Revisiting Wendy and Her Candlesticks #sol15 Day 23

     On Day 17 of the Slice of Life Challenge, I wrote about a Fundations lesson gone awry as I couldn't stop laughing about the dictated sentences.  They were: 
Could James have riding instruction on the saddle?
At the explosion, Wendy dropped the beautiful candlesticks.  

     James and Wendy have become rather legendary in my classroom, and students often weave them into conversations and still laugh about James and his saddle and Wendy and her candlesticks.  I challenged the students to write Wendy's story and they came up with some interesting responses.  Many of them made James part of Wendy's story too.  We just learned acrostic poems, so I decided to try an acrostic story for Wendy. I've never written an acrostic story and don't know if it is even a real thing (ha!) but it was fun to try it out. I included characters from the books I read aloud this year, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The One and Only Ivan and a reference to our new read aloud, James and the Giant Peach, because I thought the students would enjoy making those connections.  I tried to include some interesting words and phrases that students might not know to boost their vocabulary and open up a conversation about word choice. Here is what I came up with and will share with my students: 

An Acrostic Adventure: WENDY
By Mrs. Sokolowski
Wishing she was sharing the saddle with James, riding off into the sunset instead of slaving away as housekeeper to Lady Abilene, Wendy picked up the heavy antique crystal candlesticks.

Entering the room like a swirling tornado, as was her custom, little Maggie ran in, carrying her beloved china rabbit, Edward Tulane,chattering on about how today was the day she would visit the zoo with her best friend Julia to see the elephants and gorillas.  

Needless to say, as Maggie rushed by, Wendy was worried she would drop the beautiful candlesticks and be fired by Lady Abilene, who loved those candlesticks bequeathed to her by her grandmother, Pellegrina.  Wendy grasped them tightly and breathed a sigh of relief that the exquisite candlesticks were indeed safe.  

Ding Dong.  The doorbell rang and Wendy, still carrying the candlesticks walked to the door.  Before she could gingerly place the candlesticks on the small table near the door in order to see who was waiting on the other side, an explosion shook the house, blasting down the door and pushing Wendy back with great force.  At the explosion, Wendy dropped the beautiful candlesticks.  

You might think Wendy’s story ends tragically, but not so.  When James received the news that Wendy was injured in an explosion, he expertly rode back into town on his saddle (all of that riding instruction really paid off!) and he asked Wendy to marry him.  Abilene was very understanding about the candlesticks breaking in the explosion, which had been unfortunately caused by a mysterious giant peach rolling into a nearby gas station.  Maggie and Edward were unharmed and on another, less explosive day, Maggie joined Julia at the zoo to meet an adorable baby elephant named Ruby and a proud silverback gorilla known as Ivan.  They all lived happily ever after, except of course, the shattered candlesticks.


  1. This is a fun way to connect several lessons and stories! I think the acrostic worked out well! It reminded me of the game where one student starts a story, and then the next adds to it, and so on. One of my favorite lessons to teach as a resource teacher, since I did the scribing and my students could be as creative as they wanted to be without worrying about their difficulties with writing and spelling.

  2. Another brilliant and fun lesson! I want to be in your third-grade seems like so much fun! I love the acrostic 'tho I do think it might be very challenging for some of the kids in the room who might have trouble combining all the elements, (I'm thinking of my ESL students, of course,) Perhaps they could work in small groups of 2 o3 if they need the extra support. Thanks for showing us how to keep learning alive in the classroom,

  3. How fun for both you and your students!


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