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!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Squiggle Line Art and Stories

Start with a random squiggle line... what do you see?  The students came up with so many creative ideas!  They then completed a Who-What-Where-When-Why-How story map to get their thoughts down before writing.  Enjoy these short stories, and creative pictures to match!

I love how Hayden, Natalie, and Sabrina all chose the same squiggle line, but turned them into completely different pictures!

The Creepy Forest, by Hayden (1st grade)

     Once upon a time, there was a little girl in a magical creepy forest.  She found a 3 leaf clover.  She got lost.  She went the wrong way.  Then she got eaten.

The Elephant Parade, by Natalie (2nd grade)

     Once upon a time, on a beautiful afternoon at the carnival, during the elephant parade, a little boy was riding an elephant.  It was the opening act.  Then, he fell off the elephant!  The boy broke his arm, but he was okay.

Christmas Night, by Sabrina (3rd grade)

     On Christmas Night, Santa Claus and Rudolph are about to leave the North Pole so Santa can deliver his presents.  But when he delivers his presents, he goes the wrong way and gets lost in a humungous forest!

     Luckily, Rudolph saves the day and finds the next house that needs presents!

     After the last house, Santa Claus is so tired.  I bet that Rudolph is tired also.  When Santa and Rudolph come back home, they both eat two cookies with milk and take a long nap (which really turned into sleep) and they are so happy to be back home in the North Pole.

Get your kleenex ready... this is a tear-jerker!  By Amelia (4th grade)

     Once in a land far far away, where the summers are tropical and the winters are arctical, there was a parrot named Felicia.  She was a carrier parrot (yes, I am sure I meant parrot) during the summer and there was nothing she liked doing more than gliding over the beach with an important message from the mayor in her claws.  True, her trainer was quite hard on her, making her carry message from the moment the sun came up to well into the night, but she could forgive him for that.  Felicia always told herself that he was just stressed, but she had never seen how cruel he could be in the winter.  Right after the first snowfall, her trainer took her outside and set her on a small branch nailed to a pole.

     "We'll be needing the birdhouse for warmth," he grunted, and without warning whipped out a length of gold chain and bound Felicia to the pole.  The poor parrot squawked in protest, but the burly figure of her trainer was already disappearing into the thick morning fog.  

     A few minutes later, Felicia saw the trainer through the window holding her birdhouse.  He struck a match and lit the house on fire, before throwing it into the fireplace.  Felicia tried to scream, but she realized that her beak was already frozen closed.

     Days passed.  Icicles formed on Felicia's once silky smooth feathers.  Every breath came slower than the last.  Just as she was about to lose all hope, Felicia saw a hazy silhouette staggering toward her.  Suddenly, her breathing became easier.  Silently, she thanked the heavens for bestowing this miracle upon her.  Finally, the girl arrived at the pole.  With great difficulty, she pulled out a knife, and cut Felicia free.  It seemed like hours before they arrived at a small cottage.

     "Alicia!" cried a voice.  A tall lady stepped out.  "Where were you?  We were so worried."

     "But, but.... Mother," the girl named Alicia said, "I couldn't let the pp-pparrot freeze to dd-death."

     Upon seeing Felicia, Alicia's mother's expression softened.  "All right," she said.  "Bring her in."

     Soon Felicia was thawing out next to the hearth.  Alicia was beside her, still shivering from the cold.  That night, Alicia's family ate a feast, and for the first time in her life, Felicia felt genuinely contented.  She wondered if this was what it was like to have a caring owner.

     As she settled down to sleep, Felicia thought that her life from now on was going to be flawless.  But as Felicia had to learn, not every story was a fairy tale with a happily-ever-after.

     The next morning, Alicia woke up with a raging fever.  The doctor said that it was just an aftershock of Alicia's long journey through the blizzard, but the whole family was still worried.  Felicia felt burdened with a newly awakened guilt.  She didn't want someone to risk their health (or life) to save her.  

     Winter gave way to spring, and soon the temperature would warm up.  Alicia still didn't get better. She rarely got out of bed.  

     One day, she didn't wake.  Her family stood by her bedside.  Felicia flew down from her new birdhouse and perched mournfully on her night stand.  Alicia woke briefly to smile at the beautiful parrot, then closed her clear blue eyes forever.


