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!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving Poems

     After wonderful discussions on all that we are thankful for, both the "Budding" and "Awesome" classes were guided through focusing on the five senses and writing a poem that showed all of the important things they are thankful for.  Enjoy these samples!

Thank you 
for all my hands can hold--
sweet candy,
teddy bear stuffy,
my kittens,
my little brother,
and sparkly pens.

Thank you
for all my eyes can see--
my hands,
my hair,
my school,
and my toys.

Thank you 
for all my ears can hear--
funny jokes,
wind moving,
kids playing,
and my iPad.

by Katherine (1st grade)

Thank you
for all my hands can hold--
pandas soft,
blankets warm,
delicate flowers,
soft covered books,
and my family's heart.

Thank you
for all my eyes can see--
unique family,
a clean environment,
glorious bible,
gigantic waves crashing to the shore,
and inspiring teachers.

Thank you
for all my ears can hear--
my family's great laughter,
an enthusiastic "I love you!"
unique birds singing in the dead of night,
the laughter of my friends,
and my sister singing nice and softly.

by Carissa (2nd grade)

Thank you 
for all my hands can hold--
in my bed
with stories told
parent hugs
all warm and tight
drawing and sketching
in the light.

Thank you 
for all my eyes can see--
leafy beds
dancing in the breeze
cotton candy
floating in the sky
pretty flower beds
birds that fly.

Thank you
for all my ears can hear--
rustling trees
sounds in my ear
water trickling
my mother calling me
sparrows singing
chatter of my family.

by Jennifer, 5th grade

Noun Poems!

     This fun assignment taught the "Budding Authors and Artists" all about Nouns!  They learned common and proper, and that nouns name a person, a place, or a thing.  The students did not know what they were creating as I asked them to list various types of nouns.  Then they were asked to fill in the blanks, and they learned that had made a creative, humorous poem in the process!  I chose Kate's (1st grade) as our sample for this assignment, because I loved how "candy" and "school" were so important, plus, she colored her border so beautifully!

Costume Description Game

     The "Budding" class got to play "The Costume Draw Game!"  Here is how you play:

Step 1: Draw yourself in your Halloween costume.
Step 2: Write a detailed description using size, shape, and color adjectives.
Step 3: The teacher hangs all the pictures on the wall, and reads the descriptions out loud.  If the class guesses your picture on the first try, it means you wrote a PERFECTLY detailed description!

     Natalie (3rd grade) wrote a very detailed description of her beautiful picture.  Enjoy!

     My costume has a bright yellow triangular horn.  It also has two wings that are big and golden.  I'm also wearing one big rainbow dress, and a rainbow mane and flat shoes.  My favorite part of my costume is my beautiful rainbow tail!  My background has one bright moon, three houses, my basket, and one pumpkin that is round.  My costume is cute and beautiful!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Monster Draw Game

ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES!  We need them to paint the clearest picture in our readers' minds-- we want our reader to see exactly what we see when we write.  This on-demand writing game is perfect to practice that.

Here's how you play:
1. Draw a monster (this game was fun to play the week before Halloween!)
2. Write a description of your monster (use paragraphs to guide your reader!) that is so clear and vivid, that your partner can draw your monster just by reading your description.
3. Trade descriptions, and try to draw each other's monsters.

Tell Size, Shape, Color, and Number in every sentence, and you just might be surprised at the twin your partner draws!

Congratulations to our class-voted winners!  Here they are:

Kathleen's Monster (6th grade)
     My monster's head is a big heart.  It is bubble gum pink color.  My monster has two oval eyes at the upper middle part of the head.  The eyes look to your downward right, and are an aqua green color.  The nose is a small spiral at the center of the head.  It is outlined by a yellow green color.  The mouth is a red rectangle at the bottom of the head.  There are five triangular teeth on the top, and none on the bottom.  The teeth are plain white.  My monster also has two big horns that point outwards.  There are six sections of the horn, evenly spread out, that alternate orange and black, starting with orange at the bottom, and ending with black at the tip of the horn.

     The body is just a big blue circle, starting at the lower half of the heart head.  The two arms point straight outward at the upper middle of the body, and are three medium sized balls.  They alternate green and aqua, starting with green at the ball closest to the body, and ending with green furthest from the body.  The two legs are the exact same number, size, shape, and color as the arms.  The legs point slightly outwards and are about three inches apart from each other.

