Take Five 
Writing Magazine Contest
December 2005
Weekly Reader's Writing Magazine sponsored a national writing contest for students in grades 5-12. We recently submitted our entries. We were challenged to take 5 of the 6 objects offered in the contest guidelines and write stories including these words in context. We wrote with imagination, creativity, and distinctive voices. Share some of our contest entries below:
(objects chosen in each story are shown in red font)
This writing project aligned with the following Pennsylvania Academic Standards:
1.1.5 Learning to Read Independently
1.4.5 Types of Writing
1.5.5 Quality of Writing
3.7.5 Technological Devices

The Weird Christmas by Neil                                               My Amazing Day by Ryan
Chicken Noodle Soup by Daniel                               What a Marvelous Mystery by Michelle
Miss Song and Dance’s Big Breakthrough by Audrey                       A Very Stormy Day by Maggie
NeilNovember 17, 2005

The Weird Christmas

  One day I was eating dinner with my mom, dad, sister, and my sister’s daughter (or my niece). It was getting close to Christmas. It was December but for some strange reason it was raining! I had seen a man with an umbrella outside. 
  It had cleared up in a few minutes though. So I went outside on my red bike and rode to my friend’s house. “Hello,” I said to him. “Hello Neil,” he said back to me. Then my friend’s mom came out and said, “Have either of you seen my car keys?” “No, I didn’t see a key,” I said. “Nope,” said my friend (my friend’s name is Ryan).Then we had to have dinner because me and Ryan were absolutely starving. So we ended up having some chicken noodle soup. It was delicious. 
  Then we went back outside and saw a mysterious shadow but we did not see whose shadow it was. “Very suspicious,” said Ryan. Then we followed the shadow. We kept going and it led us to a dark forest.
  “Maybe he has the key,” I said. “Maybe,” replied Ryan. Then the shadow became a man as he walked into the sunlight. He held up the key and then let it gleam in the light. “Is he performing a ritual or something with the key? If he is, then I will be forced to run away and scream like a little girl. If he does anything weird or scary to us that is,” said Ryan in a scared voice.
  Then me and Ryan jumped out and shouted “gotcha”. The man started zooming away. “Come back, and don’t think of any funny stuff because my friend here said he will be forced to run and scream like a little girl if you do any offending things, OK?” I shouted from the distance as we scurried. Suddenly the man was out of breath and we had just caught up to him but my hand had slipped off and he kept running.
  “Man, this guy just won’t give up” Ryan said.
  “Nope,” I replied.
  “Wait I’ve got an idea. He is heading to that cave over there and I see another entrance on the side of the cave, so let’s cut him off if it’s a shortcut.”
  “What if it’s not?”
  “Well we can take a chance.”
  So we did what Ryan had thought of. We took the other route which somehow felt like eons, but we ended up getting to the man! Then something scary happened.
  The man summoned a dragon out of nowhere! Then we found some armor and a sword somehow. “I guess we better fight.” I said.
 We fought gallantly. The dragon flew up and was making ember with its mouth and spit an enormous fireball at me and Ryan. We jumped and dodged it by a centimeter or so. “Ummm I d-d-don’t w-want to end m-my life l-l-life like th-th-this,” I said in a petrified voice. “Me either, Neil,” Ryan said and dodged fireballs at the same time.
Then the dragon, with all its might, drew flame from his mouth. Ryan dodged it but the dragon moved its face with the fire and Ryan was cornered. He was lucky, that he didn’t die but was out cold.
“Guess I’ll have to destroy him on my own,” I said.
I fought and fought with all my might while the man gave the dragon commands, but I couldn’t beat him. Then suddenly out of nowhere Ryan just jumped up and shot an arrow. The dragon was defeated.
The man fell straight to the floor as if he just had a heart attack. I grabbed the key and ran off with Ryan behind me. “Who was that?” Ryan said curiously. “I don’t know,” I told him. So we gave Ryan’s mom her key and told her, “The keys were-were under the ummm car.”
We never spoke of the story or found out who the man was. “Nice save back there!” I said. “Thanks!” replied Ryan. Then I went home, to bed because of Christmas. The Christmas morning instead of a red bike I got what I actually wanted… a green bike and lots of other awesome stuff. It was a weird but great Christmas!                                 

