National Day on Writing

Pen to Paper
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: mbgrigby via Compfight

Raise your hand if you knew today, October 20th, is the National Day on Writing.  I admit, at 7:00 this morning, I would not have been able to raise my hand.  However, it didn’t take long between emails, tweets, and blogs to learn that today is, in fact, a special occasion, especially for all writers and for those aspiring to be writers.

Happy National Day on Writing!

In honor of the day, let’s share the writing we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks and then use these tips to create some new writing.



Analyzing and evaluating our writing

Analyzing and evaluating our writing










These are examples of blog comments we wrote last week.  We analyzed them in four parts:

I. Did we create imagery for the reader? (specific nouns, verbs, adjectives/adverbs; figures of speech)

II. Did we make the reader think?  (details and examples to support ideas)

III. Did we engage the reader? (variety of sentence structures)

IV. Did we organize our material for the reader? (beginning, middle, end)

We evaluated our writing using FOCUS.  An essay that scores a 1 is not very FOCUSed; a score of 6 is quite FOCUSed.

Focus: on topic

Organization: introduction, body, conclusion

Content: supporting examples and details

Usage: proper grammar and mechanics

Style: mature vocabulary, variety of sentence structure, figures of speech

Finally, we identified specific areas that we improved since last week, and explained how we plan to continue to improve.

In honor of National Day on Writing, a most happy occasion, let’s listen to some writing from some American Authors that you may have heard before:

Would you consider today, the National Day on Writing, to be the best day of your life?

If not, what is the best day of your life so far?




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42 thoughts on “National Day on Writing

  1. How fortunate am I to have so many days to choose from as the best day of my life!
    Receiving my first Holy Communion was one of the best days of my life. I vividly remember my dress, my coat, and even my barrettes. My whole family came, which made the day very special as well.
    The day I graduated as my high school valedictorian was one of the the best days of my life. The speech I wrote garnered a standing ovation from my class, quite remarkable for a somewhat shy, “nerdy” girl.
    Clearly, the birth days of my four children were some of the best days of my life. While I would like to say these four days were the absolute best days of my life, none of them would have been possible without my wedding day, so I would have to say that this day was the best of my life.
    As with my Holy Communion, we celebrated a sacrament on my wedding day, and also, I wore a beautiful white gown, just as I had when I was seven. My husband and I were married by a priest who was also a friend of mine; he was the priest at the jail for juvenile boys where I worked teaching English at the time. Knowing the priest so well made our ceremony especially memorable.
    As with my high school graduation, all my friends and family were at my wedding. And while there was no standing ovation, certainly there was a lot of clapping, singing, dancing, and celebrating.
    And as we continued with the birth of our children, we began our family on our wedding day. None of the many wonderful days since then- the home run derby at Cooperstown, the college acceptances, the days playing in the woods, the soccer and basketball games, the Christmases- would have been possible without the absolute best day of my life, August 14, 1993.

  2. Great blog post Mrs. Donofrio! I really liked this blog post, because you posted the video on the dog, and really put detail into the best day of your life. I think that the best day of my life was when i went to adventure island for the first time with my friends Connor, and Jake. We went there on a pouring morning, but it was a one and a half hour drive, so it stopped raining by the time we got there. Once we got there we ate lunch and then it was dry enough for them to let us in the waterpark. Right as we got in i ran to the nearest slide which was the everglides. the everglides is a ride that you sit on skiis and fall down a huge steep waterslide. Right after that we all kept going on really fun waterslides, and had such a fun time! Then at around 5:00 P.M we left.

    Have you ever been to adventure island?


    • Hi Dom,
      I have never been to Adventure Island, but I have been to Aquatica and to Sun Splash. I think waterparks are great fun. I’m so glad it stopped raining in time for you to enjoy your day with Connor and Jake. Isn’t is weird that the waterpark can’t operate in the rain? Water is water, right? Well, perhaps it was lightning out. Yes?
      Thanks for sharing the best day ever!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. Dear Mrs Donofrio
    I did not know that it was National Day on Writing.One of the best things that ever happened to me is,when all my friends came over and we played football,basketball,airsoft,played video games,went to the beach,and went to skyzone.I really liked that song and there name.what was your favorite day?

