Welcome to our Authors and Artists blog! This is a web site for my "Budding Authors and Artists" (grades 1-2) and "Awesome Authors and Artists" (grades 3-6) to have a chance to showcase their work. Please feel free to leave any comments for these outstanding authors or their teacher!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Budding Authors and Artists: Opinions of Thomas Edison's Greatest Invention

     Near Thomas Edison's birthday (February 11th), the Budding Class had a discussion on Thomas Edison's amazing perseverance when it came to inventing the light bulb.  We then talked about what the world would be like if the light bulb had never been invented!  The students filled out a reflection sheet and turned it into a short essay.  For some of the students, this was the longest piece they had ever written.  I especially liked Colton's (2nd grade), and thought you would like to hear his perspective on what makes the light bulb so important!

     Dark Places, by Colton (2nd grade)
     Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb was courageous.  The light bulb is life-changing because it was an amazing creation!  Thomas Edison did not give up at all.  He kept trying.  Without the light bulb, we may end up in the hospital because you may trip.  When you go camping, you may step on a venomous snake.  The teachers at school would wonder where their students went as they snuck away in the dark!  I think the light bulb is amazing because it changed life for mankind!

Budding Authors and Artists: Snowman Draw and Describe Game

     The "Budding" class got to play a guessing game.  Here's how you play:

Step 1: Draw a snowman with a creative background.
Step 2: Describe your snowman with lots of ADJECTIVES!    Fill in the sentence starters to write an amazing paragraph about your snowman.
Step 3: All snowmen are displayed on the board, and as the teacher reads the descriptions, the class tries to guess which snowman is being read about!  If a guess is correct on the first try, then that author did an OUTSTANDING job of describing their artwork!

     Here is one sample of a very creative and artistic snowman, drawn and described by Violet (2nd grade):

     My snowman is made up of three glittery snowballs.  Her head has thirty shiny pieces of coal, fat lines on its nose, and a fabulous tiara.  She also has four pink, magenta, blue, and yellow ruffles.  The background has a disco ball, two bright lights, and a red carpet.  My snowman is gorgeous and happy!

Awesome Authors and Artists: The Snowman Draw Game!

     This partner writing game is always a favorite, year to year!  Students can't wait to play it and improve and learn from their mistakes in the game they played earlier in the year, "Monster Draw."  (Scroll down to see the results of that game!)  This year, we practically had twin drawings, the writing and reading was so good!

     Here's how you play:
Step 1: Draw a snowman and a winter scene.
Step 2: Describe your snowman with.... You guessed it!  ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES!  Describe size, shape, color, and number with every sentence!  Organize your writing into paragraphs, so it is easier for your partner to read and comprehend.
Step 3: If you did Step 2 well, you will be able to hand your description to a partner, and they will be able to draw your picture almost exactly!

     Winners were voted on by the classes.  It was an exciting competition!  Enjoy!

Alena's Snowman (3rd grade)
     My snowman has three balls.  One big ball is on the bottom, the next ball is medium sized and it is in the middle, and the last ball is on the top and is the smallest.

     The smallest ball on the top should have a hat on the top.  It should have a yellow belt on the hat, and the rest should be black.  The head should have black eyes and glasses around the eyes.  They should be small rectangles.  The nose should be in the middle.  It should be orange and small.  The mouth has a smile made of seven pieces of black coal.

     The middle circle should have arms that are medium size with three fingers.  On the right there should be a red book.  Where the head and the middle ball meet, there should be an orange scarf.  The middle will have three small blue buttons and the rest of the middle ball should be yellow.

     The last ball is the bottom ball.  It should have red boots.

     Now the background should be a long line about up to the bottom ball.  There should be a tree on the left.  The tree's trunk should be brown.  The leaves should be green.  On the top right, there should be a yellow medium sized moon.

I know you can't see it from where you are, but Alena's penmanship was so neat and easy to read!  For being one of our youngest players, she was so clear with her paragraphs!  She got Alyssa (4th grade) to draw this!

Rayne's Snowman (5th grade)
     My snowman is a girl.  She can be a little tricky to draw if you don't pay attention.  There are three main parts of my snowman.  She is standing on a hill.

     The head is a horizontal rectangle that is colored purple.  But first, you will have to draw six coal pieces as the mouth.  She has a carrot nose facing down that is orange.  She has two square eyes with thick eyelashes on the top of the eyes.  Her pupils are black and facing the snowman's left.  The rest of the eye is colored blue.  She has four strands of hair sticking off the top of her head that are spaced out, black, and leaning toward the snowman's left.

     The middle section is a horizontal short oval that is colored aqua green.  It has no outline.

     The bottom is a vertical rectangle with three buttons that are black going vertically down the rectangle.  The rectangle is colored lemon yellow.  The arms are coming out of the bottom of the middle section, and the top of the bottom rectangle.  The arms are made of four snowballs that are colored pink.  There are three black twig fingers coming out of the last snowball.  The two feet are like half ovals that are colored blue.

