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!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Election Day

One of my Writers' Workshops fell on Election Day.  On the drive to school, I started brainstorming an assignment that I am really glad we ended up doing!  The students were either to write letters describing why they were running for governor, or suggesting a proposition that would make life better.  I love these two students' emphasis on school-- enjoy!!

Dear President Obama,

I would like to become the new governor of California.  I am in fifth grade and was chosen by the principal of my school.  I will change the laws in a better way so that everyone will like them.  First, because every child is important and should go to school, I will make a law that every school should start at 9:30 and end at 4:00 with each child in this state spread out in a school.  I would also have only healthy food for hot lunch.  Also, I would create a law that teachers should only give students homework if they need it or want it.  Teachers can only give homework to the children who are behind, which will urge them to work harder.

Put me on the ballot and I will improve America by improving California!

Rebecca (5th grade)

Proposition 29

Hello, I'm a 4th grader at __________.  The President told me to make a proposition, so vote for Prop. 29.  Prop 29 would make schools give more vacations.  If we have more vacations, the children would be happier.  They would get Monday through Saturday off.  So, that means they only have school on Sundays.  But on Sunday, you have school from 8:45 AM to 6:00 PM.  Plus, you only get homework if you miss school a lot or you have bad grades.  On Sunday, you get to skip class if it is a holiday.  This is why you should vote for Prop 29.

By Cody (4th grade)

Haiku Poetry

Haikus are such a beautiful form of poetry.  The students and I talked about the importance of visual imagery and of course, the famous 5-7-5 syllable count!  Here are some of my favorites:

Beautiful horses
Running in the great hot plains
Finally away

By Krithika (4th grade)

All through the season
Leaves begin to change colors
And start to fall down

By Jade (5th grade)

Rain falls all the time
In winter snow, ice, or frost
You want to be warm

By Reign (5th grade)

Watch the yellow light
In the beautiful night sky
Watch for shooting stars

By Jack (4th grade)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Research Papers

We spent a few weeks in October working on our research papers.  The subject?  The backwards animals we wrote fabulous paragraphs about earlier!  We had a lesson on how to outline, and we created outlines with main ideas, points, and sub points about everything we could imagine (and imagine we had to, since we were the creators of our own animals!)  The students outlined topics such as diet, habitat, appearance, and living style/habits.  After the outline was complete, the students were to follow their outline and create a research paper complete with an introduction, body, and conclusion.  The children worked very hard!

Here is Melissa's (5th grade).  I chose it for the blog because her creativity is just unbelievable, from this bird's diet to its funny personality.  Notice how she quotes "studies" that she researched!  And I love her picture.  Enjoy her research paper on the Xert (T-rex backwards of course!)

      You won't find any animal that is quite like the xert.  It looks like an orange owl, but from its homework diet to its magical and mischievous habits, it couldn't really be considered a cousin.

     The xert's vivid colors make it stand out in the crowd; definitely a change from an owl.  It has a bright orange beak with matching feet.  It grooms the orange feathers all over its head and body daily, using its beige wings with orange speckles.  No one really knows why it does this.  Maybe it's to seem innocent when it steals homework!

     When it comes to homework, the xert suddenly becomes very devious.  That's because homework is its primary staple of food.  Studies show that the xert not only steals when its owner is not around, it also prefers "important" documents.  Sometimes owners take on a devious side themselves, when they make fake homework for their xert to eat instead of the real thing!  Don't worry, you don't always have to be on guard- if you happen to have carrots or corn cobs around.  The xert will eat these too.  With a diet of only these three foods, it definitely qualifies as a picky eater!

     You may be thinking that the xert is not exactly your ideal bird, but there is something I haven't told you.  This furry little bird has the psychic ability to influence other animals.  In one study, an xert convinced a dog to dig up some carrots for it to eat, just with mental messages.  It is definitely strange.  Officials think that the xert could be a help to the community, as they have an effect on people.  Someday, you might see an xert patrolling a local park, silently reminding people not to feed the squirrels!

     The xert is definitely one-of-a-kind.  I think it's the most personified animal I've ever heard of.  From its colorful feathers to it strange diet, it's a very hard bird to miss!

Here is Daphne's (5th grade).  Her research paper is well-organized with clear paragraphs on appearance and diet-- both very creatively thought out!  I now present to you "The Gorf" (Frog backwards of course!)

The gorf is very weird, but unique.  It makes funny actions.  The one thing that separates it from all other animals is that it eats burgers!  It can't miss a day without burgers!

The gorf is in the same family as the kangaroo, but it is much faster and can jump higher.  The gorf is brown and tall.  It has long legs, a long neck, but short hands.

The gorf has a weird diet.  Its number one thing to eat is a hamburger.  It needs to eat at least one hamburger a day.  If it can't find any humans to share a hamburger with it, it will simply go to the burger garden.  After eating a burger, the gorf will eat some healthy things like fruits or vegetables.  The gorf can get fruits from the ground or trees because it has a long neck.

In conclusion, I think the gorf is unusual.  Even though it has a funny appearance and a weird diet, I think it would be a cool pet to have.  If I did, I would like it to be a lookout!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Riddle Poems!

