Welcome to our Authors and Artists blog! This is a web site for my "Budding Authors and Artists" (grades 1-2) 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!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Election Day!

During the week of the election, my students and I had a great time brainstorming ideas that would make great propositions to put on the next ballot.  We also talked about what would make them fantastic presidents if they were to run for office.  Enjoy these, and feel free to comment on if you would vote for them or not!

Proposition 100, by Ryan (4th grade)

     My name is Ryan, and I think that you should vote yes on proposition 100.
In California, GAS prices have gone up. At Shell, the GAS was $5.50 for a gallon last week! 

     Millions of people are losing money due to high gas prices and the owners of GAS companies are owning five mansions! People could start liking to actually go and buy gas for a low price. We should not have to worry about the oil companies making money. You should not have to waste precious money on gas. You should spend money on things that will help you not worry. People should also save money and not have to spend it on so much gas that will have to be paid for again in the next few days.  And people would like to go and see the world in a car if gas was cheap. In New York City the people in hurricane Sandy need gas for their car. The people there are in dire need for gas.

     A gallon of gas will never go over $1.00 ever again. So vote yes on proposition 100.


Proposition 43,952, by Crystal (5th grade)

     Vote YES on Proposition 43-952, but only if you want to lower taxes (which everyone does, right?)  Right now, people are wasting their money by trying to pay high taxes.  If people don't have enough money to pay taxes, stores won't have cash to improve themselves.  Then, stores won't be able to pay taxes, and the government will be angry.  When the government is angry, bad things happen and our economy will crash.  If the economy crashes, people will have no money to buy anything, and the whole cycle will repeat itself over and over again.  All of these tragic, miserable events could actually happen in real life.  (This is your last warning!)  If you want to lower your taxes, or if you don't want this whole cycle to keep repeating itself, vote YES on Prop 43,952.

Clarke for President!  (3rd grade)

     I want to be the president of the United States of America because I would make No Smoking anywhere a law.  I would also make more hospitals.  I would also make a law that if you get arrested, you would stay in jail until the president decided what to do with you.  I think I would be a very good president because I would only make good laws.  I would also make cars that had jetpacks and airplane wings.  Vote Clarke for President!

Katy for President!  (5th grade)

     If I could run for president, I definitely would for so many reasons.  Vote for me, an ambitious, determined, friendly, hard-working, smart Girl Scout for president!  If I were president, I would pass Proposition 150, making sure everything under $15 without tax is free.  Also, I would pass Prop 231, creating no kennel fees for vacations. Prop 155 would make your credit card bill lower, and Prop 234 would make sure you DON'T pay more money for taking pets on vacation.  You should vote for me because I am trustworthy, and I am excited to run.  This could change YOUR life because my laws would change the economy, bills, and vacations.  If you want a trust-worthy president, vote for Katy!

Jacob for President!  (5th grade)

     Imagine a handsome and strong president who is willing to risk everything, including his life, to keep his country safe and have the economy balanced.  That's why you should vote for me.  I have all of those good qualities, but here are some more reasons you should vote for me.

     First of all, I will be open to spending half of the country's tax money on giving all of the homeless people a place to live, and lower the tax rates.  I will do this because many people do not have homes and are having a miserable life due to worrying about where they're going to sleep tonight or tomorrow.  Tax rates would also support people having homes because lots of people have lost their jobs and to make matters worse, they will have to pay a lot of money on taxes, even though the government already has trillions of dollars.  I will definitely stop this now because this is all just unfair.  

     Picture everybody sleeping in a home with their family, worrying about very little.  That's what will happen if you vote for me, Jacob.


My Life as a Pumpkin

Writing from the point of view of a personified object is a wonderful exercise in creativity and voice.  My students had a great time becoming pumpkin seeds in my class one day.  We then talked about how their lives would turn out.  How would it feel to be be planted?  Under-watered?  Over-watered?  What would it be like to see the sun again as they sprouted?  Would it be fun to be a flower?  And of course, what would their pumpkin life be like?  (And END like?!)