      The background is simple.  There is wavy grass at the bottom of the page, and the tips of the grass waves point slightly to your right.  The sky is a pale blue color that covers the rest of the page.

 Kathleen wrote so clearly that Sophia (5th grade) was able to draw this twin!  The girls had fun going back and reading how the pupils were described, as that is pretty much the only thing off with these two.  These two monsters are really twins!

Sabrina's Monster (4th grade)
     My monster is medium large and has a light pink outline.  The top is curved and the sides are straight and the bottom is zig zags.  The eyes of my monster are two medium black circles.  Now color in the bottom parts of the eyes black.  Draw a violet purple mouth shaped like a circle.  On the bottom of the monster, use silver and put it in the zig zag shape of the monster.  For the ground, make a straight line in silver, but don't put it on the very bottom of the paper.  On the left side of the monster's head, draw a small aqua green bow.

     On the left side of the paper in the corner of the monster, draw a gray cloud, and then do the same on the other side.   Below the two clouds, draw one golden yellow lightning, one on each side.  On the right of the monster and the right of the lightning, draw three violet purple, two pink, and two aqua green balloons.  At the end of the strings of the balloons, draw a medium-sized black blow.  Finally, on top of the silver ground, draw two green bushes and little small red dots.

     That is my monster!

 Sabrina did a great job with size, shape, color and number adjectives!  Here is what her partner Julie (4th grade) drew!

Michelle's Monster (5th grade)
     My monster's head and body are together.  Let me start with the upper part!  My monster's whole body is basically a ghost with jellyfish stinging strings.  The body of my monster is cotton candy pink.  For the bottom swirly part of the ghost, there are four upside down "hills" to be a ghost.  Make the hills different shapes and sizes.  The body is around 5 1/2 inches, and the stinging strings are 3 inches!  Its stinging strings are yellow, purple, blue, and lavender.  There is a yellow glow around the whole body (but not the stinging strings)  Let the yellow blend in!  The body will also be in the middle of the page.  There is a white dot to the right in the eye.  The mouth is basically just a purple, simple dot, not so far below the purple eyes.

     The background is very specific.  The ground is 1/3 of the paper.  The ground is just plain green.  The sky is light black, with nothing in it but a whole yellow moon with a purple crescent moon inside it.  The moon is on the right side of the night sky.

     I hope my paragraph is specific enough!

Michelle actually ended up getting her 4th grade sister, Natalie, as her partner!  Look how well these two work together!


An Interview with a Pumpkin

The "Awesome" classes had a lesson in personification (giving non-human things human traits) as they brainstormed ideas on what it would be like to interview a pumpkin.  We started off studying the life cycle of a pumpkin plant, from seed, to vine leaves and vines, to tendrils, to flowers, to pumpkins!  How would our pumpkins describe the end of their lives?  Each interviewer got to decide!    They also had to make sure to include some of the scientific information they learned about pumpkin growing, as they personified their pumpkins and gave them their own unique voice and mood.

Enjoy these interviews!

An Interview with Mrs. Jack-o-Lantern
By Theo (3rd grade)

Theo: Hello Mr. Jack-o-Lantern, I hope you've had a wonderful  life.  I would like to know all about it.  Will you please tell me?

Mr. Jack-o-Lantern: Well, first of all, when I was a baby, life started off fine.  But later on, when I grew up, stuff started to get bad.

T: Can you please tell me?  I really like your face.

MJ: Well, first it was dark and cozy, and I liked my life as a seed.  But then all of a sudden, I popped out of the ground, and light poured in.  It was bright for me.  Then I saw my other brothers and sisters popping out of the ground like corks!  We all had these seed leaves.

T: Did you ever experience any annoying problems with your brothers and sisters?

MJ: Yes.  When I was trying to sleep, sometimes they started to creep their long green things at me.  It was not fun at all!

T: How did you know you were destined to be a pumpkin? 

MJ: It was because at one point when I was..... I think a teenager, I had this green ball shaped like a pom pom.  It was beautiful!

T: Did any animals help you grow up to be a pumpkin?

