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, October 8, 2012

Fabulous Paragraph Writing: Welcome to Backwards Land!

The "Awesome Authors and Artists" class had a lesson in paragraph writing that emphasized varying one's sentence patterns.  Well-written, interesting paragraphs have sentences that start differently or have different elements within each sentence.  Examples include:
~ Start a sentence with Because
~ Start a sentence with "when," "while," "where," etc.
~ Include a powerful adverb
~ Do not repeat the topic noun too much; use pronouns when appropriate
~ Use two adjectives in the predicate

The topic?  A new vacation destination that we created in our imaginations!  We had fun brainstorming real places on the board spelled forwards and backwards.  Then we tried to envision these strange lands in our minds.  We wrote paragraphs that began to resemble a tourist brochure, with pictures to match!  Some places turned out to be delightful vacation spots, and some places should definitely be avoided.  Enjoy some of my favorites:

Lizarb, by Sulwen (5th grade)
     Lizarb is a nice, sunny desert on one side, and a dark horrible rainforest on the other.  An evil prilled lizard rules the rainforest, with evil snake minions, while a nice desert tortoise rules the desert.  In the desert, happy lizards and tortoises live freely.  The King Tortoise is fair, and treats his loyal subjects generously.  The prilled lizard doesn't like his first name, so he goes by King Prill.  His kingdom is filled with snakes and poisonous frogs who hypnotize the rest of the citizens who live in the rainforest.  The sky in the rainforest is always covered in gray clouds which bring rain and thunderstorms all year long, while the desert skies are sunny and bright.  Lizarb is a great place if you go to the desert, but dark and gloomy in the rainforest.  So, if you ever go to Lizarb, stay away from the rainforest side!

Ocsinarf Nas, by Ellery (5th grade)
     Ocsinarf Nas is a frosty, snowy, chilly island, surrounded by cold, freezing ice you can walk on.  Its only inhabitants are snowy dogs.  Because the dogs are friendly and obedient, they love seeing people and tourists.  These dogs enjoy pulling visitors around on their comfortable sleds on the chilly snow, because there are no vehicles there.  The snow dogs also love to play fetch and other doggy games on the ice surrounding the island.  Ocsinarf Nas is a fabulous island with friendly, loving, playful snow dogs.

Selegna Sol, by Abigail (5th grade)
     Selgegna Sol is a place that people call a tropical jungle.  When visitors are sight-seeing, they see many kinds of frogs, snakes, and other jungle creatures.  During the day, it is the best time to see the rarest animal of all, the Selegnian Monkey.  Because of all the humid and hot weather, the snakes will always come out, whether there are enemies preying on them or not.  Selegna Sol is the best spot for you and your family (except for the snakes!) 

(I'm going to give this one to you forward because you'll never get it!  "Massachusettes Institute of Technology!")
 By Brandon (5th grade)
     Ygolonhcet Fo Etutisni Settesuhcassam (Y.E.S) is a dark and evil half submerged city.  It is filled with sinful, smelly sorcerers living in shacks, firing spells into the air.  Because of this, Y.E.S's mountains are covered in craters and land mines, and half of the island is sunken because of a sorcerer's stray spell.  There are many pools of sulphur with ash beaches.  There are no airplanes going away from the island, and it is located 500 miles away from any civilization.  At 4:00, every sorcerer shoots an evil spell to destruct their city.  Yes, Y.E.S's people are sinister and eat raw crab, sharks, and metal.  They wear robes of brilliant poison green.  Clearly, Y.E.S. is a dark, evil, and poisonous place.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Super Sentence Writing!

Both classes recently had lessons in how to write super sentences that create a vivid picture in the mind of the reader.  We started off with various base sentences (sentences that are the bare minimum noun + verb) and added:
~ 2 adjectives
~ 1 adverb
~ a phrase telling "where"
~ a phrase telling "when"
~ Awesome Authors and Artists also learned how to start a sentence with "Because."  (YES, you can, if it's done right!!)

The Budding Authors and Artists started out with the base sentence of Their Name + plays.  I love how these turned out!

Thankful and fantastic Alex plays soccer on the hot field at 9:00 on Saturday.
By Alex, 2nd grade 

At 1:00 in the morning on the tiny field, sweet, kind Lucy plays soccer with her cat.
By Lucy, 2nd grade 
(Notice how Lucy put her "where" and "when" in the beginning for style!)

Cool, athletic Chris plays happily in a humungous baseball field at 2:00.
By Chris, 3rd grade

The Awesome Authors and Artists students had a slightly different task.  We started off with the base sentence: "The puppy licks."  Step by step, we added to our sentence until we had amazingly vivid, creative sentences like this one from Annika (5th grade):
Because I dropped my lollipop in front of the door, the soft, brown puppy licked the cherry-flavored treat curiously.
I love the "Because" phrase at the beginning, and the adverb really works at the end! 

Here is another one by Katie (3rd grade), this time with the "because" phrase effectively at the end:
In July, the cute fluffy puppy licks a fuzzy kitten in the afternoon because he likes the furry friend. 

After that "warm-up" exercise, we proceeded to play an Around the World writing game.  Every student thought of their own base sentence and wrote it down.  The paper was then passed to the next person, who added two adjectives.  The paper was then passed to the next person, who added an adverb.  This continued until the sentence had been seen by seven new sets of eyes!  When it got back to the original owner, the sentence was nothing like what they thought it would be, but many students were happy with the outcome!  Those who weren't were given the object to change any bits and pieces that they wanted to.  Here is a great example, by Luka (4th grade): 
Because the colorful and big globe fell in an earthquake, it powerfully made a big splash in the sink.
Here is another great example of a student effectively starting a sentence with a "Because" phrase.  Excellent work, everyone! 


Name poetry

The Budding Authors and Artists class got to write name alliteration poems!  I loved teaching them the concept of adjectives while finding out more about them through their word choice.  1st graders needed to use one adjective; 2nd and 3rd graders needed two or more.  3rd graders were even encouraged to try rhyming!  This is a really fun assignment that can meet the needs and goals of many age levels.  It's also an outstanding vocabulary builder!

It was hard to pick just three name poems to blog.  Enjoy!

Samantha, 1st grade
Notice how Samantha has THREE "a's" in her name!!  For her last "a," we let her use the word "always" and her favorite adjective.  She did a lovely job!

Harrison (2nd grade) has a long name, too!  He worked very hard to get adjectives and phrases that fit him just perfectly.

John, 3rd grade
Notice how John rhymes his poem!  That's not easy to do!

Summer Memories

The first assignment the Budding Authors and Artists class got to complete was to make a mini book called "Summer Memories."  They designed a cover, and also completed four pages with sentence starters.  Here are some of my favorites!

"The best thing I did this summer was...."

By Cody, 3rd grade: 
My best part of summer was going to the Jersey Shore.  I liked that because I went boogie boarding and deep sea fishing.  I also went to the Boardwalk and won my ninth jackpot in four years.

By Florence, 2nd grade: 
My best was going to London and visiting my best friends.  I went to a gymnastics camp.  It was fun!   I went to my best friend's birthday.

 "The worst thing about summer was...."

by Adeline, 2nd grade
I stood on hundreds of sand crabs, thinking they were pebbles.

By Joel, 2nd grade: 
In LGS camp, my worst part was Zoomba.  I had to dance.

"The most surprising thing that happened was..."

By Alexandria, 1st grade: 
I got baby kittens.  It was very surprising.  They were black and white but had different designs.

By Clarke, 3rd grade: 
when I fell off a raft at a lake.  The cold water was very surprising.  I was house boating with my family.

"The funniest thing that happened was...."

By Jerry, 3rd grade: 
when I thought a mosquito was on me, until I figured out it was just my brother.

By Sammie, 1st grade: 
when I went swimming at the swimming pool and I caught the ball in mid air.

Back to School Time!

It's time to start up another school year!  This year, I have 65 students across three different schools in my two after-school clubs: "Budding Authors and Artists" (for grades 1-3), and "Awesome Authors and Artists" (for grades 4-6).  I am excited to share their work with you!  I know it will be difficult to pick only a few samples from each assignment we will complete, because every student is working so hard and producing such beautiful work.