The month of November we will focus on poetry.  We started off with an introduction to rhyme scheme and end line rhyme with a lesson on "Riddle Poems."  My favorite part of this lesson was how the students and I helped each other out and brainstormed together to get rhyming words that made sense in the context of their poems.  We all sure shared some laughs this week!  Here are just a few for now.  To keep tickling your funny bone, I will add more to the blog as they get turned in.  Enjoy!

This thing tastes very swell.
Its flavor is sweet, and so is its smell.
They say it keeps the doctor away!
It makes me very healthy to this day.

What is it?
(Answer: an apple)
By Reeya (3rd grade)

On your teeth these things sit tight.
They do their work with all their might!
They make your teeth very straight.
To get them off you'll have to wait!

What are these?
(Answer: braces)
By Nicole (3rd grade)

These things cluck around in their pen.
The boy is a rooster and the girl is a hen.
They walk around in a disorderly way.
If you're a farmer, you see them all day.

What are these?
(Answer: chickens)
By Savannah (4th grade) with some wonderful assistance from Caley (5th grade)

I can't come in your sleep
Until you rest real deep.
Sometimes I can be quite frightful,
Other times I'm quite delightful!

What am I?
(Answer: a dream)
By Julia (5th grade)

She teaches writing every week
And she never takes a seat.
When we're good she gives us candy.
When I need help, she comes in handy.

Who is this?
(Answer: Mrs. Huff!)
By Nick (4th grade)  Thanks for thinking I come in handy, Nick!  And you're right... I don't do any sitting while I teach!!

Many of them in the air,
They fall down in your hair.
They are very cold and white,
And make a sight on a winter night.

What are they?
(Answer: Snowflakes)
By Sarah (5th grade)

In this sport you need a ball and bat
You can wear a glove and a hat.
You run around from base to base
At an extremely fast pace!

What is this?
(Answer: baseball)
By Cody (4th grade)

He is very jolly and fun.
He quickly melts in the sun.
He loves to be in the snow,
And I am sure you know....

What is this?
(Answer: a snowman)
 By Krithika (4th grade)

This electronic is a cool thing.
I'm going to buy it with my savings.
Into the Apple Store I'll stride,
But first I'll need to catch a ride.

What is this thing?
(Answer: an iPad)
By Revan (3rd grade)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Monsters

Adjectives, adjectives, adjectives!! They paint such important pictures in our minds. Colors, numbers, shapes, and sizes.... we can't clearly envision an object without adjectives.

My Writers' Workshop students celebrated Halloween last week with the Monster Draw Game.  Here is how you play:

1. Draw a monster and have fun with the art work.
2. Write a description that is incredibly detailed. Describe every aspect of your picture with size, shape, color, and number adjectives.
3. Exchange your descriptions with a partner.
4. Attempt to draw their monster, while they draw yours.
5. The winners' pictures will look almost identical, because the description will be so vivid and easy to follow.

When the game was over, the classes (and a few parents, too!) voted on the best matches.   I promised the winners they would be published on the blog, so here they are!

Sianna (4th grade) wrote such a vivid description for her monster that it was no wonder her partner Abby (3rd grade) drew it so accurately:

My monster isn't scary, but cute.  She has a giant round orange body.  She has a purple top hat with a little pink ribbon and bow.  her two eyes are light blue.  On top of her eyes she has five dark blue eyelashes.  Just like people, she has two brown eyebrows.  Her nose is a little turquoise circle about one inch under her eyes.  Her mouth is a big red smile (because she is always happy), with one little gray tooth in the middle on the top.

Because he's round, her little arms stick out.  They are about one inch and are yellow with four fingers.  Her pink legs are about the same size as her arms (except a little shorter), with little purple high heels.
And here is how Abby drew it.  Besides the darker shade of orange, they are almost twins!

Katherine (4th grade) wrote a fantastic description, except, as her partner pointed out, when she forgot to include a couple of key color adjectives.  Jay (4th grade) persevered anyway, and followed Katherine's instructions beautifully.  So even though some parts are colorless, we voted they were winners!

My monster isn't tall or scary.  It is friendly and kind.  Her head is a round circle with cat ears on top.  she has a cute little mouth and five eyes looking north, south, east, west, and straight.  Her body is blue and shaped like a raindrop.  On each side, she has three arms.  She also has four legs.  She has wavy legs and arms with four fingers.  On her back, there are two yellow wings.  She has pink slippers and blue shoes.  She also has a bow on the top of her head.
Good writing, Katherine, and Good reading, Jay!

Riya (3rd grade) and Lillian (3rd grade) worked beautifully together.  Riya is a very thorough writer, and Lillian is an excellent reader!

My monster has a big round white head.  She has a red round nose and one eye.  She has three curved pink hairs on her head on each side.  My monster has a black smiley mouth with two purple fangs!  She has two wavy white arms with magenta stripes, with five small orange fingers.  My monster has no body.  She just has four legs.  The two on your right are purple, and the two on your left are green.  They look like golf clubs!
Lillian's version is smaller, but still right on!