Gaston Young Writers

As the students prepare for the winter holiday break from school, the second grade class at Gaston sent out letters to The Writers In The Grove. Here are a few excerpts;

I am 8 years old. My favorite color is blue. My favorite animals are lions and dogs
Do you have a dog? I have 2 dogs. One is fluffy and the other one is big.
Do you have a garden? Do you have a farm. We did have a garden.
Love C. 2nd Grade

I am 7 years old. How are you doing at your place?
What kind of animals do you have? I hope you have a good day. We have a new student. It is fun at school.
Sincerely J. 2nd Grade

I like to wach(sp) the magic school bus. I learned a bout Galpgos(sp) tortoises. They are slow and big.
It my bithday(sp) is on December 28th. It is always fun.
Do you have a dog or cat.
Have you gone to the zoo. I love the engines.
I also like the alligators.
Sincerely C. 2nd Grade



Pen Pal Project

With the pen pal project matching up Writers in the Grove to Gaston Grade School letters are flying back and forth.

This weeks excerpts are from the 3rd Grade.

My dogs can swim in my pool. They doggy paddle. It is cute.

I saw a bear in a river when I was at camp with it’s little baby.

It’s been icy here. It looks like glass. It hurts when it hits me.

D. 3rd Grade


Can you tell me more about your favorite things? I like to plant flowers.

In school we are learning about 2 Step math problems and weather. I love what you wrote me about your farm. I hope that you will write back.

T. 3rd Grade


I like to cook pizza, corn, chicken, fish, steak and cake.

Do you have a pig? I always wanted a pet pig. Maybe they will roll over in the mud.

A. 3rd Grade


I have seen a baby cow but not when they’re first born. My Aunt owns a farm. She has a cow, lamas, dogs, chickens, horses, goats, turtles a parrot and pigs! I love riding horses too.

One time I found a baby bunny when I was at Cannon Beach! It was too little because all it’s brothers and sisters pushed him out. So we took him home. We fed him lots of food and played with him. Then we had to take him back when the weekend passed. It was sad and happy because he got to go home with his family. We got to see his dad and mom again.

M. 3rd Grade


I’m going to tell you a joke.

Q. Why is 6 afraid of 7?

(This next line was written upside down on the bottom of the page)

A. Because 7 8 9! (happy face emoji, happy face emoji)

A. 3rd Grade

Prompt: Success from a Dog’s Point of View

The prompt this week was to write from an alternative perspective. The quote to get us started was:

The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The prompt is to use the above to write from the perspective of a dog.

November 23 Prompt – The Pet

Writers in the Grove NaNoWriMo Prompt a Day badgeThe following prompt is by Susan Schmidlin, member of Writers in the Grove, a part of our Prompt-a-Day project to support NaNoWriMo during November 2015. Each prompt was generously donated by our Writers in the Grove members. You are welcome to take this prompt in any direction you wish.

Did your character have a childhood pet?

How did they get the pet?

Where did it come from?

Why did it become a pet to this person?

What did it do for the character?

Round-Robin: It was a Dark and Still Night I

The following is one of the prompts created by members of Writers in the Grove in response to Prompt: Round-Robin Writing in a Group.

ML: It was a dark and still night. The noise outside didn’t sound like the wind. I was sure someone was outside. They were probably hiding my ducks. Where would I find them tomorrow morning. They would need to be fed. Sure enough when I awoke in the morning, they were gone. There were none on the flag pole. I looked all over the flower beds. Maybe I’m the one who is lost. I think this mother duck needs to watch her babies better.

DK: It took about an hour to find the mother duck and all five ducklings. They had traveled much further than I would have thought, and were swimming happily in my neighbor’s pond. I gathered up the brood and brought them back to my house under protest o the mother duck. She had been happy in the pond. Much more so than my neighbor, but when I went into the penned area where I usually housed them, I realized the lock on the gate had been forced open. That was the noise I kept hearing during the night. The sound of someone breaking into the duck pen. Since I lived all alone, frightening thoughts started filling my head.

Lorelle: A duck thief? In this neighborhood? Who would-of-thunk? It would not make sense to rob me of the ducks, my precious little flock, so necessary to me for their eggs, food, and company. Mostly for the company. It was quiet here in the wooded foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range of Oregon. Deer were free to range here as were the elk. Why would anyone let the ducks out? What did they want?

On closer observation, it was clear that my lock had been cut clean through.

My great grandfather had built this farm. He had lived to be 99 years old and died only four years ago. What would he have to say about someone breaking into the old duck pen? I looked at the old wood shed, its ramp up for the ducks to waddle up was disturbed. Footprints, muddy boot tracks, stepped up inside the duck house. What could they possibly want inside? The eggs? Wrong time of the year. What was going on here?

Cheri: I decided to explore the footprints a little closer in the hopes that the thief had left behind a clue for me to follow. The prints were small, almost childlike. Was the thief from one of the neighbors? I followed the footprints into the woods, thinking about potential suspects the whole time. “Why would a child want a duck?” I wondered out loud, my voice breaking the silence of the woods.

Suddenly it dawned on me why a child would be after my ducks. And I knew where I was going next.

DSO: Yes, the sweet faces of the people in town. I remember seeing the whole new family at the General Store. I had been amazed at the quiet, gentle spirit of the mother and the strong peaceful presence of the father. I was surprised that six children, rowdy children, belonged to the tall, smiling adults. Even though they minded well, they never stayed long at mother’s side, two seconds and they were off again exploring, touching, and smelling. It made me smile and I missed the wonder of my youth. Well enough of that – back to my missing ducks.

Bev: I asked Minnie at the post office about the new family and learned they had inherited the old Stewart place down the road. I pondered how that big beautiful family would manage in that broken down place. It had been vacant for years, had no indoor plumbing or electricity, and half the windows had broken panes. Maybe that old fireplace might keep them warm, along with that big wood cook stove.

Susan: But my ducks, why?

As I stepped up the ramp following the muddy footprints, I heard a noise inside the duck house. Giggling erupted from the back of the duck house. As I stepped on a loosened floor board, I fell right through to the ground below.

“Thieves and vandals!” I screamed. “That is what has moved in. Nothing more than thieves and vandals!”

The twelve year old hooligan smiled at me through the hole in the floor. He was just standing there with that smile and a pair of bolt cutters in his hand.

Prompt: What My Pet Taught Me

The prompt this week was:

What my pet or an animal taught me.

Have you learned a life lesson from your pets or from an encounter with an animal?

Maybe this isn’t about a personal story but an encounter with a pet or animal for another character. What happened? What was the response of the character and the animal? What did they learn?