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, April 3, 2011

1st Person Narration-- A Day in the Life of a Personified Object

One of my favorite lessons to teach is 1st person narration from the point of view of a personified object.  It is fun to go from the strict structure of book reports to the more playful, casual, "hear one's own voice" style of this assignment.  Here are a couple that I absolutely loved-- but once again, it was hard to choose!  My classrooms were full of shoes, balloons, toys, pumpkins, foods, fireplaces, pencils, and even a volcanic rock and an American flag.  It was an interesting couple of weeks!

The students started by story mapping their births, lives, and deaths (or endings if they didn't cease to exist at the end of their tale.)  They also settled on a mood or tone.  Some of them quite enjoyed being themselves, others (like Kelly) did not.  Then came the creative writing part...... Enjoy!

Series of Unfortunate Events: A Blade of Grass' Life
By Kelly (5th grade)

     Ugghh!  I am a tiny seed stuck in a big bag.  The bag is full of loud, happy seeds.  I HATE happy seeds!  They ruin everything with their happiness.  Oh no!  What's happening?!  Suddenly, the world tilts to the side, and I am suddenly falling in the air.  Aaaaahhh!  Ooof!  I hit the dirt hard.  I sniff around and look at my surroundings.  Gee, this dirt smells terrible!  Oh no!  Water falls onto my head, almost drowning me!

     Over a month, I grow into a blade of grass.  It's even worse than being a seed!  I'm all long and squishy and bendy.  I'm the shortest piece of grass, and I hate being short.  The other piece of grass are no help.  They're all happy and all optimists, and they don't understand what it's like to be truly grumpy!  What's that?  What's that hideous noise?!  It's going to burst my eardrums!

     "I love the sound of children laughing," said a dreamy piece of grass next to me.  Children?  What are "children?"  They must be hideous beasts.  Suddenly, the world is cast in shadow and a big "thing"-- there's no other word to describe it-- flies out of the sky and lands on me.  Oooowww!  That hurts!  Doesn't that thing have eyes?  The dreamy blade beside me says, "I love shoes."  So, is that thing called a "shoe?" Well, Mr. Shoe, let me give you a piece of m--

     What's that noise?  Is it the children again?  No, this sound is more of a buzz.  Hey!  Will the thing making that buzzing noise please be quiet?!  A blade of grass who has been through what I have needs beauty sleep!  I said, BE QUIET!!

     But the noise doesn't get quieter.  Oh no.  It is getting louder, probably just to annoy me.  Then suddenly, a terrible monster leaps out at me and cuts me in half!  Oooooouuchies!  Gee, that hurts!  Even monsters should know to look out for innocent piece of grass!  And.... oh no!!  I'm short again!!  And just when I had gotten tall!!

     "I love when lawn mowers come," says the annoying piece of grass beside me.  I hate lawn mowers! I hate this world!  And most of all, I hate being a blade of grass!

By Savannah (4th grade)

     Yea!  I was written by my favorite teacher Mrs. Huff!  I don't know what I'm supposed to be, but I know how she drew me.  First, she drew a backwards C, and then she drew a connected line with some space and a dot.  So I figured out I look like this: ?

     She smiles as she begins her lesson in 2nd grade Language Arts.  She tells all the children I am some kind of punctuation.  Caley asks, "What's punctuation?" and the class giggles.  I want to shout out, "I am punctuation!" but I can't raise my hand to speak.  Then Mrs. Huff tells them I am a question mark and I am used in interrogative sentences.

     As Mrs. Huff teaches the kids, I take a minute to look around.  To my right, I see the Handy Helpers board, and to my left I see a smart board.  I look out at all those cute little children looking at me.  I can see in the far right corner the Grammar Garden.  This classroom is so beautiful!

     Then I hear her say, "Now all of you try to make a question mark."  All of a sudden, I see sixteen of me.  Oh, look how good I look!  Oh.  That one looks really weird.

     I have been up on the board all day!  I'm so happy!  Mrs. Huff looks tired.  She says something about needing to clean the classroom.  She's holding a small rectangular tool that has a fuzzy side.  Oh no!  What is that?  What is that?!  I am being eras........

Fabulous Book Report Writing

After mastering paragraph writing, I taught a lesson on fabulous book report writing.  A good report will have:
1. An attention-getting introduction with important facts such as book name, author, number of pages, and any other interesting and pertinent information
2. 1-3 body paragraphs (depending on grade level).  These may include a summary of the book, a summary of the favorite part, or a detailed paragraph about main characters.
3. A clever conclusion

It was so hard to choose a book report to post on the blog.  So many incredible ones were turned in!  I chose Crystal's (3rd grade) because she really pushed herself.  She went beyond the minimum requirement, even though she is in the youngest grade.  I also really liked how she snuck a bit of a book summary in the introduction without making it sound like she was switching topics.  And check out her conclusion-- loaded with adjectives!  I think this is a fantastic book report.  (And if you think it looks neat all typed up, you should see Crystal's impeccable penmanship, margins, and perfect spelling!)

Each Little Bird that Sings, by Crystal (3rd grade)

     I read the awesome book Each Little Bird that Sings.  The author of this book is Deborah Wiles.  This book has 247 exciting pages, which include news stories by the main character, Comfort, recipes written by Comfort's neighbors, and letters exchanged by Comfort and her best friend, Declaration.

     The main character of this book is Comfort Snowberger.  She can be funny sometimes, or serious and sad other times.  Comfort is a good character.  I would like Comfort as a friend because she seems like a nice and funny person to be friends with.  The minor character is Dismay, Comfort's dog.  He is always there when Comfort needs him, except when there is a funeral, because Dismay is the funeral dog.  Dismay is a good character, and I would like him as a pet because Dismay seems like a "feel-good" dog.

     My favorite part of the book was when Comfort comes to a compromise with her whiney cousin Peach. It is Thanksgiving, and Comfort and Peach were just released from helping prepare Thanksgiving dinner.  Comfort and Peach take a short walk, and Declaration joins them.  Declaration and Peach are talking about marbles, and Comfort feels rejected.  Then, Peach suddenly turns to Comfort and says what he usually says to Comfort's Great Uncle Edisto and her Great-great aunt Florentine: "It's Thanksgiving and I've come to see you!"  And Comfort responds: "Okay, come see me then."

     I liked the humorous book Each Little Bird that Sings because it can be interesting and funny at some parts, and serious and sad at other times, just like Comfort!  I would recommend this exciting book to anyone third grade and up because it can make you have very strong emotions at very different parts.  I would like to read other books by the amazing author Deborah Wiles because Each Little Bird that Sings is such a good book!