I did this across my schools, from grades 1-6, modifying the assignment depending on the level of the class.  Enjoy these stories of pumpkin life!


Pumpkin: The Autobiography
By Kevin (4th grade)
     I started my life in a bag with my family. Wow, that was a bit squished.  One day I heard I was being “bought”. Was that bad or good? I had no idea. I decided to wait and find out.

     After a while in something called a “car,” someone opened our bag, and sunshine flooded my eyes. A little boy called Michael picked me up, and using his hands, dug a small hole, put me in, and covered me up with soil. Suddenly, the sunlight was gone but on the bright side, I was surrounded by soft, warm soil.

      Then I got watered for the first time! I drank and drank and drank some more! When I finally drank enough, I tried to strike up a conversation with my brother next to me in the dirt. He said he wanted to be a jack-o-lantern, whatever that was. Since there was nothing else to do, I settled down and went to sleep.

     When I woke up, I was in sunshine for some reason. I looked down, and suddenly realized that I was poking above the ground by just a tiny bit, and I had tiny little arms and legs! Later that day I got watered again and then fell asleep.

     After waking up again, I was a nice large vine as big as a small cat. I was so happy with how fast I was growing that I fell asleep without even noticing I was sleepy! When I awoke, I realized I was a flower! What was this? A trick? I was super annoyed. I’m no girl by the way, so you can imagine how mad I was. I fell asleep feeling very frustrated.

      After a couple of days and getting watered again I finally turned into a pumpkin, even though I was green. I decided to think about what I wanted to do with my life that day. I decided I wanted to be a pumpkin pie because I heard from my brother that everybody loved them and wanted to meet them or something. I also heard they were really sweet, but I didn’t know if that meant being eaten or fun to be with. I didn’t even know how he knew all of this.

     The next day I saw somebody mixing something called “fertilizer” with water, and they gave it to me! Were they trying to poison me? What was this? I cautiously took a tiny sip. It tasted really good! I tasted so good I slurped it all up in almost ten seconds. I drifted off to sleep contentedly.

     That night I had my first and last prediction dream. I dreamt that I had been carved, and my innards had been taken out so the other part of me could be made into pumpkin pie. Michael (the little boy who planted me) put me in an oven and did all of that stuff to make me into pie! It was weird to feel that the seed part of me was in a different place than the other part of me was. Then they put the pie part of me on their table and I thought I was meeting someone really famous because everybody was really excited.  However, when someone took out a knife and cut me (ow!) I suddenly realized they weren’t meeting me! They were eating me! Right then my dream ended.

     Was I the oracle? Was this true? I wanted to find out more! I guessed I would have to find out. Then I looked down, and realized I was orange! Yes!  So that “fertilizer” was good for me after all. That’s when I heard the screaming. At one moment, at least twenty different first-graders came running out of the house carrying knives! Were they going to kill my family and me? We had all just turned into pumpkins! Please no! They charged my family and me. This was an embarrassing way to die. Then I heard the yelling. At least a dozen parents ran out of the house yelling at the kids to drop their knives and get away from us this time. Our saviors!

     The parents then separated the children into small groups, with one parent in each group. Suddenly I was grabbed from behind and hoisted into the air to be inspected by a bunch of first-graders. I was shocked to find that I was staring into a knife. Okay, maybe first-graders weren’t that bad after all. After doing a staring contest (I lost) they cut me off my vine and carried me away into Michael’s house. I was gradually starting to feel my life slipping away from me bit by bit. Little did I know that the real torture was up next.

      First they took part of my head off and scooped my innards out. Then they put part of me in a burning hot oven to bake me. If I was being made into a pumpkin pie, it hurt! Afterwards, they scraped me out of myself (weird right?) and poured me in a thing called a “crust”. Then they put me in the oven again to harden me up. They were killing me! Well, at least I was going to be eaten instead of being wasted.