     The background is fun to do, so listen closely.  There is a sun in the snowman's right corner peeking out.  There are four rays of sun that are yellow, and the sun is also colored yellow.  There are two clouds in the middle of the sky that are not colored.  The rest of the sky is lightly shaded blue, but still neat, but not fully colored.  The hill on which the snowman is standing takes about a fourth of the paper and is not fully colored, but shaded green.
Rayne is a pro at this game!  This is her 6th game and she knows how to describe her art!  Look what she got Caren (4th grade) to draw!

Caleb's Snowman (4th grade)
     (All directions are from your perspective.)

     The bottom snowball of the three snowballs is a really big horizontal oval.  The middle snowball is a medium sized circle.  The top snowball (the head) is a small circle shape.  All of the snowballs are white.

     In the middle of the head (top snowball), there is a large orange pointy carrot that points to the right.  There are two black eyes above the nose.  There are five black coal pieces for the mouth that is shaped like a frown.  On top of the head there is a brown arc shape.

     In the middle of the middle snowball there are three black coal pieces that are vertical.  On the sides of the snowball, there are tiny brown arms with three tiny fingers.

     On the bottom snowball there are black lines that are diagonal and start from left to right and go from top to bottom.

     Below the bottom snowball there is green spiky grass.  On the right of the snowman's head, there is a gray bird standing on the snowman's middle snowball.  The bird is tiny with an orange beak.  The bird's head is a vertical oval.  The bird's body is diagonal.  On the top right corner of the paper, there is a yellow circular sun.  Next to the sun on the left is a gray horizontal oval cloud.
Caleb's Snowman makes me laugh!  That grouchy face with a happy bird on his shoulder is so funny, and he described his picture so thoroughly that Neel (3rd grade) produced this!

Sasha's Snowman (5th grade)
     My snowman's body has seventeen small balls going vertically and one big ball on top of them.  On the last small ball (the one nearest to the big ball), there is one stick arm going out of each side.  On the most bottom small ball, draw two small stick legs.

     On the head (the biggest ball), there is a ball that almost takes up the whole ball.  Then draw a ball inside it that is only a tiny bit smaller.  Color this circle orange.  It is an iris.  Then draw a medium circle.  Color it black.  But leave one tiny ball white.  (It is near the bottom of the pupil.)  Under this eye, draw a tiny smile.  On top of the head, there is a brown pony tail that sticks up.  It is spiky.  The hair band is sky blue.  The hair is light brown.  Now outlines the whole snowman in violet, including the arms, legs, and pony tail.  Outlines only the outside of the snowman.

     In every small ball there is one small sky blue circle.  Caution!  Do not put one on the head.

     Draw a line which is the ground across the middle of the page.  On YOUR left, draw a yellow sun with eleven lines as the rays.  Do not outline these yellow!  On each side of the snowman, there are five snowflakes, which are balls.  There is no sky!

     On the ground, not above it, there are trees and hearts.  On YOUR left, there are three trees that are made by a triangle and a small brown rectangle under it as the stump.  They are not in a line as they are scattered.  On YOUR right, there are four more of the trees.

     For the hearts, there are three hearts on YOUR left and four hearts on YOUR right.  They are magenta, and they are scattered.  

     Happy Snowman Drawing!
As I watched Sasha draw this in class, I thought to myself, how is she going to describe this?  But she did it so well, that my 8th grade assistant Mira (who ended up being partners with Sasha due to an odd number of students that day) drew this!

Kathleen's Snowman (5th grade)
(Writing to be added soon!)

Kathleen was so clear that Amelia (4th grade), an amazing reader, read it and drew this!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Session II is well under way! We started with Super Sentence Writing...

     Session II of "Budding Authors and Artists" and "Awesome Authors and Artists" started up in late January, and I am finally getting caught up and making my blog selections.  Grades 1-6 took a boring base sentence:
"The snowflake falls."
     And turned it into a masterpiece with adjectives, adverbs, phrases, and clauses!  The "Awesome" class even learned how to start a sentence with "Because."  Of course, no sentence would be complete without glittery snowflake stickers and glitter pens!  I hope you enjoy these samples across the grades!
At midnight, the small snowflake falls on the smooth tree.
By Kyler, 1st grade

The happy small snowflake falls nicely on the warm ground, in Hawaii, on an amazing night.
By Natalie, 2nd grade

Because it's a freezing day in the North Pole, a delicate and unique snowflake gently falls on the thick snow.
By Isabella, 3rd grade

On Christmas morning, when the sun is setting, the crispy chilly snowflake delicately falls and melts on my dog's white, fluffy fur.
By Andrew, 4th grade

When the neighbor's dog barks at midnight, the tiny icy snowflake falls and dances through the air.
By Maddie, 5th grade

Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween Costume Draw Game!

