Maplesville students focus on writing

Published 11:01 am Thursday, March 22, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Maplesville second-grade students in Gina Riley’s class have been working on their writing skills with some creative assignments.

The focus on writing began with students writing about what they want to be when they grow up. Riley is having the assignment turned into a book for each child.

“The focus for myself this year is to incorporate more writing across the curriculum because of the writing — reading connection,” Riley said.

The most recent writing assignments had student chronicling the exploits of silly rabbits and writing fact-based opinion pieces on whether or not a cottontail rabbit would make a good pet.

Riley said the opinion piece fulfilled the education standards for opinion writing, while the silly rabbit stories fulfilled the narrative writing requirements.

Each project also helped students increase their computer skills.

The silly rabbit story was the favorite of the two assignments for many of the students.

Student Jadyn Smitherman said they had to research information about cottontail rabbits to support their opinion on whether the animal would make a good pet or not.

Students used resources available through the Alabama Virtual Library.

“On our silly rabbit piece, we used our imaginations and thought about steps our silly rabbit had done, and we thought about what it would do and how it would do it and put details in,” Jadyn said.

She said it was fun to write. In Jadyn’s story, the silly rabbit took rotten eggs to people’s homes.

Student Rex Totten said he enjoyed picking a name for his silly rabbit and writing a description of it. He named the rabbit Pokester and wrote about how the rabbit robbed a jewelry store and was chased by the police.

Student Madison Mitchell named her rabbit Sophie and wrote about her going shopping.

Madison said she chose this topic because she loves shopping with her grandmother.

Student Arlington Mitchell wrote about his rabbit driving away from the police after he robbed a bank.

Arlington named his rabbit Pete, “because I always love reading Pete the Cat books.”

Student Daniel Heard said writing about the silly rabbit “was fun because you got to make up what the rabbit would do.”

In Heard’s story, the rabbit raced and had a lot of friends.

Student Hanna Poe said her rabbit went into houses and cracked real eggs into plastic ones.

Many of the students found the opinion piece more difficult because of the research involved.

In the opinion piece, Jadyn wrote about why a cottontail would be a good pet.

“I wanted a female cottontail, because I thought it would be fun to take care of baby cottontails,” Jadyn said.

She said this writing piece was more challenging because of the research and facts needed.

“I thought a cottontail would be a good pet, because they are on their own after two weeks and they eat a lot of green grass, so I don’t have to spend money,” Rex said.

He said students were asked to include three facts to support their opinion.

“I think a cottontail would be a good pet, because it is loving, caring (and) smart,” Madison said.

Arlington disagreed.

“In my opinion, a cottontail would not make a good pet, because a rabbit can leap 15 feet … in one bound,” Arlington said. “And they would always want carrots, so I would have to spend a lot of money on carrots.”

However, Hanna thought the rabbit’s jumping ability would make it a good pet.

“I think it would be a good pet, because it needs a lot of attention,” Hanna said

Daniel said since cottontails “live seven to 12 years, so they would be your friend for a long time” and would be a good pet.