Grade School

Finding the Message

I suggest that organized, descriptive writing comes from practice. Therefore, I like to create assignments that get the student excited to write.

When I assigned the following story to my students, I was surprised by the variety of answers I received when I asked, “What is the author’s message?” This led me to ask the students to write a story about a gift they received and to incorporate a message into the story. My students did a great job on the assignment, and they enjoyed the process. Writing can be relaxing, fun, and/or invigorating…just like reading a book!

Part I: We read the story. (Download the Graduation Day Story.)

Part II: We discussed the message or the theme of the story: What is the message in this story? What is the author trying to tell us?

The kids all had different ideas of the meaning of this story. Here are some of my favorites:
Look before you act!
Always open a Bible!
Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Slow down. Take your time in life.
Don’t stay mad at your parents.
Be thankful for what you have.

Part III: We examined if the boy’s character changed when he developed into a man by marking up the story. (Download the Marked Up Story.)

Part IV: The students then had to write about a time when they received a gift they didn’t care for. They were asked to describe the gift and their reaction to it. They were also told to integrate a message or theme into their writing, mirroring the Graduation Story.

Download PDF Examples.