    From Will

    • Hi Will,
      My favorite day was my wedding day. Did you read all the comments before your wrote your comment?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  4. I think that you need to have a lot best days of your life. But still you need to have the day that you will never forget. So my best day is Christmas the reason why is because you get a lot of presents also you have a christmas tree but the best thing is that its snowing. I love to come outside and play in snow during christmas. What about yo do you have a lot of favorite days that you will never forget? I hope yes.

    • Hi Daniel,
      I do have a lot of favorite days that I will never forget. Did you read all the comments before your left your comment?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  5. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    This is one of the hardest things to think about. I am very thankful for all I have. Some of the things that I am thankful for are loving parents, interesting and unique siblings, and even my dogs. You would think the best day of my life would be Christmas, or my birthday, but thats not it. The best day of my life is when God decided to give me the family I have. I wasn’t alive when that happened, but I was probably close. If that doesn’t count, then the best day of my life would be when my parent chose to take me to a Catholic school, with caring and loving teachers. That is the best day, or days, of my life.

      • HI Grace,
        I share my blessings with two siblings, both younger than I am. They live in Massachusetts. Your choice of day is very similar to mine in that our best day is the day our families were formed. Because I am older than you, I have two families: one I was born into and one that began the day I got married. I think we are also both blessed to have a fairly large family. It’s fun to have a lot of people in our families, but not too many so that life is too hectic and confusing. Of course, all families filled with love are wonderful no matter the size.
        Do you want to have a large family when you are older?
        ~Mrs. Donofrio

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I did not know that October 21 is National Day on Writing.
    Thank you for informing me so I know next year and can celebrate National Day on Writing. The best day of my life happened when I got my dog Gracie. I was six years old when I got her, I was very happy because I didn’t have a dog for three years. My Mom surprised me and told me to come outside and there she was running around our yard. She is a Chorkie which is a Chihuahua and Yorkie mix.
    Did you have a childhood pet?

    • Hi Sophia,
      I think it’s interesting how many kids say the best day of their lives is when their pets came to live with them. Do you think that is because of the video?
      I did have a childhood pet. You can read about her in my first comment on this post.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  7. Dear Mrs.Donofrio,

    The best day of my life would be my 10th birthday because that day I was turning 10 and I got a i pad. Also my family members come and I love to see my family members. I especially love to make a wish and blow out the candles and eat cake! What would love for your special day?

    • Hi Courtney,
      Your birthday certainly did sound special. You can read about my special day on my comment on this post.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  8. I have never thought about what the best day of my life was, but I don’t know how to decide because there have been so many great days in my life. The best day of my life was probably September 20 at the ECS goes Hollywood Dance. The reason why is because it was so much fun, which was including the performances The Lion King, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, The Blues Brothers, and Footloose. Another reason why is because I was with my two best friends and we were doing lots of fun dances like the Cotton-Eye Joe, Footloose, and the Cupid Shuffle. The last reason why is because there were lots of good foods including pizza, sodas, chicken, and more. Another great day of my life was January 26, 2013 when I met my bestest friends. We have been through so much together, and even it has only been about a year and eight months, they are like sisters to me. What was the best day of your life? Why was it the best day of your life? Do you think bad days help the good day be even better?

    • Hi Lexi,
      Mr. Morganelli will be very happy to hear that the dance was the best day of your life! I wrote about the best day of my life as the first comment on this post. I do think bad days remind us that plain, old, ordinary days can be good days! Just having a cup of tea and chatting with my children is a good day for me, too. What ordinary parts of your day do you like the best?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  9. Dear Mrs Donofrio,

    What’s my favorite day of the year? That’s a hard one. I think my favorite day of the year is Christmas. Or at least around Christmas. It’s mainly because that’s when I get to see my family and by family I mean the family I don’t ever see. I can’t lie it’s also because I get presents. But it’s mainly because my family.

  10. Hi, Mrs. Donofrio!

    NOOOOOOO…I missed National Writing day…WAHH!! I love writing, and am currently working on a couple stories at home. But anyway, the best day of my life was probably in grade one, when I had been begging all of my kindergarten year for a cat, a kitty, pleasepleasePLEASE!! and FINALLY, when I came home after school, and a lovely tortoise shell cat was waiting for me at the top of the stairs! Her name was Asia, and since then our house has never been free of felines for long. Our current cat is named Jumpy Von Flinchmonster the 73rd, and she is also a Tortie.

