Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why I Love Writing Assignments!

Every few days I give the older kiddos a themed writing assignment and several outline items to help shape their writing. I love to see how they take the topic and come up with totally different stories! This one from Madelyn just had to be published for all to see! Maddie has an AMAZING gift for writing. I'm so proud of her!

The topic:  Wash Day
The focus:  A child who doesn't want their favorite clothing item to be washed and so they may have to get washed with the item!
The outline:  1. The Kid (tell about the kid)
                      2.  Wash and Dry (tell about the laundering)
                      3.  After the Wash

Wash Day:  By Madelyn Swan Winslow  ---January 18, 2011
Annie was 10 years old. She lived in a log house with her Pa, her Ma, her 2 big brothers, Joe and David, and her 4 little sisters, Elizabeth, Carrie, Laura, and Rosie.

Today is  Monday. Monday is wash day. Annie has been dreading today, not because of the hard work of washing, but because of her new dress. Last Friday afternoon, Annie had gone with Pa to town. Ma had said to pick out some of her favorite calico material for Ma to make Annie a new dress. Annie's old dress used to be a pretty pink, but now was a tattered, faded, light brownish, with a little pink still in it. All day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Ma sewed the deep blue fabric with light blue flowers into a lovely dress.

Today she had been wearing it for a week, and she did not want it washed. She resolved in her mind not to take it off no matter what!

Later, Ma had washed all the washing, except for Annie's dress. "Alright, Annie, you've made it clear that you will not take your dress off, but that doesn't mean your dress doesn't need washing. Come on, get in the basin!"

Annie stood, shocked. Her little sisters giggled. Joe and David laughed and laughed. David said, "Ma, are you serious?" "Serious as ever", said Ma. "Come on Annie, either that or you give me your dress!"

Annie looked at her siblings laughing at her. Then she raised her head high and stepped into the basin. The water soaked right through her dress as she sat down. Ma scrubbed and wrung her dress as if she were washing normally. "Okay", she said. As she placed Annie on top of the other clothes in the basket she said..."Boys, the load is real heavy today. Help each other bring this out to the clothes line."

The boys laughed the whole way out to the line at the drenched Annie. Soon Ma and Elizabeth came out to hang the laundry. Elizabeth passed the items of laundry to Ma one by one. Annie was all that was left in the basket.

"Ma, this one's too heavy to lift," Lizzie said. "Oh, I know", said Ma. "We'll lay this one on the hill side where the sun will get to it. We'll pick it up in a few hours." Ma laid Annie down on the hillside. The sun beat into Annie's face. Annie watched as Ma and Lizzie went into the house. Annie lay and watched the clouds move across the sky. The sun was sinking low as the boys ran out and took the clothes off the line and grabbed Annie up and tossed her on top of the basket. 

Annie sank into her bed that night, a lesson learned. The next wash day, Annie's dress was the first item in the laundry pile.

The End

No comments: