Mrs. Gassmann's Second Grade Class
Wilburn Elementary School
Raleigh, North Carolina

Brave Irene

We read Brave Irene by William Steig. Since our school system focuses on character traits, we discussed Irene's bravery and perseverance as we read the story.  We read the story up to the point where Irene arrives at the palace - without the dress.  Before we read the original ending by Mr. Steig, we wrote our own ending as a shared writing experience.

Then we went to the computer lab to illustrate our story.  Each student got one sentence to illustrate.  The sentence was typed in Word, and the picture file inserted at the top of the page.  We printed several copies of each page and bound them to create a book.  We presented a copy to the media center and placed a copy of our book in our classroom library.  Here is the ending of our story.

Brave Irene 
Our own ending
 by Mrs. Gassmann's Second Graders

Irene nervously knocked on the door. "I lost the dress," she said sadly. "It's okay, " the duchess replied. I have another dress to wear.

"Really?" Irene asked.

"It's red and blue with green stripes. Your mother made it for me last year," the duchess said.

"Can I please come in for a minute? It is freezing out here." Irene shivered on the cold, snowy porch.

"You poor dear, you can come in." the duchess said. "Would you like a cup of cocoa?"

"Yes, please. I would like some."

As she walked through the ballroom everyone was whispering and staring at Irene. "Look at that small girl in the wet clothes." "Where did she come from?" they said. Irene felt shy and embarrassed.

The duchess asked Irene if she wanted some dry clothes. She took Irene upstairs and gave her a dress she had saved from when she was a little girl. The dress was glittery pink with a wide silk sash. Irene felt special - like a princess!

When they went downstairs the duchess announced that Irene had arrived. The duchess' son asked Irene to dance.

"It would be my pleasure," Irene said.

So they danced and danced until Irene couldn't dance any longer.

As they were resting and sipping their cocoa, Irene suddenly remembered her mother. "My mother!" Irene exclaimed.

Just then there was a knock on the door. It was Mrs. Bobbin!

"Irene! How long have you been here? I've been worried sick!" She gave Irene a hug.

"Momma, I'm so sorry. I lost the dress you made. I tried my best to deliver it but the wind was too strong. It blew the dress away," Irene told her mother.

"It's okay dumpling. Look what I found." In her arms was the dress!

The duchess convinced Mrs. Bobbin to put on the dress and join the party. They danced, ate and drank cocoa all night long. This was the best day ever for Irene and her mother. After hearing about how brave her daughter was, Mrs. Bobbin made a toast to Irene… the girl who showed the most perseverance of all!

Everyone cheered for brave Irene!


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Patricia Knox & Susan Silverman - Kidspired Frosty Tales 2004