MJ: Yes.  The bees.  The bees made my umbrella disappear and helped me grow bigger.  I also started to turn orange.

T: Now can you tell me about your life as an older version?

MJ: Well, first we had to get cut off from that green hair.  I was happy I had those off.  But then they suddenly picked me up and put me into this big moving thing.

T: It's actually called a truck.

MJ: Thanks.  Well, as I was saying, after that I just heart a lot of rumbling and ticking.

T: I think I know what happened after that.

MJ:  Yes.  They started to carve shapes into me.  It hurt!!  But after, when I looked in the mirror, I saw that I was handsome!

T: Yes, I can see that all right.

MJ: Thanks.  But I was happier when they put me on display.  I was excited!

T: Thanks for answering my questions.  I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

An Interview with Miss Pumpkin, by Penelope (4th grade)

Penelope: Thank you so much for coming, Miss Pumpkin!

Miss Pumpkin: Well, I had a very interesting life, so I'm glad to come and tell you about it.  Now, I'm a beautifully carved pumpkin, and I'm feeling nice!

P: So, what was your first experience in life?

MP: I remember I was in this case, and it was extremely dark.

P: Oh dear!  What happened next?

MP: I started growing more, and I got squished a lot!  All my brothers and sisters were getting squished too!  It was horrible.

P: Oh man!  I hope you didn't get hurt, Miss Pumpkin.  What happened after that?

MP: I grew this nice little hair do that I really liked!  But somebody almost stepped on my hair.  Also, there was barely any water!

P: Oh no!  Did anything good ever happen?

MP: Oh yes!  I sang pumpkin songs and got plenty of sunlight and rain.  After that, I felt so good, it warmed my heart!

P: That sounds nice!  What happened next?

MP: I grew a bigger hair do, and my hair stuck out at odd angles.  A lot of people were touching me. Luckily, I got payback, and they got spiked by my hair!  Then I grew a huge golden hair do, and a lot of bees came and landed on my hair!

P: Wow!  What were the last things that happened?

MP: I grew into a bulging pumpkin, and pretty soon, I was picked and carved.  It hurt soooo much to be carved, but in the end, I looked beautiful!

P: Wow!  Well, thank you for coming, Miss Pumpkin!  I am honored!  Please come again!

Interview with Mr. Pump, by Aiden (5th grade)

Aiden: This is Aiden with Mr. Nik Pump, and I have to say, you are not looking so well, Mr. Pump.

Nik Pump: Hello, and also thanks for noticing!  I got left on the porch too long, and this happened!

A: So Mr. Pump, how was life as a seed?

NP: Well, I have to say, it was not enjoyable at all.

A: Why not?

NP: Well, it was very dark, and I didn't know what was going on until I was put in cold mush.

A: Then what happened?

NP: After that, I started growing things called "seed leaves," but I'm pretty sure it was just hair.

A: How did it feel?

NP: It was kind a cold and itchy.

A: So what happened after that?

NP: After that I went through a weird phase.  Vine Leaves.

A: How did that go exactly?

NP: Terrible!  They cut me and were super uncomfortable!

A: That sounds super unpleasant!

NP: Tell me about it!

A: After that terrible experience, I can't imagine anything worse!

NP: Well, there I was, starting to get super fat!

A: Isn't that normal?

NP: No, I'm talking SUPER fat.

A: Wow!  Were you made fun of?

NP: Yeah!  Everyone laughed at me!

A: That is terrible.  Your life so far hasn't seemed too pleasant.

NP: And guess what!  I grew these things called tendrils and they grew everywhere!  They also latched on to everything.

A: Wow!  That sounds absolutely terrible, but I'm sure things began to look up, right?

NP: Nope!

A: What could possibly happen to make this life worse?!

NP: Well, one day after Halloween, I started to smell.  Then it got worse each day.

A: Then what?

NP: I rotted.

A: I can tell!  I'm right next to you!

NP: It was terrible!  I even have bugs crawling on me right now!

A: And because something just bit me, I'm gonna end this interview now.  Thank you for watching XOF news!

