Student Work

Objective One: Firsts

Objective One: Firsts

by / Sep 28, 2015

During our After-School Tutoring program, students visit our Writing Table after completing their homework for the day. They'll find their Stop-and-Jot notebook and follow one of the writing prompts. Stop-and-Jot takes students around the Universe (below). When they complete a book, they move onto the next planet in the solar system.

This is an excerpt of their Stop-and-Jot writing from the first notebook of the school year, Mission One: Mercury. 


Mission One: Mercury

{The First}

Traveling from the sun, Mercury is the first planet you'll encounter. The surface of Mercury is similar to the Moon, with vast volcanic plains and heavy cratering. On Mercury, you'll find incredibly hot days (over 800°F!) and incredibly cold nights (below -280°F). 

The planet takes its name from the Roman god mercury, whose winged sandals gave him extraordinary speed. The planet Mercury is also known for speed, orbiting the sun every 87 days—nearly twice as fast as Earth. 

In this mission, you’ll salute Mercury’s position as the first planet by writing about your own firsts, from your first name to your first friend and beyond.


Objective One: Firsts can be daunting. Write about a “first” experience that you were scared or nervous about (First haunted house? First sleepover?). Have you ever done something hard or scary and vowed never to do it again, making the first time the last time? Write about it!

I jumped off a cliff in the San Juans. —Joey

I went to kindergarten the first time and it was so scary. I didn’t even know anybody in the school. I only knew some people in the school. Nobody knows me there at Whittier School and then I started to know somebody at Whittier. —Bersabel

At my school carnival I went on this really tall rock climbing wall and I almost fell off. I saw a school mascot. I’m never going to do that again. Looking at it again, it’s too big and creepy. —Tselot

I was heading to a sleepover without knowing anyone there. I knew the birthday girl from my soccer team. i was scared because I was afraid of being left out of the group. We had a fancy dinner and made dresses. I was the person in the dress and then we did a fashion show. Eve had a blue dress. All the dresses were very fancy. I like ours the best dress. I still have not decided if I was going to stay the night yet. We had dinner. The table was all fancy with lots of decorations. I decided to stay the night. The sleepover was lots of fun. I ended up of nothing to fear. —Mya

Once I jumped into a freezing cold creek and could not get out because I had to swim out so I was in there for an hour to get used to it so I could swim out. —Taylor

The first time I went on a rollercoaster, at first I wanted to go on the rollercoaster. Then when I was getting ready to go I started to get butterflies in my stomach. Then when I was going up I was getting a lot more scared. When I started to go down I was not that scared any more but I didn’t want to do it any more. —Leilah

TO BE CONTINUED...