One of the fun parts of teaching writing is reading my students’ papers. In Level 1, we write stories in a very specific format, known as the “3-Paragraph Story.” This assignment is designed to practice the elements of literature, so that when we begin literary analysis, the students can recognize the literary elements of the story.
One of the 3-Paragraph Story assignments includes the option of making up a story or of using a conflict and plot from an existing story, changing the characters and setting. This is what 7th grader Aiden Rolle did in his story. He rewrote the old “Fox and Crow” story with changed characters in a VERY modern setting. Here is the original story:
One morning a plain, black crow sat on a branch holding in her beak a piece of cheese.
Along came a fox, who had smelled the cheese. The fox came and stood under the tree, saying politely to the crow, “Good morning, my friend. My, how well you are looking today!” The crow was very pleased at this, but of course could not reply because of the cheese she held in her mouth.
“Your eyes are the most beautiful I have seen,” the fox went on, “and your feathers—how black and glossy they are.” The crow was even more pleased but still said nothing. She just sat on her branch and swelled with pride.
“I have been told,” he continued, “how beautifully you sing, and I should like so much to hear you! Your voice could not possibly be so lovely as your feathers, but if it were, why, you would be the most wonderful bird in the world! Do sing just a few notes for me, won’t you?” This was too much for the crow. She opened her beak wide, cawed loudly and dropped the cheese right into the mouth of the waiting fox.
“Thank you so much,” said the fox, eating the cheese. “Your song was very ugly, but your cheese was delicious. Perhaps next time you won’t be so ready to believe everything you hear.” With that, the fox laughed and trotted off into the woods.
Here is Aiden’s story. Note the following:
- The 3rd “paragraph” appears in a series of short paragraphs due to Aiden’s correct indication of dialogue.
- The bold underlined words are different types of “dress-ups,” an IEW style technique used in each paragraph.
- The numbered sentences indicate the six sentence types, another IEW style technique.
- The underlined italicized words indicate descriptive words of the five senses, a style technique that I have added to the IEW techniques.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂
Thanks for Making Me a YouTube Star
By Aidan Rolle
With a tummy still full of juicy turkey, buttery mashed potatoes and creamy pumpkin pie, Joey set off on his bike to the best shoe store in his hometown of Bulletonville, Illinois, Rack Room Shoes. His heart pounded with anticipation and although he had feasted just hours before, surprisingly, there was room for swift butterflies in Joey’s belly and they were fluttering as if there was an Olympic competition happening. Joe was anxious. Joe was confident. Joe was determined. Only the brave survived “Black Friday” shopping. Biking hard to arrive at the store on time, Joey was ready to pay too much money for footwear.  Because having the latest shoe was the only way to stay in the cool crowd, everyone was on a mad dash for the sparkling new “Air Jordan Kobe XX5 Kid Siko Mo Edition” sneakers, which all the “exemplary kids” wore. Additionally, The “Air Jordan XX5 kid siko mo edition” sneakers boasted the gel cushioned memory air technology capable of trimming three seconds off of a runner’s time, which was exactly what he needed to compete on the school track team.
Joey was the coolest kid imaginable in his mind, so he needed those shoes no matter what. The problem was he knew he was not the only one who just had to have those shoes. Arriving as soon as the store opened at midnight, Joey dashed right to the sneaker aisle because he just had to get there first. Unfortunately, taller, bulkier adults were already busy clamoring. Orange boxes with a bold white swish scribbled on the side seemed to fly through the air.  He jumped. He reached. He bobbed his sweat glistened head up and down to prevent getting hit.  As the crowd cleared, all of the precious sneakers were gone.  Up at the top of an eight-foot shelf sat a set of Nike boxes and Joey felt his heart beating fast as hope filled him. Depressingly the only boxes left were the old “Nike XX2 child edition” sneakers, which were released in boring, drab, stinking 2020. His hope died, but he was still determined to find a way. Before him stood a smug arrogant man, who was smirking gleefully. He wore denim overalls and a olive green plaid shirt. Noticing the man’s muddy cowboy boots, Joe felt as if this guy did not even deserve those awesome sneakers, since he failed to keep his own boots clean.
“Ha! You lookin’ for the new ‘Air Jordan Kobe XX5 kid siko mo Edition’ sneakers? I got the last one!” the guy boasted.  Joey tried to keep cool.  He plotted. He planned. Joey knew what he had to do.  Expertly, Joey lied because he knew this was his last chance.
“No sir, I have no interest in that sneaker, I’m more of a gamer myself, but I was thinking about grabbing those ‘Nike XX2 child edition’ sneakers! They’re just so high on that shelf. Could you grab one for me?”
Mockingly, the young man scoffed .“Why would I do that?!” Just get them yourself and besides my hands are full.”
“Come on, man, don’t you remember what it was like to be younger and smaller? I can’t reach them and you are so tall! If you do me this favor, I could record it and tell all of my friends and followers about you being my hero! You may have heard of me; I have a YouTube channel with a million followers.” Of course Joey really only had a dozen followers on his gaming channel, but if everything went as planned, this stunt could make him internet famous
“Well, that is enticing”, the man contemplated out loud “Are you sure I’d be a famous hero?”
“All around the world!” the boy reassured him.
“Ok! Well I guess I can help you out,” the man nonchalantly remarked in an effort to hide his excitement at the prospect of going viral. Because the man wanted to show off for the camera, he dropped his box of the precious sneakers down too hard and the top of the box sprang open. Joey scooped up the box and ran toward his bike.
As Joey tossed his payment at the cashier, he called back to the shocked man, “Ha! Maybe next Black Friday you won’t believe everything you hear! Thanks for the shoes and for making me a YouTube star!”
©2021 Aiden Rolle. Used with permission.