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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fabulous Paragraphs

Once we mastered writing outstanding, descriptive sentences, we moved on to paragraphs.  After all, great sentences that vary in style and length make up great paragraphs!  That was the theme of our lesson on fabulous paragraph writing.  First, I showed the students examples of horrible paragraphs that strayed from the original topic.  Then I taught the students how to write five sentences, all with various beginnings, in order to make the paragraphs sound more interesting and stay on topic.  They were to stick to the format I gave them, but we did allow for some variations as long as they used all five types of sentences.  Below you will find some of my favorites.  Notice how they all have at least one outstanding adjective in the first sentence, pronouns (possessive, too) in the second and third sentences that support the topic, a sentence starting with a "where," "when," "even," "although, etc" clause, and a fantastic conclusion.   The students worked in partners and groups, and then tried a paragraph on their own.

How did they come up with these topics?  They got to pick various topics out of my bowl-- definitely a surprise as they read topics such as Favorite Vacation Spots, Favorite Cartoon Characters, The Yuckiest Food, Holidays, Animals, and even some as crazy as Cookie Monster and Mickey Mouse.  The students definitely stretched themselves and did an outstanding job!

Harry Potter Character Harry Potter
By Will (3rd grade), Katy (3rd grade), and Jade (5th grade)
     Out of all the characters in the book, Harry Potter is the worst!  He murdered Voldemort and ruined Cornelius Fudge's life.  I truly feel Harry should be sent to Azkaban.  When he created "Dumbledore's Army," he disrespected the wonderful Umbridge Regime.  Even though Voldemort is evil, Harry Potter is much more destructive!
     (PS- I am Draco Malfoy and I approve this message.  I also wrote it!)

Harry Potter character Sirius Black
By Rebecca (5th grade)
     My favorite Harry Potter character is Harry Potter's sneaky godfather Sirius Black.   He broke out of Azkaban, the wizard prison, because he was innocent and had great wizarding skill.  He is very brave and he broke into Hogwarts, the wizarding school.  When Sirius managed to escape Azkaban and broke into Hogwarts, he turned into a great, black, shaggy dog.  Truly, Sirius Black has a lot of skill and is a deceiving person.

By Katherine (4th grade)
     I love Christmas because of all the fun things and activities.  It's fun to rip all the paper off and throw it around, making a mess.  My favorite thing to do is have my relatives over and have dinner with them.  While doing these two things, I laugh and have fun with my cousins.  I think Christmas is the most fun holiday ever.

By Elika (5th grade)
     There are many pets in the world, but dogs are my favorite.  They are such loyal animals that can be your friend forever.  Dogs will always be ready for you to throw a tennis ball out on the field.  While reading a book, I can pet its soft hair that makes me feel relaxed.  Clearly, dogs are the best pets of them all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Turning a Boring Sentence Into an Exciting one!

Our very first assignment in Session II was turning a boring sentence into an exciting one!  We talked about how great words make great sentences, great sentences make great paragraphs, and great paragraphs make great book reports, essays, and stories!

We all started off with the same base sentence: "The snowflake falls."  Then we added in one element at a time:
~ 2 adjectives describing the snowflake
~ an adverb describing how the snowflake falls
~ a phrase that tells "where"
~ a phrase that tells "when"

After that, we experimented with the placement of our phrases and read a few ideas aloud, while our classmates gave their opinions on what sounded best.  It was a wonderful exercise in teamwork and peer teaching.

We then had fun creating a snowflake with white paper and scissors.  (Who DOESN'T love making snowflakes?!)  We curved our sentences all around the paper, so twirling and spinning our snowflake would be a necessity in order to read the sentence.  Gluing it on blue paper and adding some art to match the sentence were the final touches.  Before long, the sentence that started out the same for every student turned out beautifully unique.  Here are just a few outstanding samples:

On a cold, snowy December afternoon, the delicate cold snowflake falls slowly in the huge, beautiful, white park.
- Maya, 3rd grade

On a chilly Christmas Eve, the gentle, light snowflake falls merrily on a white wooden park bench.
- Reeya, 3rd grade

After a freezing blizzard on a snowy January day, the cold, soft snowflake falls gracefully on a snow covered cottage in Canada.
- Abby, 3rd grade.

On a freezing winter day, the unique white snowflake falls softly on to the crisp cold snow.
- Arushi, 4th grade

The shimmering white snowflake lightly falls on to Cody's head while he is sprinting into the classroom.
- Clark, 4th grade

The sparkly, white snowflake falls beautifully on the tip of the snowy mountain after a freezing snowstorm.
- Miyuki, 4th grade

On the 15th day of Chinese New Year, the beautiful soft snowflake falls gently on my white bunny's cute little feet.
- Lillian, 3rd grade

I just love how different every sentence turned out!  They are all unique, just like real snowflakes!