      The guests are here now. I feel sorry for that turkey. Well now it’s my turn. I’m being carried to their table right now. At least my dream is sort of coming true. Hey, they’re spraying whipped cream on me right now! Wait! Are those my seeds? Are they using my seeds for more pumpkins? At least my family will go on generation after generation. Wait! Oh no! Part of me is getting separated with a knife! I’m on a fork! They’re eating me... Goodbye..........
                           The end
                              (of my happy/sad life)

My Pumpkin Life, by Jerry (3rd grade)


     I don't really remember anything of the beginning of my life except that I was born on a black thing called a road.  Cars came zipping by and once a car almost crashed into me, but instead it crashed into another car.  A black and white car with blue and red lights came.  I think it was called a polike or police  The road was also really spiky; it hurt.


     Well, that time of my life was frightening.  But then, a big wind carried me to a place called a pumpkin patch.  At first, I was scared and then I realized how much the farmers cared about us.  They put us in rich cool soil.  It was dark and I was a little scared, but I heard the farmer say to some little people that a pumpkin's life always begins in the dark cool soil.  Then the farmer poured water into the soil.  Yummy!


     After a day, I woke up still in the soil.  I thought I would never grow into a pumpkin!  After one hour, I got used to the dark, and I saw my brother.  I wanted to say hi, but I just couldn't seem to say anything.  


     Days passed, and I was growing a stem.  I guess I was wrong after all.  It just took a long time for me to grow up!


     Later, I became a flower, and I was confused.  I thought I was a pumpkin seed, not a giant flower seed!


     A few days later, I changed into an ugly watermelon with bumps.  I heard the farmer tell a new group of kids that my life cycle is seed-vine-flower-green pumpkin-yellow pumpkin-big orange pumpkin.  I was thrilled when I heard that!


     Later, I became a yellow pumpkin, and I was so excited.  It was so hard to wait.  One hour was like one century!


     After a long time, I became a round orange pumpkin!  I saw them pick out my brother and they did something really mean to him.  They turned him into pie with a really hot machine!


     I was scared when they picked me and they did something weird.  They drew a scary, cute face on me.  It tickled!  Then they did something that was painful.  They used a sharp thing to cute the face they had drawn on me! Boy, it hurt, but then they cut the top of my head!  Then, it felt warm and cozy and I lit up.  Maybe I'm a pumpkin with a face!


     Later that night, all kinds of monsters came and played, and some of them actually played with me!  It was fun, and I hope next year will be just like this year!


With my younger classes, I changed my approach slightly.  I broke down the four main parts of their story and had them write 3-5 sentences on each section of their life.  We focused on adjectives, and how we would feel in every stage.  The students also drew a picture of themselves at every stage.  (That's why you'll find hair on these pumpkin seeds!)  I think these two turned out great!


This first excellent story is by Joel, 2nd grade:

I was at the seed store.  I was tiny and alone.  One day, Mrs. Dorsey went to the seed store.  She bought a seed, which was me.  I was so excited!  She put me in the dirt.  I felt sad because it was dark.

When I started to grow, I started growing into a flower.  I looked big, smart, and cute.  I was a very long vine.

After I was a flower, I opened my eyes.  I never knew I was growing.  Then I felt round, big, and smart.  I was yellow!

After I became a pumpkin, I started to turn orange!  I felt so big that I thought I was bigger than the house.  Then Mrs. Dorsey carved me!  When she was carving me, I felt funny.

This final story is by one of my youngest students, 1st grader Sammie.  I was so impressed by the 1st graders in my class.  For many of them, this was the first story/book they had ever written.  This was a big project for them, and they did a fabulous job!


      I was a seed in a bag.  I wanted to get picked to be planted.  Samantha planted me!  I felt very scared but my Mommy was with me!
      I became a vine.  I felt bigger and stronger!  I saw the sky.  I felt happy.

I became a pumpkin.  I was green and big.  I wanted to be bigger and yellow!  Finally I was orange.

After Halloween I was baked into pumpkin pie.  I was so yummy!  But I didn't want to get eaten.

