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!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Our Greatest Inventions!

     After studying Thomas Edison and his greatest inventions, the students got to invent their own amazing new product!  The "Budding" class wrote one paragraph describing their inventions.  The "Awesome" class wrote a five paragraph essay, after outlining:
~a title and brief description
~how their invention would work
~whom it would help
~any interesting features/cost
~a fabulous "sell it" conclusion

     Here are a few of my favorites across the grades!

     The Insta-Print, by Ethan (5th grade)
     Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847.  He was a great American inventor who made the light bulb.  Thomas Edison's light bulb changed the industrial world.  This new machine called the Insta-Print will change the world forever, too!

     Have you ever heard a student say, "Ugh!  I'm done with my rough draft, but now I have to write a final copy."  Or, "I don't have enough ink to make then copies.  I wish I had a printer that doesn't use any ink."  Or, "I wish printers didn't have cords, didn't malfunction, and I also wish printers were easy to set up."  With the Insta-Print, these complaints will never be said again!

     The Insta-Print is very easy to use.  First, write your notes, essays, or draw a drawing.  Next, choose your paper type, color, and size.  Then, choose black and white, or color.  Fourth, push "print," and wait five seconds.  Then, the thing you want to print will be printed!

     This invention would help 1st-12th graders most.  But this invention can help artists, authors, or anyone who wants to write a paper only once!

     The Insta-Print is only $34.99 and is available on Amazon, Prime-Now, and EZ Buy.  It is also available in retail stores like Target, Walmart, Costco, and Safeway.  The Insta-Print comes in fifteen modern colors.  It can fold up and fit in your pocket!  This Insta-Print is different from a printer because the Insta-Print does not need ink, and is cordless.  You might think, "Then I guess it needs batteries instead of cords."  If you thought that, you are wrong!  It does not need batteries!  The Insta-Print is easy to set up as well.  It's perfect!

     Next time, when you need an essay or school paper, it will be PERFECTLY easy!

Painless Teeth Toothbrush and Toothpaste Set, by Sasha (4th grade)
     Don't you want your wiggly teeth to come out painlessly?  Well, buy the Painless Teeth Toothbrush and Toothpaste.  It makes your loose teeth come out without any discomfort.

     The Painless Teeth products are easy to use.  You put the toothpaste on the brush and brush your teeth.  It will not make all of your teeth come out.  It works for loose and wiggly teeth only.  You wait one minute, and the tooth falls out painlessly.

     This invention would help millions of kids all over the world.  No more hurting teeth?  That would be heaven!  If you're a parent, wouldn't it be nice to not have a screaming child yelling at you when you are trying to pull out their loose teeth?

     You can get this product in any color.  One dollar less if you get it in blue.  One dollar more if you get it pink.  You can customize the color and the flavor!

     Never have painful loose teeth again!

More inventions to come soon.......

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thomas Edison's Greatest Invention

     The "Awesome Authors and Artists" participated in a fun persuasive writing/speaking assignment.  Week #1, they learned all about Thomas Edison's most famous inventions, and formed groups based on their opinions on which one was THE most important.  They wrote essays together (or sometimes separately, if no one chose to agree with them), using teamwork and research to come up with the best arguments.  Week #2, the students met with their group to fine tune and add any new arguments, and then had fun debating with a speech and a question/answer session.   I gave the students the option of symbolically joining someone who had persuaded them so well that their minds got changed.  (I say "symbolically," because they were a little worried they would have to write a second paper!  I made sure to let them know that all they had to do was get up and join that new group in spirit!) 

     Sophia (5th grade) was one of those students who started this assignment off alone, and ended up convincing Sammie and Samantha (5th graders) to join her group due to her persuasive arguments.  She also did a great job of proving that Thomas Edison's other inventions wouldn't be possible without this one.  Bravo, Sophia!  Here is her piece:

     The Powerful Power Stations!

     I chose the power station as Thomas Edison's most important invention because it controls everything and makes everything work!  I hope that you will be convinced that the power station is the best invention by Thomas Edison.

     There are tons of power stations everywhere.  They are so important!   They help run video games, light bulbs, schools, shopping malls, factories, and many more important things that everybody loves.

     Without the power station, the world would be dark because of no light at night.  Countries that have few hours of sunlight would not be able to see!  People would starve to death because of no power to help the refrigerators keep food cold.  There would be no light to write stories on the typewriter or to help build the electric train!  Kids wouldn't be happy, because they couldn't play with electric toys.

     The power stations bring light to the dark world!

     Dylan (6th grade), Charlotte (6th grade), and Joseph (5th grade) all agreed that the phonograph was Edison's most important invention.  Here is why!