Interview with Ms. Luna, by Sophia (5th grade)
Sophia: Thank you Ms...Lumina, for joining us today. You look absolutely gorgeous! I…

Ms.Luna: Actually, call me Ms.Luna. I personally think that the name Ms.Lumina is WAY too common. And yes, I know that I look positively stunning.  Oh, and sorry, what were you saying?

Sophia: Err… I was going to say…

Ms. Luna: Oh I know, you were going to say I look totally gorgeous, and what else were you going to say?

Sophia: I was going to um… ask about your li...

Ms. Luna: Oh, of course, you were going to ask about my life story! Everyone ALWAYS asks how I became so perfectly charming. I was the smallest seed in the bag. It was a very crowded bag, mind you, so there were many other seeds, but no, I had to be the smallest. Really. It was SO ANNOYING. Anyway, a giant peach-colored hand came down from the sky, grabbed me, and unceremoniously shoved me into the brown stuff that I think is called dirt. Or soil. I can never remember what you humans call things. Like, why do you need so many words? Anyway, after like, a REALLY long time, I finally grew some hair. Like, talk about thankful that I didn't have to live the rest of my life HORRIFYINGLY bald. Of course, I parted my new bright green hair down the middle because that was all the rage back then. I dyed my hair brown and gelled it so it sticks straight up a few months ago, and that style seems to have kept its flair as I still have my hair like that today.

Sophia: Should we get back to the um… sto…

 Ms.Luna: Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't realize I got off track for a sec there. Okay, back to the story. Anyway, after I decided to change my hair color from light green to dark green and let it grow long and spikey(again, fashion trends change quickly), I soon decided to go along with the new trend and wear a short golden skirt like everyone else(that trend went out of style due to all the bees). After that episode, I grew more hair and decided to try and curl it. It turned out that curling my hair was a really bad idea. It kept getting caught on like, EVERYTHING. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’m pretty sure that it was around that time that my body changed colors from a terrible green color(so not trendy) to the lovely white color I am now. Don't you just LOVE IT!!??

Sophia: Uh...yes I um...do like it…

Ms.Luna: LIKE IT!? It's perfectly stunning and you just say you LIKE IT!!??

Sophia: Um...can we get back to the story…?

Ms.Luna: Oh right, sorry! Anyway, a lot of other pumpkins and I, (though none of them were as pretty as me)got sent to this big place with a lot of other pumpkins and we had price tags carelessly slapped on us. Rude! a bunch of people walked in and one of them, a tall female, picked me up, inspected me(as if I wasn’t good enough already!), and went back to the rest of the group, they bought me and walked out of that messy, cold, and unpleasantly ghastly place. The next day, they did something to me that I think is called carving(again, why so many words?), and I came out like this! End of story.

Sophia: Well, that's a very er… intriguing tale, Ms.Luna. I thank you for coming to...

Ms.Luna: Now, if you would just skip the formalities and move on, I have an appointment with my therapist. So if you would just excuse me, (and I’m sure you will,) I am going to be late. Oh, don’t tell me that my limousine driver is not here yet, he is so unreliable these days. I would expect even a lowly taxi driver to be more respectful!

Sophia: Er...yes, of course…

Mrs.Luna: ANYWAY, I’ve really got to go now. Oh, by the way, faux fur coats and purses are really hot now… just a tip.

Sophia: Um… back to the interview, thank you for taking your precious time…

Mrs.Luna: My VERY precious time, as I am going to rot in just about a month...

Sophia: As I was saying, THANK YOU for taking your precious time to come to this interview. That concludes our meeting today.

Mrs.Luna: Yes, thank you for interviewing me. It has been a real honor or whatever, I HAVE to go now, my makeup is fading and look at the time!

Paragraphs and Postcards!

Assignments #2 and #3 were connected in a fun way.  In Assignment #2, we learned how to write powerful paragraphs that had unique sentence starters, so that all five sentences were different and interesting to read.  When you read the following samples, notice all the tricks and tools that we learned in Assignment #1!  The topic of our paragraphs was a made-up land, created by spelling a REAL place BACKWARDS!  We got to create this place in our imaginations and describe it in great detail.

Then, the next week, Assignment #3 was to write a postcard from the place we created in Assignment #2!  Would we have a pleasant or unpleasant journey?  It was fun to make connections from the facts we presented in our paragraph to the imaginative vacation we took to that place.