RyanNovember 17, 2005

My Amazing Day

Today while I was ambulating down the street I saw something amazing! You won’t believe that I saw an elephant riding a red bike off a humongous ramp. Then all of a sudden it started to downpour. The elephant magically made an enormous umbrella come out of thin air. I started to get scared because the elephant started to fall rapidly straight down above my head!
All of a sudden the elephant took out a gigantic key. Just before he hit me he landed in an invisible car and drove away. Then I thought he probably wanted that huge can of chicken noodle soup that I left on my front porch. But then I remembered that the red bike was still falling! So I lunged out of the way just before the bike hit me. I scurried home to tell my mom and dad but no one ever believed me. Nobody ever knew the truth of what happened that day. 

DanielNovember 17, 2005

Chicken Noodle Soup

There was a boy named Daniel. He was a good, patient, and forgiving child. He lived in a house with one brother and two sisters. Daniel loved chicken noodle soup especially Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. He liked to play with his friends and had a sense of humor but most of all he liked to play with his 6 cats. That have odd names like Gizzamaroo, Caley Boo, Shira Boo, Nickily Boo, and Makita Boo… odd names, but they are nice cats. His favorite was Makita Boo because it was the youngest and the most playful. He also had a hamster Hamtaro that was afraid of a lot of things except his cage and Daniel.
Daniel also likes school subjects like reading and math. He would get excellent grades in both. School was a blast because he had a humorous teacher. Our story begins in Daniel’s house on a sunny day. “Mom what is for breakfast?” Daniel said yelling down the stairs. “Pancakes.” she said. He scurried down the stairs and sat down. “When is it going to be ready?” “At eleven. We have a guest coming for brunch.” 
Wondering who it is he went to go play guessing in his head. “Ok I’ll go outside and use my slingshot on the target.” So he snatched his slingshot and gathered some rocks. Meanwhile his brother was sitting playing Play Station and Daniel was outside on a cold boulder and just kept shooting anyway not caring about the cold. Inching closer and closer to the bullseye, he was so close and BAM he slammed it dead center and he saw it ricochet off the tree it was taped onto. “That determination really paid off for me eh?” he said to himself.
Daniel found out who was coming over. It was his friend Drew. They had their pancakes and went outside with the slingshot. This time there was a new bullseye further away. They kept shooting. It was extremely harder. After awhile they got bored and went to play basketball one-on-one to 5 points. Drew won in a minute because Daniel doesn’t play basketball a lot. They continued to play various games. Drew finally left because his mom called saying that he and his sister wanted to go to Toys R Us today.
It was lunchtime and Daniel was hungry. He was in his room crashing cars in Burnout3 because it was raining. “Mom do we have any chicken noodle soup?” “No, I have to go buy more.” “Awwwwwwwww man.” “OK can we go now?” “I can’t find my car key.” “I don’t care if it is raining, I’ll ride my red bicycle even without an umbrella,” he said this when he saw the shadow of his bike on the garage wall. 
He was at the store nearly soaked. Luckily he had a hood from his sweater that acted like a sponge and took up most of it before it reached his head. He asked someone at the register. “Where is the chicken noodle soup?” “On aisle 5.” “Thank you.” He grabbed some cans making sure they were chicken noodle soup and paid. Finally he left, rode home, and had his well-wanted delicious lunch of soup that was needed because he caught a cold. He had a good morning and was looking forward to a fun afternoon.

MichelleNovember 17, 2005

What A Marvelous Mystery!

