December 31, 2013

One of my happiest days of 2013 was the day a young red fox came to visit at my house. I shared the photographs with my readers, and you all answered back with some wonderful writing! I hope you enjoy the top story of 2013 as much as I did. 

I want to wish a very Happy New Year to all my readers. See you in 2014! 


Readers of the Seymour Science blog looked at my photographs and read what I wrote about the red fox who visited my house. What I particularly like is that you looked closely, observed, and wrote about fresh details in the photographs. You found your own words for describing what was happening in the scene, using imaginative words that engaged all of our senses. And some of you created wonderful new scenes and even let us in on what the fox was thinking. Nice job!



We had many entries from students in Mrs. Bosch’s fifth grade class at Cannondale House, with good use of dialogue* (imagining what the fox is thinking or saying) to describe the scene. 

Ben wrote:

The sleek, sly, soft orange fox stared into the cold autumn breeze waiting, hoping for a midday snack to come. The leaves howled and the grass shivered. The rocky surface beneath him stung like ice with a layer of frost. The sun glimmered as if in need of a coat.

Chris: What I imagine is that that the fox was just sitting in this refreshing autumn breeze and thinking about how nice this sunny day is. It was just chilling on those rocks thinking, "my friends really have to try this, they sure are missing out." What I saw was a cool red fox laying down on the little pebbles, with its big fluffy tail flapping in the wind. Its giant ears were probably picking up every little sound around him/her. The face was so pointy, it could probably be used as a butcher’s knife.

Pearson: The orange and red fox sits lazily on the rocky ground as the wind blows gently on its silky fur. He looks up to see birds fluttering their wings looking for a worm. The fox gently lays back down. He is sunbathing. "Ahhhhhhh," he thinks, "this is nice." After some time he gets back up and trots to another nice spot with some food.

Mrs. Froehlich’s Kent House fifth graders used some great adjectives and compound descriptors to describe the fox. Look for compound descriptors like "Autumn-colored fur".... ""sun-colored".... "newly-formed dew." 

Mikey: As I gaze out my window, I see a lonely fox licking his autumn-colored fur. He stretches his hind legs and slowly lowers himself to the ground. He stifles a yawn, and shuts his eyes as he starts to bask in the warm autumn sun. He lies there, and I continue to watch him. After a while, he opens eyes and stretches again. Then, he trots off back into the shadowed depths of his kingdom.

Kayla: I can see the sun-colored fox laying on rocks that have been heated up by the bright sun. The fox is sun bathing, but also pretending to be asleep for a possible mid afternoon snack. It is a bright and beautiful autumn day in late October and the fox is startled by the rustling of some leaves, but it is nothing. So, the fox settles down in a nice warm and cozy comfy spot and drifts off to sleep like he’s sitting on a cloud. "Nothing could wake me up now," he thought, but not long after that, a quiet little bunny makes his way toward the fox. Though that bunny was as silent as a mouse, the fox jumped up in surprise, but saw nothing. The fox was most definitely, positively sure he heard something, but as he trudged off into the woods, he thought, "it was probably just the howling of the wind." The fox gingerly laid down next to a murky swamp, not minding the smell at all, thinking, "it was the wind, probably just the wind."

Lily: September leaves fall on this baby fox as he bathes in September sun. He is looking curiously for any sign of life what so ever. Wind blows on him furiously but don’t worry, his thick copper fur can finally be useful after a long hot summer. Leaves and rocks crunch every few minutes as this courageous fox looks for prey. Maybe it is lunchtime. "Anyone seen any petite animals?" Some people think wolfs are big and bad but inside they have a warm heart.

Morgane: I am a red fox sitting on the cold, hard rocks. I groom myself then circle my rocky territory before I find the perfect spot. I lie down and dream about my next meal, maybe rabbit! or chipmunk! mmm… I lick my lips before nodding off. When I wake up with my fur damp with newly-formed dew. I shake my limp fur. I suddenly see a strange man with a contraption, and SNAP! A flash of light comes into view. Startled, I trot away to be followed by CLICK! SNAP! and SNAP! As I disappear into the woods and turn back to see the strange man wave and disappear.

Mack: It was chilly autumn day. Leaves falling from trees, raking leaves, then bouncing into them. All of a sudden a fox came out of the forest. He sat down and turned his head at the children jumping into the leaves. As he turned his head you could see a white stripe on his fur but it was very faint. Then he sniffed his nose at the hot dogs sizzling off the grill. He got up for a sec then sat back down. It was like he had already tasted the glorious hot dogs. Then a leaf fell over his head. He picked it with his mouth and trotted back in the forest.

Mrs. McCusker’s fourth grade class focused on creative writing, imagining the fox’s thoughts and activities - things that we could not see in the photographs.

Drew: A red-orange fox basking in the warm autumn sun. "Is that a bird I smell?" thought the sleek red fox. "I love autumn," thought the fox. "The warm sun on my back. The wind in my fur. The leaves falling. Trees rustling in the wind."  

Finnegan: It was a very warm autumn day and a red fox with orange eyes was sitting on some gray rocks. The fox was curled up in a ball sunning itself. The birds were chirping and the fox was curious to figure out why they were chirping. Suddenly, out came a black squirrel. The fox got up and ran at an unimaginable speed to get the squirrel. Luckily the squirrel climbed up a tree before the fox got to him. So the fox sat on the rocks again and continued sunning himself.

Grant: It was one windy autumn day and there was a fox sitting on a stone. He was thinking of all kinds of things.  Then he went to groom his tail and the fox said "Wow, my tail is stinking up a storm."  He thought his tail smelled like a rotten egg that had been sitting in the sun too long. Then a bird came along and tried to speak, but the fox said "Don’t disturb me I’m trying to get my tan in." When the fox was tanning he could feel the warm sun blazing on him.  After the fox got his tan, he went to his house for dinner.

Mrs. Staub’s fourth graders looked closely at the photographs and described details that I did not mention when I originally wrote about the fox:

Meredith: The red fox feels the cool breeze and the warm sun on this crisp autumn day. Sitting on hard cool rock with a grassy background. He listens to the bugs with their buggy noises as they crawl around the ground. The light bounces off his red fur and the bright color bounces back to your eyes. It’s great to look at such a magnificent animal.    

Audrey: The red fox is sitting on smooth and jagged rocks. Its reddish fur is shining in the sunlight, and is blowing in the warm breeze. Its big, brownish eyes look like they are staring right at me. Its little black nose is sniffing the air for any predators or prey. Suddenly it jumps up on its little black paws and scurries away. 

Daniella: The sly red fox’s fur glimmered in the sun on the hot autumn day, at the edge of the woods in Black Butte, Oregon waiting and waiting for a small mouse to scurry through the rocks.  The Autumn leaves danced in the wind one by one. Suddenly a monarch butterfly gracefully flew by, the fox pounced on it trying to catch it. I watched from behind the blueberry bush as the fox tried to catch it. The fox was hot and tired, it tiptoed over to the oak tree in the shade and licked itself to sleep.

Thanks again to all 40 students who shared their excellent writing!

* (Editor’s note: we added quotation marks around the dialogue, to help your readers "hear" the fox’s voice).


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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