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Grades 6-8

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Student Model

Five paragraphs in the body of this essay—one for each of the senses—provide a clear organization pattern that is easy for the reader to understand. Note that each of the five paragraphs begins with a sentence that repeats the same, simple pattern. This repetition of a sentence pattern provides unity. The use of an extended metaphor—comparing friendship to the making and baking of bread—works quite well and shows that Nate, the sixth grade writer of this essay, is willing to take creative risks.

Friendship

A dictionary contains a definition of friendship somewhere in the F’s between the words “fear” and “Friday.” An encyclopedia supplies interesting facts on friendship. But all the definitions and facts do not convey what friendship is really all about. It cannot be understood through words or exaggerations. The only way to understand friendship is through experience. It is an experience that involves all the senses.

Friendship can be seen. It is seen in an old couple sitting in the park holding hands. It is the way they touch, a touch as light as a leaf floating in the autumn air, a touch so strong that years of living could not pull them apart. Friendship is seen in a child freely sharing the last cookie. It is the small arm over the shoulder of another as they walk on the playground. Seeing friendship is not casual. It is watching for subtlety, but friendship is there for eyes that can see.

Friendship can be heard. It is heard in the words of two friends who squeezed in lunch together on an extremely busy day. It is the way they talk to each other, not the words. Their tone is unique. Friendship can be heard by those willing to listen.

Friendship is felt in a touch. It is a pat on the back from a teammate, a high five between classes, the slimy, wet kiss from the family dog. It’s a touch that reassures that someone is there, someone who cares. The touch communicates more than words or gestures. It is instantly understood and speaks volumes beyond the point of contact, to the heart.

Friendship has a taste. It tastes like homemade bread, the ingredients all measured and planned, then carefully mixed and kneaded, then the quiet waiting as the dough rises. Hot from the oven, the bread tastes more than the sum of its ingredients. There is something else there, perhaps the thoughts of the baker as her hands knead the dough, or her patience as she waits for the dough to rise. Unseen and unmeasured, this is the ingredient that makes the difference. Warm, fresh from the oven with a little butter, the difference you taste is friendship.

Friendship has a smell. It smells like the slightly burnt cookies your brother made especially for you. It smells like your home when stepping into it after being away for a long time. It smells like a sandbox or a sweaty gym. Friendship has a variety of smells. Taken for granted at the moment, they define the memory of friendship.

Finally, more than the other senses, friendship is an experience of the heart. It is the language of the heart—a language without words, vowels, or consonants; a language that, whether seen, felt, heard, or tasted, is understood by the heart. Like air fills the lungs, friendship fills the heart, allowing us to experience the best life has to offer: a friend.