     The Phonograph is the best of Thomas Edison's inventions.  The Beatles, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC wouldn't be around if not for the phonograph.  The phonograph also led to things that we use daily, like CD's and tape recorders.  If there were no DVD's, there would be no videos of shows that you forgot to watch in the theater.  Also, without the phonograph, there would be no sound from the phone.

     Sometimes, if the music is fast, it will make you fast too.  If it is slow music, it might have the opposite effect.  This can also be a good thing because if somebody has anger issues or someone has high blood pressure, it can make them calm and then lower their blood pressure.

     This is why the phonograph is easily, by far, the greatest invention.  It inspired other inventions.  If not for the phonograph, many other inventions wouldn't exist.

     Sophia (3rd grade) picked the invention Edison is most famous for: the light bulb.  Enjoy her beautiful introduction, body, and conclusion in this well-organized essay!

     The light bulb is very important.  This invention changed the world.  It really helps light up your day!

     The light bulb is used to bring light to billions of houses.  Millions of people use its warm glow to light up classrooms.  Without the light bulb, this writing club would be held in almost entire darkness.  The simple light bulb led to modern lights, like the ones in this classroom.  The world needs light!  

     Candles used to be used instead of light bulbs.  They may set fire to paper or wood.  They may even set fire to your entire house!

     Imagine living in a northern country during winter.  You would only have two to three hours of daylight each day!  You would be living in vast darkness!

     No light bulbs, no streetlights or headlights.  No streetlights or headlights, no taking nighttime walks or driving at night.  Light bulbs really help light up the world!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LOVE Poems!

I LOVE this simple project completed by my Budding Authors and Artists Classes for Valentine's Day.  It's so much fun hearing their creative answers when it comes to sounds, smells, tastes, colors and more!  Enjoy the sweetness!

By Colby (1st grade)

By Colton (1st grade)

by Larsen (2nd grade)

by Tyler (2nd grade)

by Roseanne (3rd grade)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Snowman Draw Game: Descriptive Writing Fun!

ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES!!  Without them, our readers are left with an incomplete picture in their minds.  With that theme, the 3rd-6th graders participated in the Snowman Draw Game.  Here is how it is played:

Step 1: Draw a snowman with a background.
Step 2: Describe your snowman in paragraph form, from head to bottom, with adjectives that tell SIZE, SHAPE, COLOR, and NUMBER.
Step 3: Trade descriptions with a partner, and try and draw theirs while your partner draws yours!

The winners were judged by the class, and the contests were close.  Congratulations to our winners!

Izzy's Snow Family (5th grade)
     I have made a snowman family!  The first snowman is on your left.  He is made of three balls.  He has two round black eyes.  He has one horizontal orange triangle nose.  His smile is five black dots.  He has a black hate that is slightly tilted to your left.  The circle under the top one has a brown sleeveless vest that is outlined with dark blue.  It also has three black buttons going straight down the middle in a vertical line.  His arms are brown.  They are straight with three little fingers at the end.

     There is another snowman on the right.  It is a showgirl.  She has two round black eyes and a horizontal orange nose.  Her smile is three black dots that are slightly moved to your left.  She has a small pink bow on your right.  She has a pink shirt just like the snowman except it's pink and is outlined in gold.  Her arms are straight and brown with three tiny fingers at the ends.  On the shirt, there are three dots organized in a vertical line.  The bottom circle is a skirt that almost goes down to the end, but doesn't.   It is also outlined in gold.  It has three gold lines down the middle.

     There is also one in the middle.  He is a tiny ball not touching the ground.  He is high enough off the ground that he can hold his mother and father's hands.  His eyes are two circles that are black and tiny.  He also has a tiny horizontal orange nose.  (All the snowmen's noses are pointing to your right.)  He has a hate that is rainbow, but you can only see the the colors red, orange, green, and blue, and there is a tiny yellow propeller at the top.  He also has two tiny balls for feet.

     The family is standing on pure white snow.  The dad is holding a golden rope that is connected to a brown sled.  The sky behind them is blue with sixteen tiny golden polka dots.
Izzy's writing was so clear and descriptive, that her partner Sammie (5th grade) drew this!

Josephine's Snow Rabbit (4th grade)
     My snowman looks like a rabbit.  It has a big ball on the top, and a medium ball on the bottom.  It is on a flat snowy ground.

     My snow rabbit has two long rabbit ears as long as the head.  It has two big pencil coal eyes, a medium coal nose, and a smile made of seven small pieces of coal.

