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!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Postcard Stories!

After writing paragraphs about our newly created vacation destinations, it was time to travel there.  Assignment #3 had the students visit their Backwards Lands, and write a short story in the form of a postcard about their adventures there.  They first had to map out their story with a clear beginning, middle, and end.  They had to make sure that their adventures matched their original paragraphs.  Then they wrote the final copy on an extra large 8x10 postcard, complete with address and stamp! They all turned out fantastic!

Meghna (3rd grade) journeyed to Ogeid Nas (San Diego backwards).  In her paragraph, she described it as an exciting island with many fun activities year round.  So, appropriately, she wrote to her friend Laura and described all the fun she was having:

Dear Laura,

     Hi!  You should have come with me to Ogeid Nas!

     It has so many things to do, like boating, fishing, weaving, and making jewelry.  I love to swim on the shores of the beach and go boating to see the beautiful island views.  There is so much to do that I just don't know if I can do it in one week.  I will probably come again next year because this is so much fun.  It is so hot, perfect for the middle of July.  There is an ice cream shop on the beach, and every day I go and get some ice cream.  After that, I go for a swim.  Everyone on the island always gets ice cream before they go for a swim.  It just makes the water more pleasant.  My cabin has bunk beds and a computer.

     You should come with me next time I go.


     Your friend,

Haley (3rd grade) also had a fabulous vacation.  She traveled to Saxet (Texas backwards).  Since her place reminded us of a saxaphone, she made her place a very musical town where a famous teaching musician lives.  Here is her adventure!

Dear Mom and Dad,

     I'm here at musical Saxet!  Thanks for sending me here.  I just unpacked so I'm going out to lunch.  I tripped on my way here, but I'm okay.

     The first day, I learned how to play the saxaphone.  You'll never believe who taught me..... Finnigan! Finnigan is a really famous music player.  It was hard at first, but then I got the hang of it.  Then he asked me to join his concert!  I said YES!  It was an awesome concert.

     I decided to go here one to two times a year to see my BFF, Finnigan!

     Your Daughter,

Kristin (5th grade) sent herself to summer camp in Amohalko (Oklahoma backwards.)  She added the extra touch of giving herself quite a unique voice in her story.  You'll see what I mean!

Dear Mom and Dad,

     I just wanted to say thanks for sending me to this awesome camp in Amohalko for a whole week!

     The bus ride here was totally not awesome though!  The entire ride was filled with the sounds of homesick crybabies and cheesy camp songs.  UGH!  When we got to the hotel, I got a complimentary bar of soap.  Woo hoo!  We settled in nicely though, and got started on an awesome trek up the side of the valley.  We saw tons of awesome animals that we even got to pet!  Luckily, my cabin mates are pretty awesome.

     The next morning we woke up to the sound of awesome trumpets.  Then, we had an awesome breakfast and we set out!  However, our planned hike was totally ruined with rain!  Totally NOT AWESOME!  We headed back inside and had some awesome hot cocoa.  We watched the lake flood and the flying fish panic.  When the rain finally stopped, we hopped in our rain gear and splashed in puddles.  Awesome!  There were a couple complaints from the counselors saying that I say "awesome" too much, which I don't get at all.

     Overall, I'm having a totally awesome time at camp!  I'm totally coming back next year!

     Your awesome daughter,

I think these postcards turned out totally awesome-I mean, incredibly fantastic!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fantastic Paragraph Writing: Come read these travel brochures!

After mastering super sentence writing, it was time for a lesson on paragraphs.  To come up with a topic, the students were to spell a real vacation destination, city, state, country, or amusement park backwards.  After working very hard to get the correct pronunciation of our new vacation spots, we tried to figure out what clues the name gave us as to the type of place this would be.  "Saxet" became a musical town in the south (Read: Texas backward!), Napaj (with an emphasis on the first syllable) became a sleepy place, and Sasnak became not anything like Kansas, but an adventurous jungle.  Read these super paragraphs and see if you would like to come visit these unusual places!  (And while you're reading, please note how the students attempted to start every sentence differently-- some with clauses or phrases, some with "Because," some with a pronoun, and more.  Also, every paragraph has a vivid introduction and nice conclusion.)

