new teacher to be impressed!
Still stuck on Step 1? Check out these books to help inspire your summer adventure stories.
Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Written and illustrated by Julie Brinckloe
Published by Alladin Books
Come On, Rain
Written by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Published by Scholastic
Written by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Published by Candlewick Press
Written and illustrated by John Rocco
Published by Hyperion Books
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ABOUT JAMIE NANFARA
Jamie is an elementary school teacher and freelance writer. In addition to creating content for KidLit TV’s website, she is an active member of SCBWI and is currently querying her first picture book. She has an MA in Teaching and is passionate about children’s literature and the role it plays in supporting the social and academic growth of her students. When she’s not teaching or writing for children, she is looking for adventure and laughing at the silly antics of her husband and daughter.
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