Once upon a time there was an affectionate elephant named Ernie.  He wanted to acquaint his amigo Marty Monkey (a.k.a. Mr. Monkey) but he couldn’t locate his house key.  It was also raining outside (discouraging).  So he couldn’t walk. He went to go get his umbrella but he couldn’t locate that either.  
Ernie was very upset because he couldn’t find what he needed.  Then he was trotting to his bedroom to go take a snooze but all of a sudden he got filled with fear by the shadow of his plant and fell onto something.  It was his umbrella.  He was so, so, so delighted because one of his lost was items were found.  “Now,” he thought. “If I petrify myself one more time I can find my key.”  So he just kept on petrifying himself all day long but nothing succeeded.  When he went to bed he was so shook-up that he scurried into the wall.   
The next morning he called Mr. Monkey on the phone to tell him what happened.  Mr. Monkey said it was OK and that he forgives him.  While they were chatting on the phone Mr. Monkey said that he wanted Ernie to come over.  And Ernie agreed.  Then Ernie lost his umbrella again and the depressing part about that is that it was raining today too.  Ernie thought that he shouldn’t go but, he made a promise and he was going to keep that promise.  So he went to Mr. Monkey’s house in the rain (poor Ernie).  When he got there he was drenched and shivering very badly.  Mr. Monkey felt so, so, so, so bad for Ernie.  Mr. Monkey gave Ernie some dry clothes and together they scarfed down chicken noodle soup and had a fabulous time.  When Ernie went back to his house his key and umbrella were right in front of the door.  Ernie thought to himself what a mystery!

AudreyNovember 17, 2005

Miss Song and Dance’s Big Breakthrough 

Natasha is 15 years old and she loved to sing and dance. Her breath was her singing and her walking was her dancing. Natasha was like Miss Song and Dance. She’s been taking voice classes and singing all over Philadelphia area. Natasha has also been taking dance classes by a professional in Philadelphia. Natasha sings a lot in Philadelphia area because she lives in West Chester, PA. West Chester is only 30 minutes away from Philadelphia. 
One day her voice teacher called her and told her that she had her hugest performance ever and that it is a big break through in her singing career. Her voice teacher told her that she would have to start practicing extremely hard. Until the performance Natasha had to practice with her voice teacher Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. All her voice teacher said is that she was doing a commercial and she will have to go to a filming studio in Philadelphia. “Wow!” said Natasha. I remember when I started singing. My first big performance was at a zoo. Although I like singing there it didn’t go that well. There was an elephant that kept interrupting me. When I was singing, close to the end it squirted water all over me. I was soaked! But now I’m going to be on T.V.!  
Her parents were so happy they bought her a brand new red bike (red is her favorite color) and let her choose any design she wanted on her house key. The design that she picked was stars because she hoped to be a star one day.
The next day her dance instructor called and told her that she was going to dance in a commercial on T.V. She was excited until her instructor told her what day it was going to be. The problem was that the dance commercial was the same date as the singing commercial and at the same time! Natasha didn’t know what to do. She loves to sing and dance! She didn’t know which one to pick! She only had 2 weeks to choose!
The next couple of days Natasha was miserable. If you happened to see her shadow you would see a gloomy and mournful girl plodding along. You would see a very upset Natasha. 
 Natasha couldn’t believe she really had to choose. Her mom saw her in her bedroom walking around looking frustrated. “You need to rest and clear your mind for at least five minutes,” her mom said. Take Five! You’ll feel better if you rest for a while.  “Okay, Okay,” said Natasha. Soon after laying down she fell asleep and woke up just before dinner. “Hmm isn’t it a coincidence that the two commercials are on the same day at the same time?” thought Natasha. She called both her teachers and asked each of them what company the commercial is for. Both of her instructors told her the commercial is for Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup! She was so overjoyed that she would be able to sing and dance!
On the commercial day Natasha was extremely happy! She loved doing the commercial. A week after the filming she got to see the commercial and she loved it! The commercial was a big hit for Campbell’s and it was a step further in Natasha’s singing and dancing career.

MaggieNovember 17, 2005

A Very Stormy Day

One day, I really wanted to go riding on my new bright red bicycle. I was very excited because I just got it for my 11th birthday. It was so sunny, that I could see my dark grey shadow on the wall. But, a couple of minutes later, when I looked up, I saw a lot of grey clouds joining together by the sun. Then, just a minute after, I heard a loud striking noise. I realized that it was thunder so I got my umbrella out of my new cheetah spotted bag that I also got for my birthday, and I walked back home disappointed with my, now very wet, new red bike. When I got back to my house, I got out my key and unlocked and opened the door. I told my mom that there was a storm so she made me chicken noodle soup. Yum!  After I ate my soup, I didn’t feel so disappointed after all.