What would YOUR life be like if YOU were a pumpkin??


Squiggle Stories!

While my older classes worked on a longer piece, I assigned my younger class this fun assignment that was such a big hit that I will be bringing it to the older grades next session!  In this creative assignment, students were given eight squiggly lines to choose from.  (My youngest class heard "Harold and the Purple Crayon" before we started, as a little inspiration!)  They were then to turn that simple squiggle line into a work of art.  It was amazing to see how the same squiggle line turned into so many different objects and scenes for different students!

After a timed drawing session, the students spent the second half of class writing a short story about their picture.  The story could be in either 1st person or 3rd person narration, and it was interesting to see what the children chose to do.  Describing what was happening was the key, and all students were encouraged the use adjectives to make their stories more descriptive and exciting.

Enjoy looking at these and reading what the students came up with!  Then ask yourself.... what do YOU see??


     It was raining.  I went into the water and I found a castle.  Inside there was shiny gold and I got it.  I finally got home with the gold.
Ian, 1st grade

     A group of letters were having a play date at a little girl's house at night.  They played ballet and had a great time.  But then it was time to go.  Then the girl was alone.
Samantha, 1st grade

      There once was a school of fish.  One day, a new fish came to town.  He was a shark!  He also tried to eat the other fish.  Luckily, the fish were very fast swimmers.  And he only chased them at recess.
Charlotte, 2nd grade

      On a nice hot day, I went to a magical skate park.  There were neon green stairs, the ground was orange, and almost everywhere I looked, I saw purple.  It looked so much fun.

     I started skateboarding as fast as I could.  I couldn't wait to get on the big purple jump.  When I did, I flew so high, it felt like I was flying like a bird.  I would like to be a bird.

     My skateboard's wheels hit the ground.  I thought I landed on cement.  I almost fell of my purple skateboard.  I had barely begun.

     I was there for the whole day.  I had a magical key so only I could go in.  I can't wait to go back.

Josh, 3rd grade

It's wonderful to see the progression from 1st to 3rd grade, isn't it?  All students were told to use their imaginations, and use adjectives and lots of description in their short stories, but you can see how an older child can write more and take the story further than a younger child has the ability to do.  I think all of these turned out fabulous!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Monster Draw Game!

ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES!  They have been a big theme for my classes this year.  Without adjectives, the reader is left with an incomplete picture.  With adjectives, we see exactly what the author wants us to see and comprehend!  Size, shape, color, and number adjectives tell it all!

That was the theme of the "Halloween Monster Draw Game."  The game went as follows:

Step 1: Draw an imaginative monster.
Step 2: Describe your monster in clear detail.  Each sentence should describe a feature with size, shape, color, and number adjectives.
Step 3: Trade descriptions with a partner.
Step 4: Draw a picture of that monster based on the description.  If the description is extremely vivid, clear, thorough, and complete, the monsters will end up to be twins!
Winners got some Trick-or-Treat candy as well as a spot on the blog.  Congratulations to our winners!

Ben's Monster (6th grade)

     My monster has an oval body, the long way horizontal.  It has six skinny legs with three toes on each foot.  The legs are gray.  It has blue stripes in a turquoise shade.  It also has yellow stripes double the size of the blue ones.  There are four yellow stripes and three blue ones.  It has an orange small crest on top of it.  Its eye is orange and has a red pupil like a snake's.  The eye is a half circle evil eye.  Since it is facing sideways, only one eye is visible.  The mouth is like a sideways "v" with four yellow teeth on the top and bottom.  It the background there are two snow-capped mountains that are brown at the bottom.


This description was so vivid, that Riley (5th grade) was able to use his excellent reading comprehension skills to draw this:

Portia's Monster (5th grade)

     My monster has a big round head attached to a wobbly skinny body.  My monster has one big eye with a spectacle.  It has two arms, one skinny and one fat, and two legs that are both skinny.  The body has many colorful skins.  The head is aqua, and the eye is yellow with a red pupil.  The neck is orangish yellow.  The arms and chest are pink with purple polka dots.  The stomach is blueish green, the hip is blue and the bottom is pink.  The legs are neon green.  The background has colorful waves and the water is pink.  On the top of my monster's head, there is a red mohawk.