    See you about!
    ( <– My blog!)

    • Hello Faith!
      So nice to hear from you again! Your writing, as always, is so engaging. I am glad for my new crop of students to meet you via your blog posts and comments this year. I love your line “free of felines”. Great alliteration! Also, I love the name of your current feline companion, Jumpy von Flinchmonster. It reminds me of the English Sheepdog my family had when I was in kindergarten. Her name was Alice Schwane Goodyshoes, called Goody for short, and named after my favorite Sesame Street character. One of our neighbors loved Goody so much that when they got their dog, they named her Goody as well. Imagine that? Sadly, we no longer had our Goody at that point. Our Goody was a very large puppy with all the wild abandon a dog that age entails. My parents were still in the process of adding siblings to our family, and my mom said she couldn’t chase a loose dog all over town or get her legs all wrapped up in a leash from a dog dashing this way and that. So, while my own Goody went to live with another family with older kids, her name lived on in our neighborhood.
      I’d love to hear about the stories you are writing at home. Do you think you will incorporate some lovely pets with fancy three-part names?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  11. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I did not know that October 20th was National Day on Writing either.
    There are many days in my life that I love, like the day I moved into my house, my First Communion, and the day I went boating for the first time, but my favorite is the day my sister was born.
    I was two and a half when my sister was born on December 8, 2005. That day I was watching the T.V. show ,Dora the Explorer, on my parents bed when my mom had to call our neighbor, Dan, because it was time for the baby to be born. We took our car and drove to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. That day at 2:05 p.m. my sister, Kaitlyn, was born. I was now a big sister! Are you a big sister too? How many siblings do you have?

    • Hi Brianne,
      I am a big sister; I am the oldest of three children. I don’t remember the exact day when my sister was born, but I vaguely remember her coming home from the hospital with my mom. I do remember trying to teach her her prayers when she was two-years-old and I was in first grade. What is your earliest memory with your sister?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  12. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    I have never really thought about the best day of my life. There are so many days to choose from. One of them would be when my mom got out of the hospital from having a heart attack. She woke up one morning feeling like she had an elephant in her chest. She also felt extremely tired. She told my dad, but we went on with our day. As the day went on, she felt worse. When night came, she was scared to go to sleep because my sister’s friend’s dad died a week before in his sleep from a heart attack. She decided to call her doctor, and her doctor said to go to the hospital immediately. So we had to drive her to the hospital. They didn’t think she had a heart attack at first, but after they did blood work they realized it was a heart attack. They decided to keep her over night for a few days to make sure nothing went wrong. When she came home, I felt so happy to see my mom again. Today I am so thankful to have my parents and my siblings. I don’t know what I would do without them.

    ~ Julia

    p.s. I liked the video.

      • Hi Julia,
        We did have a medical scare in our family. When my daughter Abbey was three, she was stung by a bee. At the time, we didn’t know she was allergic to bees, but we sure found out fast! Her face and neck swelled up a lot so that she could’t breathe well. Even her nose swelled shut. I called the doctor, and the nurse who answered the phone called the ambulance. The whole thing happened very quickly. At first she was mildly swollen, but by the time the nurse answered at the doctor’s office, she was worse. When the ambulance finally arrived, even her eyes had swollen shut. Mitch and Sarah were babies, and I was home with them by myself. It was a scary day. When the ambulance arrived, the EMTs took Abbey from my arms, put an oxygen mask on her, and gave her a shot of Epinephrin. The doctors at the hospital took good care of her, and she came home the same afternoon. I am so thankful for modern medicine, fast ambulances, telephones, and good doctors! The day after that ordeal I baked brownies for the EMTs and firemen to say thank you, and they showed us all around the firehouse. That was a good day!
        ~Mrs. Donofrio

  13. I along with you Mrs. Donofrio I have many days to choose from, but I would have to say my first time riding a horse was the best day of my life. I remember being really scared and very excited. My fist time out in Myakka was a new experience all by it self. Once my dad and I finally reached the barn Mrs. Centry introduced herself to us . After teaching me how to groom a horse’s coat, pick a horses’ hoofs, and some what saddle a horse it was time to ride. She said I was going to ride a young mare named Lacey. She got on first, then helped me got on. I was really nervous and my heart was racing! After we walked a few laps in a small ring I started to get comfortable. Now I’m a much better rider and absolutely love riding horses any time I can!

