Welcome to our Authors and Artists blog! This is a web site for my "Budding Authors and Artists" (grades 1-3) 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!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to Write a Great Hpargarap!

A few weeks ago, I presented a lesson on paragraph writing.  To make it fun, we created imaginative animals by spelling real animal names backwards.  As we drew and colored our new creatures, they came to life in our imaginations, and we began thinking of topics on which to write: appearance, diet, habitat, and living style.  We focused on varying our sentence patterns and making sure we had a catchy introduction and conclusion to our paragraphs.  We also made sure we didn't stray off the topic.  And of course, we remembered that tiny important detail: INDENTING!  I had so many wonderful paragraphs turned in that it was difficult to choose, but here are three very creative animals and their paragraphs!

The Xineohp, by Jay (4th grade)

(I am posting two of Jay's paragraphs because I simply couldn't pick a favorite.  His "appearance" paragraph goes beautifully with his picture, but the paragraph on "diet" is so creative and unique that I had to include it as well!)

          The xineohp is really a very scary looking bird.  It has lots of vibrant colors on its whole body like its cousin, the phoenix, but they are very different.  It has a very menacing look so people run away in terror.  When people hear its majestic call, they flee the scene.  The odd bird is truly a sign of fear.

          The xineohp has an odd diet.  It eats fire, hot coals, and drinks lava.  When it eats too much, it turns into a fireball and shoots around.  Try to avoid the xineohp in that state.  Its favorite food is fire inside ice.  Its diet is dangerous!

Here is Caley's (5th grade.)  Her little critter is adorably creative, and I enjoyed this paragraph on what the Redips is known for.

          The redips is very special.  It is special because it breathes fire!  When it breathes fire, that means it has just eaten jalapeno nacho cheese.  "Nacho cheese!" is the favorite word of the redips.  Despite its strange appearance, you will think that the redips is very cuddly, except when it breathes fire!

Here is Katherine's (4th grade).  You'll love her conclusion sentence in this paragraph about the niugnep!

          The niugnep is a very unique creature.  It has a snake-like tongue, bear ears, a unicorn horn, wings that grow when it flies, a soft fox tail, and sharp claws that can go in and out.  While hunting, niugneps take out their claws to kill and take their prey to the surface.  Niugneps are the cuddliest things you've ever felt, as long as they keep their claws in and they don't spit poison at you.

Another wonderful semester has begun!

I am happy to report that more wonderful sessions of Writers' Workshop have begun at three different schools, and I have loved getting to know each of my students.

We started off with our first assignment of A Summer Adventure Story.  We've all been given the task of writing or telling about something fun we had done over the summer.... but this assignment was given an exciting twist.  At some point in the story, the students were asked to to turn their true story into one of fantasy and adventure.  We started off brainstorming and story mapping, and then began our rough drafts.  Here are just two of many outstanding stories that were turned in!  See if you can figure out when the truth becomes fiction.....

Here is Riya's (3rd grade).  I love the ending of her story!

"This Summer...." by Riya

This summer my dad and I went to Crater Lake.  I went swimming and relaxed a lot.  But one part of my trip wasn't relaxing.....

When we were just about to start swimming, I saw a lobster.  My dad said he would pull it out, but he only got the claw.  Just the claw bit him for some reason.

"Ouch!" said Dad.

Then the rest of the lobster came together again!  We were so surprised that we forgot about swimming.  We put the lobster in a bucket and took it home.

While we were walking back to the car, we saw that the lobster had disappeared!  We went back to the water to search for it.  Then I found it again, and it said to me, "I am magical.  Please don't eat me!"

So we didn't eat it, but instead took it home as a pet.  Now it's sitting in my room, practicing its magic tricks.

Here is Arushi's (4th grade).  I love her vocabulary, especially her use of outstanding and descriptive action verbs. I also think the subtle mention of sibling rivalry is quite humorous!

"My Vacation," by Arushi

This summer I went to Santa Barbara.  It was a hot day in Santa Barbara, a perfect day for swimming.  But what happened in the pool wasn't what I anticipated....

It was July 20th when all of this happened.  I had persuaded my sister to help me get our parents to let us go to the pool.  They finally said yes, and they decided we'd all go.  So I got my swimsuit on and off we went.

My dad jumped in and told my sister and me to come in.  We shook our heads and wandered around the pool.  Then, my dad decided we were taking too long.  He heaved himself out of the pool and grabbed us.  My sister, being the younger one, screamed, 'Eeeek!"  I, meanwhile, silently struggled.  Okay, maybe I screamed a little  Anyway, my dad lifted us up and threw us in the pool.  We landed with a large splash.

As soon as we rose for breath, my sister shrieked, "Dad!  This is going to ruin my clothes!  They're brand new!"