     My snow rabbit is wearing a scarf that has alternating red and green stripes.  It has two brown sticks as hands, with three fingers.  For the feet, it has two small snowballs, a little bigger than the coal eyes.

     In the background there is a pine tree on your right, a little taller than the snow rabbit.  There is a present on your right also.  The present is wrapped in green, with a red ribbon bow.  The sky is light blue, with nothing in the sky.
Josephine broke down her parts into such clear paragraphs!  Here is what her partner Amelia (3rd grade) drew:

Kavin's Snowman (6th grade)
     Draw a small ball at the top of the paper, then a medium ball under, and a huge ball.  All balls are gray.

     Draw two eyes in the small ball that are gray.  Draw five dots and the layout should be in the shape of a mouth.  They are gray.  Draw a small orange carrot nose, and a gray hat on the top of his head.

     Draw three small dots that are gray in the medium ball.  Draw a small, red bow at the top.  Draw two stick arms.  Under the stick arms, draw gray icicles.  Draw three gray drops under each tip of the icicles.

     There are four snowflakes for the background.
From Kavin's clear writing, Tyler (6th grade) was able to draw this!
Congratulations to our winners!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Snowflake Sentences

     We are off to a fabulous start in "Budding Authors and Artists," (grades 1-3)  and "Awesome Authors and Artists" (grades 3-6).   Our first assignment of every session is to learn how to develop a sentence into one that creates a perfectly clear picture in the reader's mind.   We start off with a basic sentence, one that is grammatically complete but very dull to read:
The snowflake falls.

     We then add:
~2 adjectives
~an adverb
~A "where" phrase or clause
~A "when" phrase or clause
~"Awesome" students are taught how to start a sentence with "Because."

     After peer editing, which included experimenting with placement of the phrases and clauses for the more advanced writers, the students came up with their final masterpieces.  The art aspect included the favorite activity of cutting a snowflake, and adding some glitter glue or stickers for fun.  Enjoy these samples across the grades!
 The special, pretty snowflake falls softly on my house at night.
Violet, 1st grade

Right when Santa's sleigh leaves, the shiny bright snowflake gracefully falls right at the edge of Santa's chilly home.
Kalea, 2nd grade

During Chinese New Year's Eve, the shiny, delicate snowflake smoothly falls in the cold, chilly air.
Sophia, 3rd grade

 Because it is Christmas Eve, the majestic, delicate snowflake falls on to the trees while the children look out the window.
Abigail, 4th grade

While the children are sleeping, the soft and gentle snowflake falls slowly in the early dawn.
Nikhil, 5th grade

Friday, December 9, 2016

Squiggle Stories!

If someone handed you a squiggle line, what would YOU make out of it?  That was the theme of our last assignment of this session.  After Art Time was over, the students story mapped the 5 W's and 1 H of good writing:
WHO is in my picture
WHAT is happening
WHERE my picture is taking place
WHEN my picture is taking place
WHY it happens (the story line)
HOW it ends

These first two samples chose the same exact squiggle line, but turned them into completely different designs.  Enjoy these amazing samples of creativity!

Three Friends, by Josephine (4th grade)

     I stared into the white snow, bored of being the only Christmas tree in the lot.  No one liked me because I have a big hole in my trunk.    I swiveled my head and saw a cozy house with smoke coming out of its chimney.  I slept peacefully that night.  I dreamed of being a perfect Christmas tree.

     The next day was Christmas, and I was staring into the snow, when I saw a white bunny shivering.  "Do you want to stay in my trunk?" I asked.

     "Sure!" the rabbit replied.  He moved into the hole in my trunk, and rested.

     The next week, a bird was down by my side.  "You can move into my pine needles!"

     "Great idea!" and she flew into my needles.

     The bird and bunny played together and were as happy as I was.  We became great friends.

     A month later, an orange and black cat came during the afternoon.  He looked like a tiger.  He asked me where he could stay.  "You can stay with the bird in the pine needles!"

     A year passed, and everything was going well.  But, a family cut me down, and all that was left of me was my hole in my tree trunk.  The animals gave me a quick good-bye, and scattered into the forest.

     The next few days, I was just like the other trees: a stump.  I knew I was eventually going to rot.  I stared into the snow, as sad as I was before.

     I awoke one morning and realized I was fully grown again!  The rabbit, bird, and cat came back, and we lived happily ever after.