     Felicia stretched her wings out as she soared through the cloud.  This time, though, she wasn't delivering a message.  In her claws was a bouquet of pink carnations.  She landed in the graveyard, and looked for the grave with the parrot carved on to it.  Felicia snatched the old withering flowers, and pecked at them.  Then, she carefully laid the new carnations at the foot of the grave, dusted the slate of stone, and flew off.

Roxy and Sammy, By Talya (5th grade)

     "Arf!  Are!"  Sammy the dog barked as the girl filled her and Roxy's bowls.

     After about ten seconds, their bowls were full and then she headed out the door.  Roxy and Sammy both stared at their bowls.  Like the predators from those cartoons, they stared at their food eagerly, their mouths watering.

     Only then, when they decided to eat their food, did they notice their bowls moving slightly toward the crack in the wall.

     Sammy tilted her head as Roxy pawed it a little.

     "Why is my bowl walking?" they both thought anxiously.

     As they stepped off the carpet, Roxy looked under her bright pink bowl to see three tiny little black specks.

     Sammy trotted in front of the bowls and sniffed the underside of them.  Then, she picked up her paw and kicked it.  She expected the tiny black dots to get squished under the impact, but the ants only stumbled backwards.

     And just as quickly as Sammy kicked them, the ants darted off in the other direction with their food!  Sammy and Roxy sprinted right after them without hesitation.  However, the dogs didn't notice the ants stop and go towards them.

     The bowls of food started moving under the dogs and back to the cracks in the wall.

     The dogs were going so fast that when they tried to stop, they slipped on the sleek wooden floor.

     The ants had a big head start, and were running straight towards the crack.  If they made it, the dogs would have no breakfast!

     The good thing was, dogs are much faster, so they had the advantage.

     Sammy dived right at the ants, just as they reached the crack, but it was too late..... for the ants.  When Sammy had dived for the ants, her mouth was wide open.  She may have swallowed a few.  The rest, she accidentally breathed into her nose, which led to a lot of sneezing.

     But it was all worth it because they still got their food in the end!

River & Tree, by Flo (6th grade)

A long time ago, in a place far, far away from humans stood a beautiful tree named Aurora. Next to the tree flowed a stunning river named August. This is their story.
August and Aurora lived in between thirteen hills and a forest. August was born from mountain-top snow melting and trickling into a dry ravine. Aurora was born from seeds of another tree in the forest, Elora. As children of the Hills and Forest, they should have been mortal enemies. But August and Aurora, by fate’s twisted hand, fell in love.
It began one day when the sky was stormy and the wind fierce. A sharp gust of wind blew Aurora away from the Forest and toward August, who was racing faster than ever before. August, always the friendly one, greeted her.
“Hello! I’m August, who might you be?”
While August knew not to talk to the evil trees of the Forest, as the elder mountains had said, something had changed on that particular day.
“Oh! Uh, I’m Aurora. Aren’t you a … mountain river?”
Aurora didn’t mean to be rude, but she was brought up to know that all mountains were strict and detested fun. They were definitely not supposed to be polite.
“Yes, technically, although I couldn’t be more different than the Elders, or my cousins,” replied August.
Aurora responded without a thought, for if she had pondered her statemeant she would never have uttered it.
           “Good. Me too.”
The rest of the day was spent talking of their parents’ rules, how little freedom they were given, and how much they wished they were free to do whatever they wanted, live with whomever they loved.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, followed perhaps by something less pleasant.
At the storm’s end, another gust of wind blew Aurora back to her original position leaning towards the forest, and their first encounter ended.
That night, both August and Aurora faced the wrath of the Elders.
“August!” bellowed the Mountain from which August was born, “How dare you fraternize with a child of the Forest!”
“Aurora, you will never speak to or think about that Mountain river ever again!” commanded the nearest Elder.
However, that night, regardless of their superiors’ instructions, August and Aurora pondered their encounter. Neither could remember a time when they met a kindred spirit, another who felt oppressed by their clan, and when they had fallen in love so quickly. But alas, they would never see each other again...or so they thought.
When the sun again rose over the mountains, Elora, Aurora’s mother, beckoned to her daughter, and Aurora braced herself for more reprimands. Yet, that was not what she received.
“Aurora, please listen to me, I have-”
“Mother, please don’t tell me never to see August again, I know,”
“No, you don’t. Listen to me: I was just like you once, I once loved a smaller Mountain, and I gave him up, but you mustn’t give your love up. She really belongs with you. Now, I know you must be shocked, but I needed to tell you about my past.”
For a moment, all Aurora could do was stare at her mother; but, after the moment had passed, all the young child of the forest could say was, “Thank you.”
This was the last time Aurora talked to her mother.
That night, a storm struck. In fact, it was the worst storm Nature had ever seen. The Wind ripped through the Forest with more violence than ever before. Even the mightiest Mountain felt the great force of the rain on its slopes. Forest and Mountain alike were praying only to see a clear blue sky once more.
Aurora, however, was calm, even content. The Wind was pushing her more and more toward her love with every howl. And then, suddenly, it happened. Aurora’s roots were ripped from the ground, and she fell. Fell all the way into August’s arms, where she belonged. And so, as the storm began to fade, Aurora’s fruit fell into August’s soil, and overtime, new life arose, which we would now call seaweed.
This is the story of how two young wonders of nature in love brought new life to this world, new peace to their families, and a new understanding of just how big a difference love can make.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Olympics Rejection and Acceptance Letters