  14. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,

    That was a great blog post, and i really enjoyed the music video! it is hard to decide what the best day of my life is, because i have had so many great memories in my life so far in my life. But there is one thing that was really one of the best days and that is my trip to New Jersey with Dominic Moore.
    He got to meet my family from up there and we really loved going on a bike ride every morning on the board walk. But the hi light of the trip was the last few days we spent on the nice beach with the nice cool water, and the last day going to the rides spending the last of our tickets. That was the best day of my life.

    Have you ever been to New Jersey

  15. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I thought the video from the American Authors was adorable and it sent a good message. I have had many great days in my life, but National Writing Day is not my best. The best day of my life is when I woke up from my leg surgery, and my parents told me that the doctors took out the tumor that was in my leg. It all started three years ago when I started having major leg pains. My parents thought that it was just growing pains . Then it got worse and my parents took me to the doctors. I went to a lot of doctors. Some told me that it was a hernia,stress fracture, pelvic fracture. Even though I had a lot of tests like x-rays, and a MRI they still found nothing.Finally we went to a doctor at Moffitt Cancer Center. His name was Dr. Cheung. I had a PET scan and we found out I had a tumor that was breaking my femur. A couple weeks later I had surgery at All Children’s Hospital in St.Petersburg,Florida. They took the tumor out of my leg and put in a cadaver bone where it was. When I woke up from my surgery the pain was gone. When my parents told me the surgery went well and the tumor wasn’t a cancer I felt so happy and relieved. I will never forget that moment in my life. How could I not,I have a big scar on my leg.
    Have you ever had a major surgery? If so how did you feel afterwards?
    Hope you have a great day,

  16. Dear Mrs.Donofrio

    I have tons of days to choose from,but I don’t know where to start. Graduating preschool was one of my best days. I don’t know if at your preschool you wore actual graduation uniforms,but we all did.It was all blue with a blue mortarboard. When I hit my first home run when I was on the YMCA baseball team was another best day of my life. I usually just hit ground balls to shortstop and always get to first base in time. When I hit the home run I said to myself “I wish I could do that again.” I probably wouldn’t have hit that home run without my dads training. When I first met my brother in laws was one of my best days in life.I never even knew I had brother in laws. They were both amazingly energetic,and fun to play with. When I became a altar server is probably one of the best of the best days. I love serving every Saturday at 4:00. I find listening to the readings fascinating,and bringing all the trays and wine cups up to the alter is so fun. I just learned how to set up for Adaration. To me I really think that nunes should be able to say masses.Do you think they should?

  17. Hello Mrs.Donofrio,

    Unfortunately, Nation Day on Writing was not my favorite day. I personally do not like writing myself. One of my favorite days are Christmas eve. Christmas eve is one of my favorite days because me and my family go to church and open our family presents (and take lots of pictures). Another one of my favorite days is New Years/ New Year’s Eve, because I really like staying up at a party all night with your friends and family. I also like watching fireworks at mid night. Finnialy my other favorite days is all of the ten days my family and I went to Canada. When we were in Toronto, Canada we went to the Ontario River, the CN tower, and the HUGE city (Compared to Tampa). And those are my favorite days.

    Have you ever been out of the country?


    • Hi Connor,
      NDoW is not really one of my favorite days either, even though I do think it is cool to have an entire day devoted to celebrating writing. I think you picked some great days; I am especially happy to see New Year’s Eve on your list because that is a day that my family often celebrates with yours.
      I have been out of the country a few times, all when I was younger. I went to Montreal, Canada for a weekend when I was in college. I also spent one spring break in Cancun, Mexico during my college years. After graduation I spent a summer studying at Cambridge University in England. While I was in high school, my family visited Ireland for a week. Those are the only times I have left U.S. soil. I love to travel because I think you learn so much from traveling, but I haven’t had the opportunity to travel as much since my children were born.
      Where else would you like to go?
      Mrs. Donofrio

  18. Dear Mrs.Donofrio,

    Its so hard to think of the best day of my life but here I go. The best day of my life is when I get to see my family they are the most important people in my life now because once you don’t have them you see how much they mean to you and you hold that one special memory tat you had with them. That was the best day of my life now whats yours?