Here are some awesome samples!

Emor, by Sabrina (4th grade)

     Emor is the beautiful warm land of leaves!  When people drive, all they can see is different leaves on the windows of their car.  It always seems like it's fall.  The mountains appear to be made of leaves!  Because there are so many leaves, the children there love to hide in the piles on the sidewalks.  Whenever children play on the playgrounds, it looks like they are playing on equipment made of leaves!  If you love crunching on leaves and playing around, then Emor is the place for you.

Dear Mrs. Huff,

     I had a crazy arrival to Emor!  I landed at 3:00 AM, so I am super cranky!  I also couldn't see the view while I was on the airplane, because all of the windows were covered with leaves!  During the twenty-four hour plane ride, I was sitting next to a snoring person!

     After I got out of the airport, I was covered in leaves!  But it turned out that I got to make jewelry out of them.  Then I went to a haunted hotel that was made out of leaves, and I saw a leaf ghost at night!  Anyway, in the morning, I joined a Leafman making contest.  (I got 1st place!)  

     I wish you were here.  We could write stories about leaves, and poems too!

                              Your friend, Sabrina

Anihc, by Caren (5th grade)

     Anihc is a magical little island, 365 days a year!  It is splashed with many colors, which attracts lots of people.  All year long, people play games, sports, and crafts along the soft sandy beaches of Anihc.  The children don't have electronics because they are so far out to sea.   Anyone who loves warm sunny beaches and no access to electronics, Anihc is the vacation destination for you!

Dear Mom,

      I had a lovely flight to Anihc this morning, even though it was 5:30 AM!

     Right when we landed and I stepped out of the door, I was greeted with a nice warm breeze in my face that made me smile.  Then, everyone was served with a wonderful breakfast with a fancy rose in a first-class restaurant.

     After breakfast, I called a taxi to pick me up and drive me to the hotel.  After I checked in, I was overly pleased because it looked gorgeous; it had a large living/family too with a full kitchen, three large bedrooms and bathrooms, and a large window showing the bright blue ocean.

     As I went to the beach, a Smoothie Making Class caught my eye, so I attended it.  At the class, I chose to make a coconut smoothie to remind me of Cassia.  I soon thought it was too sweet, and decided to put it aside so I could enjoy it later.  Afterwards, I chose a spot to watched the calming sea and the little kids playing.  I noticed that the kids weren't playing any video games.  I asked a waiter about this, and he even asked me what a plane was!  I guess they don't know anything about electronics here.

     Well, I enjoyed my stay here!  I hope we can come here as a family for our next vacation!

                          Love, Caren

Austin (5th grade) went above and beyond with Assignment #2!  He made a Tourist Brochure!  My scanner can not do his work justice, but I hope you enjoy what you see here.  He put in amazing effort and wrote a beautiful paragraph!

     The "Budding Authors and Artists" class also got to make up creative lands by spelling real places backwards.  Their assignment was to simply write one paragraph about their place.  Their focus was that paragraphs are all about ONE topic, and it is important to stay on topic.    With helpful sentence starters, these young students are learning how to vary their sentence patterns and write interesting sentences that form paragraphs!  And don't forget introduction and conclusion sentences, too!

     I love Charlize's (2nd grade) paragraph, and her art, too!  Would you like to take a vacation here?

Super Sentence Writing!

It has been another great session of "Authors and Artists" classes!  The "Budding Authors and Artists" are in 1st-3rd grade, and the "Awesome" class includes 3rd-6th grade.  I love starting every session with a strong sentence writing activity.  This year, as summer was coming to an end, the students took the base sentence:
"The sun shines."
and turned it into a sentence that had adjectives, adverbs, where's, and when's!  The "Awesome" class even learned how to correctly start a sentence with "Because," as they learned the difference between phrases and clauses.  It was also fun to do art to match!  Enjoy these samples.
The shiny burning sun shines warmly at lunch in the middle of the day.
by Matthew, 1st grade

 by Audrey, 2nd grade

by Kayla, 3rd grade

 by Kalea, 4th grade

by Drew, 4th grade

The bright, beautiful sun shines joyfully over the muddy-grassed park during a dramatic soccer tournament.  By Lia, 5th grade