     After students turned in their persuasive letters to the Olympic Board of Commissioners, they got to write to themselves, but play the part of a member of the Board of Commissioners..... either accepting OR rejecting their idea!  Enjoy these two hilarious samples!  (Would you agree on the decisions??)

Dear Maddie (5th grade),

     I can tell you put a lot of thought into this new sport, but it is a terrible idea.  This sport would be super dangerous, and not enjoyable.  Besides, Biathlon is already hard enough!

     Biathaball is a dangerous sport.  Imagine if someone accidentally dropped their basketball.  It might roll down the hill and trip someone!  Also, what if someone shot a ball and it hit someone in the face?  As you can see, Biathaball is very dangerous.

     Also, this sport is not at all enjoyable.  Doesn't it make you sad to see people not being able to make a shot in, or trip and have no more chances at an Olympic dream come true? That's just what everyone will see.  Who wants to watch that?

     If you think about it, Biathaball would be so hard.  It's already hard enough to do Biathlon, and it's also pretty hard to play basketball.  Is it not hard to hold a ball and not drop it while skiing fast?  Do you really think you could ski without two arms for balance?  You should have considered this before asking us about this potential catastrophe.

     I'm sorry about your new sport not getting into the Olympics, but as I said, it's terrible.  Thank you for sending us that letter, and I hope you keep inventing new sports.

Sincerely, ------------

Dear Noah (4th grade),

     We, the Olympic Board of Commissioners, think that Foo-Ball should be added to the list of sports for the next Winter Olympics.

     We love the name of Foo-Ball, and that it combines the aggressiveness and accuracy of hockey and baseball.  Just imagine hockey players, catching and diving and throwing the ball!  People will wonder, how can baseball players play on top of ice?

     Congrats on being accepted for your new sport, Foo-Ball.  We are looking forward to putting Foo-Ball in the Olympics for people to watch!

From, The Olympic Board of Commissioners

Friday, April 6, 2018

Love Poems!

     For Valentine's Day, the Budding Authors and Artists filled in the blanks and wrote these lovely Love Poems about Love and the 5 senses!  This is one of my favorites, by Iriel (2nd grade):

New Olympic Sports!

     The Olympics are so exciting to watch!  The athletes work so hard to perfect their skills, and many of the sports we watched on TV appeared quite difficult.  (You will not find this teacher on any ski slopes doing flips in the air!!)

     With this in mind, my authors and artists brainstormed what it would be like to combine TWO sports into one!  The "Budding" class wrote a paragraph describing their new sport and what made it special and unique.  In the "Awesome" class, the theme was persuasive writing.  The students wrote a letter to the Olympic Board of Commissioners with the following format:

     Paragraph 1: A very warm introduction with plenty of praise and compliments
     Paragraph 2: Brief description of the new sport
     Paragraph 3: Detailed description of the sport, including rules, uniforms, and scoring
     Paragraph 4: Benefits to adding this sport (most likely including perks, fame, and money!)
     Paragraph 5: A conclusion with a "sell-it" sentence.  They HAVE to say "yes" at this point, because you have been so persuasive!

     Here are some of my favorites across the ages.  Would YOU try any of these sports??