  19. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    I saw that movie in the theater 100 Foot Journey it is such a good movie. My favorite part is when they first opened the restaurant and how they`re persuading people to come into the restaurant and eat, what is your favorite part of the movie?
    sincerely Lauren

    • Hi Lauren,
      I also really liked the movie The 100 Foot Journey. The father was my favorite character; he was pretty funny. I liked it when he told the French chef that she was also trespassing on private property. I also liked the part you mentioned when the father is stealing away customers from the French restaurant. Other parts that were not funny but were moving in other ways were when the son made the omelette and she loved it; when he read all the cookbooks in his room with his burned hands, when the mother died in the fire….so sad; and when they won the Michelin Star. Do you like to cook? My children like to watch the Food Network on tv, especially Worst Cooks in America and The Next Food Network Star. Do you have the Food Network in Canada?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  20. Hey Mrs.Donofrio

    I thought the video of the dog was cool, but I wonder how they got the dog to do that. Probably the best day of my life was a few weeks ago when we were at the farmers market and were just leaving when we walked past a truck with kittens in the back. We walked over there and the person selling them said “they are for free”. After my Mom stood there and petted the kitten for what seemed like eternity, I gave up and walked to the car. Just as I was chowing down on my chocolate croissant I heard the sound of a door opening and then BAM there was a kitten looking up at me with big brown eyes, “mew” it said. Anyway that cat is now named Ramone and lives at our house. That is the best day of my life (so far).

    see ya


    • Hi Boone,
      What a great story about the day Ramone became a member of your family. In our class, we have been looking closely at “what writers must do for readers” in order to keep readers interested in their writing. You are doing a lot of what writers need to do! You’ve used figures of speech and a variety of sentence structures. You organized your writing chronologically. You have some very specific adjectives and nouns, such as chocolate croissants, and you made the reader think- I also wonder how they got the dog to act for the camera. Thanks for leaving us such a well-written comment! Keep up the great work.
      Are you enjoying Ramone? Do you have any other pets?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  21. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    I didn’t know that the 20th of October was National Writing Day! If I did I probably would wrote something, because that would have been cool, to write a story on National Writing Day.
    I would have to say that the best day of my life was probably when I got my first dog, because it was my first chance to make a big change in the household! I ended up choosing a short-haired black Shih Tzu, his name is Otis!
    I wonder why National Writing Day is on October 20th?

    • Hi Sara,
      I am noticing from our comments that lots of kids feel the best day of their lives were the days that there pets came home to live. Perhaps the video inspired them. Have you ever seen the movie Hotel for Dogs? It’s about the adoption of lots of dogs and a couple of kids, too. I think you would like it if you haven’t seen it yet.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  22. Hi Mrs Donofrio,

    I loved the song with the dog this is in fact my favorite song. My best day is when I got my cat because when we went to the SPCA one of the cats cat immediately came up to us and rubbed his head against my shoe I immediately knew we were going to get him. So we signed the adoption papers and that day Zeus became part of our family.

    From Scott

    • Hi Scott,
      Thanks for commenting on our blog! I love the name of you cat. We recently finished a unit on Greek Mythology in my classes. Who named your cat Zeus? Is he a large cat? How did you come up with his name?
      We have a dog named Teddy. My husband named him; I think he was eating Teddy Grahams when we brought our dog home from the shelter where we got him. Teddy has his own blog, which is connected to our Hey, Kids! blog. You can visit him if you’d like! One year I wrote a little book about Teddy and some of my students illustrated it. I have dreams that Teddy will become as big a star as Clifford, the Big Red Dog, or Arthur Reed, the aardvark. Do you have those characters in Canada?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  23. Hi Mrs.Donofrio

    I remember the best day I had, was when I was in grade four, I got a kitten named shadow. He has a very furry coat and it’s gray. He is three years old and ways 20 pounds, he is fat, but as my mom says he has “muscles”, He is very crazy as well. so that was one of the best days of my life.



  24. The best day of my life was when i got the 2 best dogs in the world their names are Buck and willow I was so happy when my mom adopted them they were so little and that same day we took them on their first boat ride they were scared and at the same time so happy.

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