The Deadly Sewers

(Teacher) Timothy lost his balance and then suddenly vanished down a manhole, landing directly at the bottom of the city’s despicable sewer. (Student) I jumped after him, and I too landed in the greasy sewers, the horrendous smell quickly crawling up my nose. (Teacher) I thought the nasty smell would stay there temporarily, but it was taking forever to go away. (Student) All of a sudden, I was briefly submerged in the discolored water. (Teacher) I don’t know how long I stayed, but it felt I could never get out of here. (Student) Sometimes, I would try to breathe even though I knew I shouldn’t. (Teacher) Suddenly, I heard a loud boom from somewhere; it almost sounded like the wail of a small child. Soon, I realized it was Timothy. (Student) When I went to take a breath of air, I shortly saw Timothy being terrorized by rats. (Teacher) A group of creepy rats were greedily nibbling on my friend’s toes and another group, happily crawling all over his head. (Student) I was usually terrified of rodents, but this moment, I had a strong urge to help Timothy. I grabbed the rat by the tail (and which will never happen again, not even yearly), and flung it away. (Teacher) I quietly fought my fear and acted like a hero because I didn’t want to scare my friend who was trembling like an earthquake. (Student) I was about to grab another rat, but before I could, it bit Timothy. My friend screamed so loud that I easily slipped back into the water. There was something there to cushion me; it was scaly and rough, and then all of a sudden, that thing turned back and showed me its bloody teeth. Then, it roared and roared again and whipped me outside of the water. The crocodile slid onto the floor and slapped the rats back into the water with its tail. Suddenly, I saw a stick, which I took it and poked in the beast’s eye; it hissed and grunted and then went back into the water. (Teacher) When Timothy saw me safely anchored near a small patch of land, he slowly started coming toward me. Yesterday, it was the happiest day in his life—it was his birthday—and today, he was fighting for his life. (Student) The irony is, I had bought him a stuffed crocodile as a birthday gift and now it was on the bottom of the sewer! (Teacher) With all his might, Timothy tried to swim in the rapidly accelerating water and just when he approached me, I saw a rope floating in the water. I grabbed it and threw the thick strand toward him. (Student) Timothy caught it, and then slowly came to me. He stretched his legs for a while, and then we both went back into the water and swam, trying to find a way out. After swimming for an hour, we found an iron ladder attached to a manhole cover. We started climbing up till we saw the blinding light and the fresh air we smell often daily. (Teacher) I smiled, and said hello to the sunshine and goodbye to the deadly sewers.

Instruction and learning objective:

This exercise was a part of “Adverb” lesson where students were asked to write a story along with the teacher (in private class) or their classmates (in group class). To make it challenging, they were instructed to use 25 adverbs from the below list—one or two adverbs in each sentence, without repeating any. Sometimes, children thrive well when put in a fun yet challenging learning environment. The “Adverb” lesson was created keeping this in mind, where students had to be spontaneous, find a clever way to incorporate those adverbs, and write with their teacher (and classmates). 

All my students tried their best, but Pranav was the only one who accomplished this mammoth task, and that too in just one hour of class time! Not only he incorporated all the adverbs (all the underlined words), he also delivered an action-packed, exciting story, along with a good title. The published story has only been lightly edited, so what we wrote in the class is the final version.

Writing prompt: I was walking home with my best friend when he or she vanished down a manhole. I jumped in to save my friend and discover that…

Adverb list: Now, Soon, Yesterday, Early, Again, Here, Somewhere, Outside, Bottom, Near, Quickly, Happily, Quietly, Easily, Greedily, Often, Daily, Yearly, Usually, Sometimes, Briefly, Forever, Long, Temporarily, and Shortly.



Pranav Saranga - 8th grade

Pranav is a confident and positive person, and has clarity of thought. Additionally, he is able to take directions well and instantly apply them to his writing skills. He is rapidly developing a fine vocabulary; not only he grasps new words readily, he is also able to apply them to his work.