The New Game, by Nathan (2nd grade)

     In the next Olympic Games, there should be a sport called HockeySki.  It would combine hockey and skiing.  You ski down a hill while trying to score the puck into a hockey goal.  You wear hockey uniforms and wear a helmet.  You play on a snowy hill in Lake Tahoe.  If you get 1st place, you get a diamond.  If you get 2nd place, you get a ruby, and if you get 3rd place, you get a gold.  I think my new sport would be exciting because of the prizes!

Volley Sledding, by Saviana (4th grade)
Dear Olympic Board of Commissioners,

     First, let me congratulate you on another success.  The 2018 Olympics brought joy and great opportunities to all the players.

     I am writing in hopes that you will add a new event to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.  It is called, "Volley Sledding."  It combines two popular sports: volleyball and bobsledding.  Combining the two sports would result in a fascinating mix of skill and teamwork.

     Let me explain how I see this new sport.  Two teammates will be in their bobsleds, racing down the track.  While speeding over 70 MPH, the two teammates will be bumping the volleyball back and forth.  Each bump will result in one point.  If the players set the ball, it will result in two points.  If the teammates make it all the way down the track without dropping the ball, that will give them an extra four points.  Volley Sledding will only include women over 20 years old.  They will wear striped jerseys with the country's colors.  The bobsled will also be striped.

     Commissioners, imagine the possibilities!  The tickets to see Volley Sledding will sell faster than any sport.  Tourism to see your city will fill up hotels, which will result in better jobs.  You will be famous for adding such a wonderful sport!  Opportunities will strike all the talented volleyball players and fearless bobsledders!

     I do hope you will add Volley Sledding to the next Olympics.  It will grow teamwork, skill, friendships, and will give joy to all of the competitors.

     Sincerely, Saviana

Soccer Skating, by Nikhil (6th grade)
To The Olympic Board of Commissioners,

     Hello.  First off, congratulations on so many years of successful Olympic games.  Your unbelievable efforts put into this every two years are reflected in the output of the games.  So, congratulations on your work.

     I am writing in hopes to persuade you into adding a new event to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.  It will be called, "Soccer Skating."  Soccer and ice skating are two highly anticipated sports in the Olympic Games.  If we end up combining these sports, it could have a massive and successful impact on the Olympic games forever.

     This sport will have the same aspects as a soccer game.  Athletes will be required to have eleven players on the field at a time, playing in a strategic 4-3-3 formation.  However, the field will have to be frozen, like an ice skating rink.  Also, when players have throw-ins, they can do a flip, then throw-in, and if that leads to an assist, teams would get two points.  As for the uniforms, they will have to wear a full soccer kit, but with ice skates, not cleats.  This game is NOT co-ed.

     Imagine the possibilities: soccer combined with ice skating.  Doing flip throws on throw-ins, and so much more.  So many more people will be in attendance, and once they see the sport's true potential, even more people will join.  Once the people come, you can raise the prices of the tickets, and the income will sky rocket.  Also, there will be many more opportunities for athletes, as we are combining two sports together.

     If you don't include this sport in the next Olympics, you will lose a lot of money, and the spectators will drop rapidly.  So please, do the right thing and make this game an Olympic sport.

                            Sincerely, Nikhil

Dear Olympic Board of Commissioners,

First things first, I would like to thank you for once again providing entertainment to viewers, and inspiration and motivation for aspiring athletes. The Olympics do this flawlessly.
I’m writing to you today because I have a humble request to make: I want  you to add Basket Derby to your already-wonderful roster of sports. What is Basket Derby, you ask? Basket Derby is a combination of the very popular sport of basketball and less popular, but still impressive, sport of Roller Derby.
This sport is easy-to-understand, yet also very fun to play. Each team would be comprised of five players of any gender on roller skates. This fantastic sport would be played on a hardwood basketball court, and it would be played with the typical basketball rules, scoring, and timing, save for a few exceptions. The biggest change in rules would be that the team playing defense may hinder the offensive team with Roller Derby regulations. Other rule changes would include that if the player in contact with the ball puts more than half of his or her skate out of the court borders, the ball goes to the other team. The athletes would wear the typical Roller Derby uniforms in their country’s colors; they would also be required to wear quad skates. One completely unique aspect of Basket Derby would be that, instead of medals, winners would take home different gemstones. The first-place winner would take home a diamond, the second-place winner would take home an emerald, and the third-place winner would take home a crystal of mystic topaz.
Adding this sport would not only be very fun for athletes, but would also greatly benefit you. If you instated Basket Derby into the Olympics, you would earn multiple benefits. First, you would earn a reputation for creating interesting fun-to-watch sports. You have never before put a sport into the Olympics that is not widely played, so doing so would add even more to your already stellar repertoire of achievements. Secondly, adding Basket Derby would earn you fame. Because the sport is not well known, you would forever be credited with spreading this sport throughout the world. Thirdly, it would attract twice as many fans as other sports. Fans of both Basketball and Roller Derby would flock to see this interesting fusion of sports. Lastly, but arguably most importantly, all of the aforementioned benefits would earn you more money than ever before.
For your own sake, I implore you to add Basket Derby to the wonderful list of sports you have planned for the 2020 Olympic Games. To rob viewers and young athletes of the exciting experiences that are playing and watching this fantastic sport would be a shame, don’t you think?