"Saxet," by Abby (4th grade)
     Saxet is a very musical town, with great food and very hot weather!  Its beaches have foamy, white waves slapping the shores, and restaurants lining the sand.  Because of its strange shape, this tiny island off the coast of Texas is shaped like a cowboy hat.  Saxet has a country music festival once every week!  The most popular festival is Eessennet, where settlers from Tennessee come to visit and eat at the fabulous restaurants!  Anyone who likes country music and country style food should come and visit really hot Saxet!

"Napaj," by Savannah (5th grade)
     Napaj is a very unusual place because of its shape, which is why people love it.  It is shaped like a giant bed.  People there sleep for a minimum of eight hours.  During the winter, the Napajiens hibernate near a pile of food, which they are famous for.  Some of the food they eat are Napaj style noodles with bacon, eggs, and meatballs, Starbursts, and brussel sprouts.  If you like cool, fun, and sleepy adventures, get your ticket to Napaj now!

"Sasnak," by Cody (5th grade)
     Sasnak is a jungle where the Sasnakians roam.  The Sasnakians are friendly creatures, and they rule the jungle.  When a tourist comes to Sasnak, they get to have a free safari ride around the whole jungle.  Sasnak is a huge tourist attraction, and there is no person who doesn't like this place.  If you like cool weather, animals, and safaris, then this is the perfect vacation destination!

"Ocixem," by Ricardo (3rd grade)
     Ocixem is a delightful place.  It is very colorful too.  This place has flowers swaying calmly near the soft grass in the park.  It also has soft sand on the quiet beach.  People there are so happy that they never scream, and they only eat soft squishy mangos.  This place is so wonderful!

But not ALL of these places are delightful to visit!  Ryan (4th grade) took his in a different direction.... Beware!

"Ippississim," by Ryan (4th grade)
     Ippississim is a jungle of death, worse than all treacherous jungles combined!  Because the jungle is so dangerous, nobody ever goes there.  Every animal there is a human hunter.  There is also the homework giving teacher, such as the evil huffinater.  The hotel is very bad.  Meteorites shoot the hotel every night, but there's another hotel that's worse.  Whoever steps in meets their doom.  That's why Ippississim is the worst destination for you!

Call your travel agent now.... Tickets are hard to come by to these fantastic (or dangerous) places!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Super Sentence Writing

The sentence is the backbone to wonderful stories, essays, reports... you name it!   Lesson #1 started with  a boring base sentence, "The sun shines."   We started our lesson with placing adjectives and adverbs in our sentence, which added a lot of necessary description.  After a lesson on adjectival and adverbial clauses and phrases, as well as experimenting with starting sentences with "Because" (Yes, you can, if you follow the rules!), we created fabulous sentences that painted beautiful summer scenes.  For fun, we added an element of art, writing our sentence on a sun with a lovely blue sky background.  Here are just a few fabulous examples!

Annika (4th grade) wrote a beautiful sentence with many vivid descriptive words.  I love how her adverb ends the sentence.  Her classmates helped her fine tune it until she decided on her best option.  We did a lot of peer helping this day, giving advice on what we thought sounded best as each student read their ideas. 

In the prickly field, the laughing children plant vegetables while the wonderful, amazing sun shines brightly.

Here is Arushi's (5th grade).  I love the picture that this sentence creates in my mind.  (And Arushi's nice artwork definitely goes along with it very well!)
"On a breezy summer day, the hot vibrant sun shines brightly on all of the dogs splashing in the bright blue swimming pool."

As I mentioned, I taught the students how to start with "Because "and still avoid sentence fragments.  Many of them like doing it so much, that I am now seeing this very mature style of writing in their other assignments.  Here are two beautiful examples of what the students learned.  Here is George's (4th grade) fabulous sentence:

"Because it is hot and big, the bright yellow sun shines warmly in the middle of September in the nice blue sky."

Here is Jacqueline's (3rd grade).  Again, she starts with "Because" beautifully, and has some super art work to match!

"Because the angry animals are cold, the jolly red sun shines brightly so the animals can lie in the sun."

Next we move on to..... PARAGRAPHS!

Welcome Back!

The blog site has been quiet for a few months.... but the kids are back in school and it is time to show off more of their great work!  I have 45 students (3rd through 6th grade) at various locations this term, and they are all doing an outstanding job.  Please enjoy some samples of the work we are creating in Mrs. Huff's Stuff: Writers' Workshop!