Understanding the Format
In this section of the writing program you will write a variety of stories. But you do not have to make up the entire story. Parts of it are provided. You fill in the missing phrases that make sense in the sentence and that follow the story line. Although the story conforms to a certain idea, you can be creative and give the details that put your personal touch on the story.
This kind of exercise will give you the practice you need for the time when you eventually write a complete story on your own.
Study the story in each exercise, and take note of the missing phrases. Certain words will give you a signal as to what kind of word or phrase you should write. A conjunction, for example, tells you to add a word, phrase, or sentence. Quotation marks tell you that someone is making a direct statement. Prepositions require an object after them.
You should fill in appropriate phrases that conform to the plot of the story and the grammar of the sentence. Be careful of tenses and spelling. Follow the same directions for each story in this chapter. If you are not satisfied with your version of the story, check the suggested completions in the Answer Key.
Completing Stories with Original Phrases
Exercise 1 Travel Plans. The story line: John and Mary can’t agree on where they should take their vacation. They share their personal preferences and try to persuade each other. They worry that they can’t afford a vacation, but John has a surprise. He has saved some extra money.
John and Mary wanted to take a vacation. They had worked hard all year and _____________________. But where should they go? To _____________________ or to _____________________?
‘I want to go to Mexico,” Mary said. “I heard it’s _____________________ and _____________________.”
“I think I’d like to go to India,” John replied. “I want to see _____________________ and _____________________.”
“India is so far away,” Mary said to him. “I think _____________________. Or we could travel to _____________________.”
“Or how about _____________________?” John said.
But no matter how much they talked, they couldn’t _____________________. John believed _____________________, but Mary wanted _____________________. How could they decide what would be best for both of them?
John opened the newspaper and saw _____________________. He showed Mary the article, and she _____________________
“That sounds like fun,” Mary said. “I’d love _____________________.”
“We could swim during the day, and at night _____________________ or _____________________,” John said. “And we could go shopping _____________________.”
Mary was happy with the idea, because _____________________ and _____________________. John wouldn’t mind spending time at the beach, because he knew _____________________. But there still was a problem.
“_____________________?” Mary suddenly
asked. “Do we have enough in the bank?”
John thought a moment, and then he _____________________. He opened the desk drawer and _____________________. He showed Mary _____________________, but she _____________________
John smiled at her and said, “Don’t worry. _____________________. And if it’s not enough, we can _____________________.”
“Oh, John,” Mary said happily. “Now _____________________. This vacation _____________________.”
Then he kissed her cheek, because _____________________.
Exercise 2 The Ant and the Grasshopper. The story line: An ant is busy working to prepare for winter. A grasshopper is lazy and just enjoying himself. The ant warns the grasshopper that the sunny days will come to an end. When winter comes, the grasshopper learns just how right the ant was.
It was a beautiful summer day. The sky _____________________, and the field was filled with _____________________. A happy, green grasshopper with long legs and _____________________ jumped from a bouncy leaf to _____________________ and _____________________. He was enjoying the wonderful weather. He sang to himself, as he _____________________.
Then he saw a small black ant near _____________________. She was pulling a crust of bread through _____________________. She tugged and pulled, but _____________________. Then the ant stopped for a moment to rest and _____________________. “Why are you doing that?” the grasshopper asked. “ _____________________?” he inquired with a laugh.
“I’m bringing food to our colony,” the little ant replied. “When winter comes, _____________________.”
“Winter is a long way off,” the grasshopper said. “I’d rather _____________________.
“You might be sorry when _____________________ the ant warned. “You should plan for _____________________.”
But the grasshopper just laughed and _____________________. He jumped over _____________________ and hopped across _____________________, playing, singing, and _____________________.
The little ant shook her head and went back to work. She _____________________ and finally _____________________.
The grasshopper saw the ant working nearly every day. And every day he just _____________________.Soon it began to grow cold. The wind _____________________. The snow _____________________.Andthegrasshopper understood _____________________.He made his way to the ant colony and called out, “_____________________.” But the ants could not hear him. They , and the poor grasshopper _____________________.
Exercise 3 I’m No Cook! The story line: A man is taking care of his children and his house by himself. He wants to make a nice supper for his children. Although he prepares the foods carefully, he makes some mistakes, and the family has to go to a restaurant for dinner.
My wife was called away to New York on business. I took some vacation time and _____________________. Our two kids were in school during the day, and _____________________. They were old enough to take care of themselves, but I had to _____________________. Johnwas eleven and spent his time _____________________. Anne was ten and enjoyed sports like _____________________.
Everything started out smoothly the first day. I cleaned the kitchen and _____________________. I ironed _____________________and took the dog _____________________. And for lunch I made myself _____________________. The kids ate lunch, _____________________ because _____________________.
At four o’clock I realized that the kids _____________________, so I decided to _____________________. I got a recipe book from the shelf and found _____________________. It seemed easy enough, although _____________________. I got the ingredients I needed out of the cupboard: _____________________
I started with the salad. I rinsed a head of lettuce and then _____________________. I sliced _____________________ and scattered them over the lettuce. But I forgot to _____________________. I peeled a cucumber and an onion and _____________________. I sprinkled _____________________ over the salad and went to place it in the refrigerator. But when I placed the bowl on the shelf in the refrigerator, the shelf broke and _____________________.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were _____________________ on the floor and _____________________
on my shoes. I grabbed a broom and _____________________. Then I got a bucket and scrub brush in order to _____________________. When I was done, I sat down and _____________________.
For dessert I made vanilla ice cream with _____________________. That was Anne’s favorite, and John _____________________. I put the three bowls of dessert on the counter. About four-thirty _____________________. They went to their rooms to _____________________. I set the table and then called _____________________.
They hurried into the kitchen and took their seats. John was hungry, and Anne _____________________.But something had gone wrong. I hadn’t put the dessert in the refrigerator, and _____________________! And I had forgotten to turn on the oven, so the roast _____________________. The kids looked sad and _____________________. So we got in the car, and I took them _____________________. We all love tacos and fajitas.