"Your clothes aren't brand new," I said calmly in my big-sister tone.  "It doesn't matter.  Let's just swim."

I had a fun time playing in the pool after that, even though I had to put up with my sister's grumbling.  Then my dad went to join my mom in the hot tub.

Finally, my sister stopped moaning and dared me to touch the tile dolphin at the very bottom of the pool. I dived down and looked around for the dolphin.  Then I saw it.  It was much more realistic than I originally thought, and its tail glistened and glittered.  I hovered above it, watching sparkles dance around it.  It didn't occur to me that I had been down there five minutes, and hadn't drowned!  All I could do was stare.  Finally, I touched its tail.

Suddenly, the tail started to flip and flop.  I pulled back my hand and saw the tile dolphin come to life!  My sister had come down to see what the hold-up was, and she saw everything.  "Dolphin!" she squealed, and the next thing I knew, I was on the dolphin, watching all the fish.

Fish?  Where was I??  "Um, take us to the top," I told the dolphin, feeling silly talking to it.

But it just nodded and raced to the top of the water.  When I looked, I realized that I was in the sea!  The dolphin looked at me and saw the surprise on my face.  "Don't worry.  I'm Splash, Ruler of the Dolphins, and you are now Ruler of the Sea.  I will take you to the palace," the dolphin said kindly.

"So I'm just a visitor?" whined my sister.

The dolphin nodded.  I, meanwhile, had only just figured out what was happening.  The dolphin took no notice and sped down into the sea.

We finally arrived at the sandy bottom.  A huge team of dolphins swam by and gave me something with their flippers.  It was a glowing green trident.  My sister and I stared at it, awestruck.  Then my sister realized it wasn't for her.  "It's not fair that you get it!" she yelled, startling a school of fish.

"Dolphin, take me to a place where I can rest," she commanded.

I watched her ride off.  After that, I had a great day.  The dolphins took me swimming, a bunch of huge sea horses gave me a ride, and the seals showed me the palace.

Then my sister swam back, a big smile on her face.  "I take back what I said before.  I love this!"

Uh oh.  She couldn't be happy here.  This was MY palace.  She could go get her own!  I decided to make her leave.  I called Splash and asked her to to take us home.  She agreed, but only because I said we'd be back.

Finally, we popped out of the water, and saw the pool.  We joined our parents in the hot tub and told them everything, but no one believed us.  But I knew I was still Queen of the Sea.

I really enjoyed reading Sarah's (5th grade).  Her visual imagery is just beautiful.  What a fabulous adventure!

Horse Rides
by Sarah

            This past summer I went to Lake Tahoe with my family.  We rented a vacation house and it was the best house ever!  We went swimming in the hot tub, playing in the lake, boating, fishing, and horseback riding.  Even though we had a lot of things to do, horseback riding was the event I would never forget.
            First of all, my mom selected the specialty ride because she thought our ride should be a little more special this time.  The trail guide looked really excited about her customers.  She assigned us to our horses and as soon as we got on, we started walking along the trail.
            The ride was pretty long and boring until suddenly, all the horses moved to a small new narrow trail that seemed to have just appeared.  And then we could see a huge tree in the distance that was in the way.
            When we were about to bump into it, a warm gust of wind blew across my face.  I didn’t feel anything when we walked into the tree.  But when I looked back, I could not see the tree anymore.  I didn’t need to care about that because once I turned back around, I was too stunned to say anything.  There was a huge horn right in front of me!  My horse had just turned into a unicorn!
            I think it was about nighttime in this new world because it was all dark and everything was glowing and sparkling.  It wasn’t a cold night; it was warm.  There was soft green moss on the ground and our guide just smiled to our stunned faces.
            Our guide showed us around this new land.  There were pixies everywhere, spreading pixie dust over our heads.  There were also ponies with wings that were grazing in the huge, healthy meadow.  Also, there was a lake that had mermaids in it.  The path we were walking on was lined with different little flowers.  The land was beautiful, filled with life and a sweet aroma always filling the air. 
            The guide led us to some money trees (we weren’t allowed to pick any) to take a break.  I fell asleep and I had no dreams.  Then, I didn’t keep track of what happened after that.
            It was a peaceful sleep, until I woke up under not a money tree in the magical land, but under an apple tree by the horse stables.  Suddenly, I realized that the ride was over and I did not remember a thing about it.  My family kept on telling me that I had fallen asleep on the horse, and they had to get me off the horse and put me under the tree.  I really don’t believe them since they don’t sound so convincing.  I think the pixie dust was to make me think it actually happened.  I’m the one who knows what really happened.  Or so I think.  Maybe I’m wrong.  We’ll never know.