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, November 5, 2011

The Autobiography of a Pumpkin

For two weeks in October, we turned ourselves into pumpkins.  We imagined what our lives would be like, from our seed-birth, to the dreaded (or much anticipated) Halloween carving, to our demise.  Some students personified themselves as happy, excited pumpkins, and others did not enjoy their life one bit!

I truly enjoyed Kevin's (3rd grade) story.  I love how he doesn't quite understand certain words!  I also LOVE his ending-- all about the cycle of life!

Pumpkin, The Autobiography  
By Kevin (3rd grade)

     This is a story about my life, even though I'm now plant compost.  My start is a little blurry in my mind.

     One day, I was in a bag with my family in something called a store.  Suddenly, someone bought us!  We went to a small farm.  When they took me out, I saw sunlight!  It sure was bright after being in that dark bag.

     Then, they planted me!  I didn't see the person though.  Then suddenly, the sunlight was gone.  I was in something called, "dirt."  It was dark, but warm and comfortable in there.  I couldn't talk to anyone in there, so I just went to sleep.

     When I woke up, I felt something tickling me.  It was water!  I sucked it all up thirstily.  They continued to water me throughout my life.

     One day I heard some voices saying to sell me.  I was very confused.  What did "sell" mean?  What would happen to me?  I didn't want to leave my family!

     At that point, since I hadn't been "selled" or whatever you say, I suddenly felt weird arms and legs growing out of my body.  I think they were called "roots."  The arms and legs grew bigger over time.

     Amazingly, my stem grew long enough, and I popped out of the dirt.  I saw sunlight again.

     But then as the voices said, I got sold.  The way I got sold was first I discovered I was in a big box!  They put me in something called a "truck."  Then they replanted me.

     The next day I got something called fertilizer.  It gave me a growth boost.

     Later, I turned into a yellow flower!  The next step of my life was completed!

     Over time, I grew bigger and bigger until I eventually grew into a pumpkin!  First I turned green, then yellow and then I turned orange.

     A few days later, the family chopped me off my vine.  Finally I would find out what would happen to me!

     I sat on their front porch for a couple of days at first.  After that, they cute the top of me off!  Then they started to scoop my innards out, but they saved the seeds.  Next they cut out a face!  Ouch!  That hurt!  Then they put a candle in me, and put me back.

     In the night, I started to see kids coming out all dressed up!  I was confused, but then I realized that today was a day called "Halloween," and kids dressed up and collected candy!

     Then a few days after Halloween, I was rotting in the trash can.  A kid bumped the can, and I fell out.  But then I saw my own seeds being planted!  Now at the end of my life, I am honored to start the next generation.

Crazy Halloween Tales

Fast finishers in October got to create a short story based on a traditional Halloween symbol.  The only rule was that something strange had to be happening with the symbol.  They could choose either a 1st person or 3rd person narrator, and had to story map their ideas first.  The students had fun brainstorming ideas: the witch who couldn't perform spells, the black cat that brought good luck, and Sulwen's (4th grade): The Jack-O-Lantern That Wouldn't be Lit!  She speaks from the view point of a mouse who lives inside the Jack-o-Lantern.  I love this story, and hope you enjoy it too!

     Last Halloween, people kept trying to light my house on fire!  These giant things took a match and tried to light my chew toy on fire.  My chew toy is a piece of string with wax on it.  Anyway, every time they lit it on fire, I ran over and blew it out, then ran away.  The big things were worried that my home was haunted.

     Finally they dumped my home and me at an old haunted house.  It looked so scary!  They threw me into a window.  How would I manage by myself?  I didn't know.  I was panicking.  I went and explored,  and then I met an old black cat.  I thought I was going to die!  I was too young to die!  

     The cat came over and told me that I had three wishes.  I wished for a kingdom of cheese with a lifelong supply of every type of cheese you could think of.  My second wish was to be the ruler of the cheese kingdom.  My third wish was that there were no cats in the world.  

     I am now in the Cheese Castle surrounded by my favorite cheese.  I am currently eating cheddar.  The cats of the world are all gone, even the magical cat that granted me my wishes.  My life is now complete!

Arushi (5th grade) is so creative.  I love the voice and expression she puts into her stories.  Don't you feel sorry for this black cat??  Enjoy!

"The Black Cat Who Gave Good Luck"

     "Go back to bed, Midnight!"  I only half heard my mother scolding me.  I am a black cat.  As you heard my annoying mother, my name is Midnight.  Halloween is coming up soon, and I can't wait for my first job.

