[Write On Wednesday] Third Grade Word List

This week’s prompt: write a story based on a (surprisingly menacing) list of words from a Third Grade reader…

spooky shed image
spooky shed image
“Waiting” by José María Pérez Nuñez

My third grader doesn’t bring home his reading book very often, so I don’t get to see the stories he’s working on. Each story, however, comes with a spelling list. That I DO see.

While going through the list of words with him, I got a bit bored while waiting for him to laboriously scribble them out three times each. I started doodling. And made up my own story based on the words he was learning to spell.

And now it’s your turn.

The Prompt

Write a story using the following words:

  • Wolves
  • Knives
  • Men
  • Children
  • Women
  • Sheep
  • Heroes
  • Scarves
  • Mice
  • Geese
  • Cuffs
  • Elves
  • Banjos
  • Halves
  • Loaves
  • Beliefs
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Tornadoes

(Can you guess what phonetic issues they’re working on this week?)

I do hope the official version of the story was a little less dark than the one I came up with! Here’s mine:

There are wolves at the door and so we are sharpening our knives.

Under our feet the men whimper, holding tight to wide-eyed and silent children. We women have brought in the sheep. (We are heroes in headscarves.)

Down among the rushes on the floor, mice compete  for space with the geese that peck and worry at the newly-frayed cuffs of our cowering husbands and brothers. In better days these scions fancied themselves as dandy as the elves of old, plucking on their banjos, drinking flagons of ale — when there was a party to be had, they did nothing by halves.

The howling begins anew. We straighten our backs and brace our shoulders, one hand smoothing a skirt, soothing a ruffled head, the other grasping our blades —formerly only a danger to chicken carcasses and hard brown loaves. We cross ourselves and take comfort in our beliefs, in the dream of a better life after this one, for us and our children.

We advance to the windows and open them just enough to rain a storm of old tomatoes and potatoes on the surprised beasts outside. While they reel in stunned confusion we flung wide the doors and unleash ourselves upon them like metal-toothed tornadoes.

We are tired of waiting for the better life .  Today we run out to meet it — or make it.

Your turn! Go!

5 thoughts on “[Write On Wednesday] Third Grade Word List”

  1. I loved this – brought delighted grin to this old lady’s face, whilst I sipped first coffee of the day – thank you for good start to sunny morning:)

    1. Thanks!

      Random word lists are always fun to play with (and usually surprising. I was certainly surprised by my effort!)

      Dare to try it yourself?

  2. Loved your story, Julie. Is it a surprise that my first thought was “Wolves with knives attack men, women, children and sheep. Hero required to face angry pack.” Sorry, that’s as far as my little mind has gotten so far. Great prompt though. Sarah

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