Endo & I
by Flo (5th grade)

     The waves crashed silently on the White Sea. I heard it calling me. I wanted to go, but I knew I couldn’t, because of the dreaded being that lurks there. If only …
My fantasizing is interrupted by my father, Mayor Collins, barging into my room. “Good morning, sweet pea!” my father greeted me.
“Morning, dad, “ I answered begrudgingly.
“Time for school, Micaela!” he replied cheerfully. Ick. School. As I tiredly walked to school, the beautifully light turquoise White Sea called me more than ever, but I knew I still couldn’t go.

When the school bell finally rang I had decided to go. I was going to finally swim in the White Sea and I didn’t care if a monster ate me while trying. I didn’t care if my dad and our whole village of Arenda mourned my death for months. I had to go to the sea.

Making sure not to be seen I scurried to the beach. The cold water washed over me. I breathed a sigh of content. But, as I went deeper I felt there was someone else near me. Could it be the dreaded sea monster? I started to regret going there in the first place.

The giant blue and orange monster rose out of the water in front of me, confirming my concerns. I could have swum for my life. I really could have.  But, for some reason I didn’t. I even let it swoop me onto its back. Astonishingly all it did was parade me around the waters. No, it didn’t eat me. We rode all the way to the depths of the ocean this way.

For the rest of that week, I rode him every day. Even though I know my dad would be scared I had to show him the truth about the myth. I just had to. So when I finally told him about my eventful week, and to trust me, he tersely responded, “Ok.”

I brought him to my new friend, who gave father a ride as well. After only half an hour he realized that the dreaded sea monster was no monster at all, and the whole village should know about him.

One Week Later: “Woohoo!” I exclaim as I get another exhilarating ride on Endo, the name I had given the sea monster who resided in the White Sea. My father has proclaimed to the whole village that Endo should not be feared and now he has become a village mascot, and the whole village adores him.

Cheesy and Fantom, by Sammie (5th grade)

         “AAAAHHHHH!!!!!” the mouse screamed.  Screech, thud went the evil cat as the mouse, Cheesy, scampered up the side of the table.  Not being able to see the mouse, but smell him, Fantom, the cat, chased him as if on the wild goose chase. 
            Fantom leaped onto the coffee table gracefully, red eyes glaring coldly.  This was not the first time Cheesy the mouse tried to fight for the mice’s freedom using his little “ninja” powers. 
            The mouse scrambled up the left side of the table trying to get back down the right side.  In the process he managed to pick up a toothpick.  Charging at Fantom, Cheesy yelled with all his might a war cry, toothpick in his two front teeth.  He threw it at Fantom and it bounced off his big, black chest as if all Cheesy had thrown was a feather.  In the process, Cheesy fell back from the force of his strong throw.  The cat picked up a paper napkin and wrapped Cheesy up as if he was lettuce in a burrito.
            “There, that should keep you wrapped up for a while,” Fantom crackled evilly.   As he sat in his comfy cat hammock, Cheesy’s relatives emerged from their hiding place in the hole.  They unwrapped him, all thinking the same thing: They would never be free as long as Cheesy was fighting for them.
            As they wobbled off the table, arms all wrapped around Cheesy, Fantom saw them and knew it wasn’t worth catching them.  He had already won.  The mice were his prisoners forever. (Or so Fantom thoughtJ)

          Chapter 2
            Back in the mice hole, Cheesy’s mother had a very serious discussion. “Now son, you are very brave to fight the mean cat, but I just don’t think being a ninja is your best talent.  Maybe you should be a baker or something safe or quiet,” sighed his mother, bottom lip quivering.  Cheesy did not like the sound of that one bit.
            “Oh Mother, I know that you are only just trying to protect me, but I thought of this amazing move!” Cheesy begged, springing off his bed.  He did a sidekick with his right knee and bent the left slightly, making a HIYA!!! sound and landing on his little mousy bottom.” Wait no!  That’s not supposed to happen!” And he did it over and over again, until he improved it by landing on one foot hopping around, instead of on his bottom.  His mother sighed, giving up on trying to convince her son.
            The next day, Cheesy struck Fantom with a surprise.  He did his famous move.  But this time his failure was for good.  He fell onto a mini trampoline, sailed up to the ceiling fan, and held on for dear life. 
            The ceiling fan came crashing down right on Fantom!  The cat ran through the backdoor scared to death. 
            The mice colony was saved all because of a brave little mouse named Cheesy.  After that, Fantom never bothered the mice again.  And if he ever did dare tease them, Cheesy was there to save the day again! 

The Angry Cinnamon Roll, by Tyler (2nd grade)

     One early day before school at Panera, a warm, squishy cinnamon roll was hiding at a back table.  He was waiting to bite anyone who thought they would eat him for breakfast.  He was tired of watching his friends disappear.  