     I had been waiting for Halloween since I was a kitten.  Well, I guess I'm still a kitten, but I was younger then.  For Halloween, my family and I were going to give everyone bad luck!  This would be the best day of my life.  Unfortunately, things didn't turn out quite as planned.

     I couldn't wait until the whole family went out, so I went out by myself.  I waited until someone started coming my way, then I leaped on the sidewalk.  "I really want a puppy," my victim was saying.  Suddenly, before she could see me, a puppy slid onto the sidewalk. 

    My eyes grew round with disbelief.  Good Luck?!  What was going on?  What would I tell my littermate, Star?  We had been planning what kinds of bad luck we were going to use!  My Halloween was ruined!

     I decided to try again.  Maybe the puppy was just a coincidence.  I waited under the shelter of a bush until I saw a trick that couldn't go wrong.  There was a little boy standing on the sidewalk.  He was staring at the new ice cream shop window.  Next to him, there was a ladder.  A worker was hanging up a sign.  The sign started to slip, and the worker, oblivious to what was happening, started to climb down.  

     I jumped in front of the boy, and the sign kept slipping.  I was relieved.  But when the sign was in midair, it just stopped and hovered there.  A worker from the ice cream shop came out and offered the little boy an ice cream.  I was outraged.  And ashamed.

     My family finally got used to my odd power.  I tried not to go out with my family, in fear of messing up their bad luck powers.  I was lonely and sad.  Even Star was ignoring me.  I was an outcast in my own home.  All day I was cooped up inside.

     That was my sad and lonely life.  I have my own kittens now, and they all give good luck.  Except for one little kitten.  I named her "Midnight."  She will never be treated like I was.  She will be my precious kitten forever.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Monster Draw Game

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!

I am proud of my 3rd graders, Kelsey and Serena!  Kelsey wrote the following description and was so careful with her colors and sizes that it is no wonder these monsters are so similar!

My monster is an "OK" size and is pine green.  It is oval shaped.  It has one medium bright yellow nose.  It has one blue eye, a big red mouth, and a green tongue.  It has three blue hairs on each side, and green curvy arms and three curvy legs.

Here is how Serena drew it!

4th grader Sulwen wrote in beautiful detail.  Everything from head to toe is vividly described.  4th grader Vionna used her excellent reading skills to create the twin monster!

The monster has a triangle shaped body.  The body is green, but remember to leave a medium sized circle in the center.  The circle is the face, and is sky blue.  On the face are three eyes.  The eyes are arranged one on the top and two on the bottom, triangle shaped.  They are at the top of the circle.  There is also a round orange circle in the middle of the circle as a nose.  The nose is about the size of the eraser on your mechanical pencil.  The mouth is a half circle shape that is just a red line.  On the right side of the mouth, there is a little red tongue with a black vertical line going through it.  On the bottom of the trianglular body, there are four legs.  They are skinny and have little round balls on the bottom as feet.  The legs and feet are also sky blue.  On the top of the head are antenna.  They are right on the point of the top of the triangle.  There are two antennae; they are also skinny and have little balls at the top of the skinny lined part.  The antennae are also sky blue.  The monster is now done.  Good luck on drawing it!

And here is Vionna's!

Abby (4th grade) is appearing on the blog with this game for the third time!  She is an amazingly thorough and descriptive writer.  She also does a great job organizing her work into paragraphs, even under the time pressure in our game.  Her super reader 5th grade partner, Savannah, had no trouble making her adorable monster's twin!

My monster is shaped like a starfish.  His body is dark purple.  His bright orange mouth has a little orange tongue sticking out on your right.  Directly above his mouth he has two big eyes, outlined with black.  The monster's left pupil is small and black.  It is close to the bottom of his left eye.  His right pupil is small and black, and is close to the top of his right eye.

My monster has a big teal bow tie right below his mouth.  On your right he has a light green surfboard with the words "SURFER" on it.  "SURFER" is outlined in black pen, with peach on the inside.

Behind my monster, there are five little blue waves, then a big blue wave, then four little ones, and then a medium-sized blue wave all near the top of the paper.  Right on top of the water, on your left, is a yellow sun on the corner.  The sun has wavy sun rays in yellow.  The water behind him is bright blue.  I hope you think my monster is very adorable!

Here is Savannah's: