For the Free Printable stationery that accompanies this writing prompt, click here for the Google Doc.
The first week of school I collect a writing sample from each of my students. I use this to make plans for whole group mini lessons for at least the first several months.
I often use "Using Hyperbole: the Making of a Tall Tale" for this first writing sample. Instead of writing the same old "What I did this summer" essay, students exaggerate what they did. The resulting story is more interesting for students to write and usually more interesting for me to read. Over time, this has become my bestselling product on TPT.
An alternate writing prompt for the beginning of the year is Shades of Summer. Students chose one event that happened over the summer and write an account of that one event. We would then create sunglasses -- or shades -- that would illustrate this event. I have patterns to make out of construction paper.
I like this prompt because I can easily see who is writing a narrative with beginning, middle and end and who is still writing lists. What I didn't like was how the sunglasses kept getting separated from the papers.
So this year I created some stationery for the students to write their accounts. I left some space in the lenses for students to draw small illustrations. I thought I would share this freebie with all of you.
I will save Using Hyperbole for later in the year when I am teaching the genre tall tales.