     As a kid came to the table, the cinnamon roll chomped the kid's finger nail off to team him a lesson!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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!

Anjalia's Monster (5th grade)
     My paper is vertical.  Outline in pencil!

     My monster has a medium-sized circular head about 1 1/2 inches away from the top of the paper.  It is yellow,  It has a green step on the top with three vertical lines on it.  There is a green stem on the top with three vertical lines on it.  There is a green tendril coming out of YOUR right of the stem.  There are two small circles for the eyes.  They are filled in with pencil.  Under that, there is a closed mouth that looks like a medium u.

     Under the head, there is a large circle.  There are two small triangles for eyes filled in with pencil. There is a tiny triangle for the nose.  There is an open, medium-sized mouth shaped like a piece of watermelon that is cut up.   It has two white teeth on top, and three white teeth on the bottom.  The mouth is filled in black.  The large circle/pumpkin is orange.  It has one medium sized arm on either side of it that is shaped like a sideways u with no fingers.  They are orange.  On YOUR right, the monster is holding a circle with three spikes coming out of it for candy.  It is purple.  

     My monster is sitting on a medium, green, round hill.  Under the monster is a red basket with a handle shaped like an upside down u.  The basket part is shaped like the large circle's mouth.  It is red.  In the top left corner, there is a small yellow sun with five yellow lines coming out of it for rays. The sky is blue. 
 These two students have been in 10 of my workshops and have played this game six times, so they are very thorough and great at this game!  Here is what Sammie (5th grade) came up with from her partner's descriptive writing:

Bette's Monster (6th grade)
     My monster's head is the whole body.  She is one great BIG circle.  Her huge circle is outlined with brown, but the inside is pink.  Her eyes are like humans', oval shaped, and also outlined with brown.  The inside of her eyes are blue.  Her eyes are medium shaped.  Her tiny red smile stands under her eyes.  There is no nose.

     She has two cute medium ears.  They line up with her eyes.  They are semi-circle ears, with a smaller semi-circle inside it.  The small semi circle is colored pink, and the rest of the ears are brown.  In between her ears is a medium sized bow.  The center of the bow is brown, and the ribbon part is pink.

     Lined up with the sides of her eyes are two small arms.  They have three fingers on each hand.  The arms are brown.  At the bottom of her body are her feet.  They are two small circles, and they are brown.

     For the background, right above her head is a huge yellow sun.  There are ten points coming out of the sun.  On each side of the sun are two birds.  They are pink.  The ground is a plain light green.
 These 6th graders have been with me a long time, and are such careful writers and readers.  Adeline (6th grade) read Bette's clear description so carefully that she came up with this twin!

Josh's Monster (5th grade)
      My monster is a happy guy.  His head is magenta and spiky.  Five spikes to be exact.  He has one orange-yellow eye about the size of a button in the middle of his face.

     He has no eyebrows, and has one black pupil about the diameter of a pencil eraser.  He has no nose.  His mouth is a big smile.  The inside of his mouth is black, and has three oval teeth.  He has no bottom teeth.  His teeth are white.  He has no tongue.  

     He has two oval arms that stick out of his body.  They are white with ten magenta polka-dots on each arm.  They are located next to the smile.  His hands are magenta and shaped like horse shoes.

     His pants take up half of his body.  They have a thin green belt.  They have ten blue diagonal stripes.  His feet, which look like Pac-Man looking down, are magenta.

     There is a silver crescent moon on the upper right-hand corner.
Amazing, Josh!  This was his first time ever playing The Monster Draw Game.  He wrote so clearly, that his awesome artist partner Sasha (6th grade) produced this:

 Niki's Monster (6th grade)
     My monster is small and in the middle of the page.  He is a smiley face that is a circle with gray skin, two small black dots as eyes, and one big smile.  He has no teeth or tongue.  He has three blue spikes on top of his head.
     Next he has two short blue sticks for arms and legs.  For hands, he has turquoise mittens.  He has no feet.
     He is standing on a gray snow capped mountain that is floating on a cloud.  The cloud is white outlined in gray.  Tilting to the left of the monster is a short gray stick.  On it is orange shorts, a blue shirt, and an orange jack-o-lantern.  The jack-o-lantern has three black stripes, one triangle eye, and a straight line with two fangs.  On its head is a brown witch's hat and a light green tendril sticking out.  The tendril has two loops facing the monster. 

     Way up in the left upper corner is a bright, small circle.  In that are ten black dots.  On the right upper corner is a medium sized black bat.
One of my youngest students, Archer (3rd grade), got partnered with Niki and read so carefully that he drew this!
Congratulations to our winners!