Thank you,
Florencia (6th grade)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

My Greatest Invention

     The "Awesome" class also studied Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, but then they got to brainstorm and create their OWN amazing inventions!  This assignment was designed to be a simple three paragraph essay, with an introduction, a paragraph describing exactly HOW TO use the invention, and a conclusion.

     I find myself in need of these following inventions quite often!  What do you think?

The Do Your Own Hairanator
by Kalea (3rd grade)

     If I could create a new invention, it would be the Do Your Own Hairanator.  How many times have you gone to P.E. without a ponytail?  Have you ever been frustrated with your hair for any possible reason?  My invention would make that problem disappear!

     The hair brush is a simple circle case that has a pop-out hair brush.  With one touch, it activates the mirror screen, and you are ready to start.  There will be a touch screen, and you will pick one style, either: Easy, Stylish, or Extreme.  Then you pick which hair style you want and then, Snap!  You're wearing a ponytail (or any other hairstyle.)

     Thanks to the making of circuit boards, electrical wires, and great engineering, this magical hair-doer can solve your hair problems.  And next time you're late for P.E, don't forget to press Start on your Hairanator!

The Electronical Closet
by Cassia (5th grade)

     If I were to create any invention, it would be the "Electronical Closet."  In the morning, instead of having a frustrating time putting on clothes or thinking about what you want to wear, step inside the Electronical Closet, and it will do both for you!

     First, place your finger on the keypad and enter your mood.  Once complete, take off your clothes and step into the closet.  Inside, you shall find several mirrors and above your head, a shining, bright chandelier.  Meanwhile, the sliding doors will close shut, and the closet "arms" will bring out the set of clothes that relate to your mood.  The "arms" will put them in front of you, and you can dress yourself however you like.  Once the sensor senses that you have been dressed completely, the automatic doors will open, and you can walk out.

     Thanks to the Electronical Closet, you won't have to struggle in the mornings, or whenever.  If you can't find the right clothes, just step inside the Electronical Closet, and you're done!

The Idea Giver, by Nate (6th grade)

     Have you ever had an essay or big report due, but you don't have a good topic to write about?  Well, The Idea Giver (comes only in baseball cap form) will fix that in only a few seconds!

     You can use The Idea Giver in only a few steps.  To start, make sure you have all fifteen AAA batteries (intended for only one use), then start placing them one-by-one into their slots.  (Touch and/or terrible handling during this procedure may result in the shorting out of product.)  The second step is a little less mandatory but highly recommended: it's the Team Changer step.  All you need to do is press the baseball-shaped button on the back of the cap until your favorite MLB team is projected onto the front.  (All teams included but various teams may affect results.  For example, Dodgers= horrible results.  Giants= terrific results.)  Next input the type of writing you wish to get the idea for by pressing the microphone-shaped button on the left side of the cap, to start up the microphone.    Then steadily speak the writing prompt DIRECTLY into the microphone (unclear words may cause disastrous ideas).  To finish it all off, flick the tiny switch at the very top of the hat and think in amazement as The Idea Giver flared into life, sending the best idea into your brain.  The last step is just to let your pencil fly, as you try to fit all the new things to write about, thanks to your new idea!

     Customer reviews for this new and always improving product is on a rage.  Fans just simply adore the speed and safety (most of the time) of the world's #1 top good.  Buy one now, and you'll never have to strain your brain for ideas anymore!

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!