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I thought I'd let Calvin write this one for me. I recently gave him an assignment practicing his creative writing style versus his academic writing style. The assignment included two short samples that are in response to the book Bears on Hemlock Mountain.

Creative writing: Describe a journey over the mountain:

I was sent on an errand; to go get the silver pan from our treasure chest at the top of the mountain. The mountain was tall, about 100 to 200 feet high. And some people said there was a monster on the mountain.

I sighed and looked up the mountian. It was a long way up. I put one foot in the side, then another, and then I started to climb.

The sun was just beginning to set. There was a beautiful sunset in progress. Oh, the purples and reds and greens and yellows weaving their way acorss the sky, traversing its giant blue field.

I was about halfway there when i heard a sound: CRACK! I whipped around to see what made the noise. I kept feeling more terrified every second. Almost there! I said to myself. Only ten feet left! I pulled myself up to the top of the mountain and then slowly let myself down into the cave that held our treasure chest.

The cave was dark. Really dark. I quickly rabbed the silver pan. Then I went to the slide hole. My dad had madea hole int he side of the cave that led onto really smooth snow. We called this the slide hole. I lowered myself onto the snow and WHEEEEE! I flew down the mountainside, going home.


Academic writing: Black Bears

Black bears are amazing. They are five feet at lenght, and they weight 300 pounds. They come in fur colors of black, brown, bluegray, and white. The colors bluegray and white, however, are rare.

Black bears aren't only amazing in just looks, they also do a lot of neat things. They will eat acorns, berries, branches, and honey. They climb trees very well. Some even makie their winter dens in trees. They live in mountains, forests, and swamps of the U.S.A., Canada, and Northern Mexico.



Writing, age 8

For the past year we've been using the Michael Clay Thompson grammar curriculum. We love it. It's holistic, rolling grammar, poetry, and Latin based vocabulary into one rich unit full of great lit and poem examples and recommendations. But this isn't a review and I'm not a paid spokesperson. Actually, I just thought I'd share a couple of my favorite samples from Calvin's work this year as we near the end of MCT's Town series.

First, an experiment with enjambed poetry:

My Castle, by Calvin Ophoff, age 8

My castle is a funny place
that I have not explored.
I've seen the front, I've seen the back,
with shining spires reaching up into the sky
to bathe their tips in golden light.
I've seen the sides with pretty emeralds
decorating them, the abbey with its glistening cross,
the pumpkin fields so green. I've seen the
chariots covered with gold and silver,
yet I haven't been inside.
It fades away at dawn's first light,
and reappears at 9:00 at night!


Second, an experiment with descriptive paragraphs:

The moon shone bright and clear down onto the woods below. An owl spread her wings gently and let the soft night breeze carry her upward. Down below, twigs cracked as a black squirrel made its way through the undergrowth. A chickadee sang its song loud and clear: "Chick-a-dee! Chick-a-dee!" The blue jay crowed its warning call as a bear smashed its way around the forest. The fish in the forest pool swam around silently under the still water. The moon rose higher as a bell somewhere began to toll.

by Calvin Ophoff, age 8



...that appeared around the house at various times this week.