The "Budding" Authors and Artists celebrated Halloween with a writing game.  First, they drew a picture of themselves in their Halloween costume.  Next, they wrote 4-5 sentences describing their costumes in clear detail.  On the second day, I pinned all of the pictures on the white board and read their descriptions to the class.  We had 100% correct guesses this year, which signified that the students wrote REALLY clearly and descriptively!  Here are a couple for you to enjoy:

The Emoji Face, by Kyler (1st grade)
     My costume has a small emoji face.  It also has cool black glasses.  I'll also be wearing orange pants.  My favorite part about my costume is the glasses because they are cool.  My costume is funny!

The Night of the Munchkin, by Colton (2nd grade)
     My costume has red, green, and orange colors.  It also has an orange wig with two bald spots.  I'll be wearing elf shoes that are black and curly.  My favorite part about my costume is my big lollipop in my hand.  My costume is very old!

The Monster Draw Game!

     This fabulous On-Demand Writing lesson is a favorite of my students year to year.   Here is how you play:

Step 1: Draw a monster or imaginative creature.  (We do this right before Halloween, so that is usually the theme that comes to mind.)

Step 2: Write a vivid description of your monster, organizing into paragraphs its different features and background scene.
Step 3: Trade descriptions with a partner, and without communicating, attempt to draw the other monster strictly from the descriptive writing.

     This game always results in some good laughs, as students learn the importance of including EVERY detail, and what happens when something important is left out.  This game is played in one class period, so students must work quickly, edit their work, and pace themselves.  Students then vote the following week on which monsters are practically twins!  Winners get blog honors, and here they are!

Sasha's Monster (5th grade)
     To start my monster, you should draw four water bottle-cap sized circles that are vertical.  The higher circle overlaps the one below by a little bit.

     The top circle has one medium eye exactly in the middle with one black pupil in the middle of the eye.  Below the eye there is a smiling red mouth that is slightly open.  On top, there is a blue bow which is medium sized.  The top circle is aqua green.

     The second circle (the one below it) is cerulean and has six violet polka dots in  it.  The dots are small.  Out of this circle there is an arm out of each side.  It is only a stick!  The arm on your right is holding an orange flower with four petals, a yellow middle, and a  green stem (no leaves.)

     The circle underneath has five horizontal stripes in a pattern: aqua, green, cerulean.

     The last ball is violet.  Out of this ball, two medium feet with a little line on the end come out.

     Under these feet there is a medium magenta heart and above the cerulean bow on top there is a medium yellow heart!

     After the second ball, but before the third one, on each side there are two little hearts that are salmon.

Sasha wrote so clearly, describing each little ball on this creature, that her partner Claire (4th grade) drew the twin!

Evelyn's Monster (3rd grade)

     My monster's body is a circle with pink fur and dark green polka-dots.  It has seven eyes: one on each wing, one on each shoe, and three on its face.  My monster has two arms that are pink.  It also has legs that are pink.  It also has a triangle shaped hat with a puff ball on the top that is pink.  Its face has three noses.  Its legs are pink, and the shoes are orange.  There are two yellow wings.  There are three mountains behind my creature.  The one in the middle and the one on the right both have ice on the top.  The one on the left side does not have any ice, but it also has a stream flowing down to the pond.  It has a gray moon on the left side.  My creature also has two big pumpkins and two small ones.  They go small, big, small, big.
This was Evelyn's first time every playing this game!  She wrote so clearly, that her very experienced partner Daniella (5th grade) drew this:

Ruby's Monster (5th grade)
     First, you have to turn your paper so that it's vertical.  Then, we will start on the face.

     Make a medium-sized circle.  Then, in the middle of it, draw an eyeball with a magenta pupil.  Then on the cheeks of this monster, there are three whiskers on each side.  Make sure the whiskers are light silver.  Then lightly color the face red.  On top of its head, it has three lines.  The left one and the right one are slanted, facing the sides of the page, but the one in the middle should stand still.  By the way, the lines are black.  There is no mouth or nose.

     Now moving on to the body.  The body is about four times larger than the head.  It is also a circle. My monster is like a snowman with two circles.  Then, in this circle, draw a swirly whirly, like a lollipop!  Make sure it's dark blue.  Now color the rest turquoise.  Now make two little circles for hands.  Make the hands slightly bigger than the holes on this paper.  Make them sky blue.  Now make five green ovals for feet on the bottom of the body.

     Last thing is the background.  The monster is on a white path, and on the side is green grass. 

     Can you draw my monster?
Ruby is an experienced pro at this game!  So is her partner Talya (5th grade).  Look at how close these two monsters are!

Congratulations to our Winners!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Noun Poems!

     The "Budding" class studied nouns.  They learned that a Noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.  A Proper Noun is a Special Noun, and it starts with a capital letter because it is so special and has such importance!  This simple project made studying nouns fun!  It is a simple fill-in-the-blank poem that the students loved filling out, and most of all, reading aloud!  They got pretty silly!  Enjoy!

Peterson's (2nd grade) Noun Poem

Violet's (2nd grade) Noun Poem