Given what people in New York and New Jersey are going through with Hurricane Sandy, I thought Youth Voices readers might like to see some writing by third graders in response to Hurricane Gustav a few years ago.
Hurricane Gustav arrived, Labor Day weekend, 2008. Baton Rouge had a lot of wind damage and power loss that lasted for days. There was also some flooding from local rivers rising due to rains.
School had begun in early August. The hurricane was approaching, and we knew there would be no school, the following day. I had let my third graders know that they should be observant of what happened before, during, and after the storm in anticipation of teaching them how to write three different paragraphs about Hurricane Gustav.
These are excerpts from a few that I had sent to a cousin who teaches journalism. He told me he was going to share them with his university students as examples of observation for a lecture on the news writing process.
Tyrell G.: We went to my grandmother’s house in Clinton. My mother thought we would be safe there. We packed food and clothes, and we brought our dog… When it wasn’t raining in the day, I would help Grandmother in her garden.
Olevia F.: We went to our neighbors’ house. They did a Bar-B-Q for everyone… My brother and I played in my room with a flashlight… After the storm, my brother and I went outside. We raked a long time!
Brendon H.: Because there was a tree in our backyard, my dad’s friend soon came with his chainsaw. We cut the tree into logs and branches. Our pastor came and helped us with his trailer. We took them load by load. Soon, we were done for the day.
Kyra W.: To prepare for the storm… we had to bring a swing in. It was a long and tall swing, so I slept on it. It was fun…I played UNO with my mom. I had to teach my grandmother how to play… My house is a daycare. We did not have power, but the daycare was open still… We let the windows up. It was very hot … for 9½ days!
Iman W.: Before the hurricane we got ready by looking at the news. It was bad looking at it from the screen. It got larger and larger. It was huge! ... During the storm we slept in our underclothes. It was still hot. We had to put on powder to cool down.
Tiara J.: When everyone heard a hurricane was coming, everyone was busy buying supplies going here and there. Most people were scared …and stayed in their homes. My daddy and mommy say that more hurricanes will come. “Here we go again!” I say…The Red Cross is trying to help people so much.