I love all those size, shape, color, and number adjectives!  Sulwen (5th grade) did a great job with reading and drawing:

Kevin's Monster (4th grade)

     My monster is a big, long, horizontal oval that is blue.  He has two medium-sized green antenna with green small balls on top.  He has two big eyes which are write and a small triangular brown nose.  His facial features are arranged as a human's.  He has a horizontal red mouth which is like a long red line.  He also has two medium sized white buck teeth.  He has two feet dressed in green shoes and centimeter-long legs covered in red socks.  He has two short white arms with hands, and the hands have four fingers.  His hands are like Mickey Mouse's, except they are a bit smaller.  His hands and legs are like a human's.

     He is standing on a yellowish beach and in the background there is the blue sea.  The turquoise sea is bigger than the beach.  In the top left corner there is a small green sailboat with a red sail.  The boat is very simple. 

Kevin did such an outstanding job with his description that Emily (4th grade) practically drew the twin!


Ellery's Monster (5th grade)

     My monster has a big circular body outlined in yellow.  It has five oval eyes connecting, alternating the pupil, down-up.  The pupil is teal.  It has two periwinkle small round noses.  It has a small smiling red mouth with a tongue.  The outline of it is red, and it has a red vertical line on it.  It has a teal trianglular mohawk centered on top of its head.  It has a medium purple polka-dotted bow tie right below the mouth.  My monster has two inch purple boots with circles at the end.  My monster has NO arms!

     My monster is walking on a two inch thick green lawn that dips on the right side.  There is a medium pink car on the right side below the monster.  The background has a horizontal one inch thick periwinkle sky, and in the right corner there is a yellow sun halfway showing.  The rays are yellow, alternating small and big.

     My monster's milkshake is a one inch tall periwinkle milkshake with a brown upside down L straw.

Great details!  And Annika has outstanding reading comprehension skills to produce this monster's twin!  (How does this monster hold the milkshake without any arms??!) 


Andrew's Monster (3rd grade)

     My monster has a big circle body with orange curly skin.  It has four purple small eyes and a green huge nose on every arrm.  It has a huge purple mouth with sharp white teeth.  He has huge spikes.  He has long hairy arms and no hands.  He has long vertical legs.  He lives in a huge black house with lightning everywhere.  Zombies are rising from the dead with mauled skin.  There is a gray full round moon.

These were my youngest participants in this game, and look how well Emaan (2nd grade) followed Andrew's directions!

 Congratulations to all of our winners!

A Genre of Excitement: The Adventure Story!

The "Awesome Authors and Artists" got to write adventure stories.  One of my schools took the traditional "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" Story and gave it a twist of adventure.  They were to start their story with events that truly happened, and somewhere in their story create a tall tale.  Enjoy these two fabulous adventures!  They are loaded with vivid adjectives and have a clear beginning, middle and end.  Bravo!


Summer Adventure in Hong Kong                                                         
By: Emily (4th grade)

This summer I experienced am adventure in swimming at Hong Kong. One day, I went swimming with my dad and uncle. While I swam around the pool, I saw a big rock at the edge.  There was an opening in the stone slab! I slipped in and gasped. This was no ordinary rock! I didn’t know what was about to happen next…

The hole closed behind me, and I took a couple steps back, stunned. Suddenly, I slipped on water and fell into a vat of ocean water! I started to paddle frantically. After a minute, I made no progress, but I could miraculously breathe in water! I swam down and saw an octopus, a giant clam with giant pearls, and more! I had some fun discovering my abilities to actually do stuff underwater.

Suddenly, a voice boomed, “You will become my dinner!” a shadow came over me and I looked up. Two hideous yellow teeth hovered inches above me. “I’m Fang!” the shark growled.

He snapped at my arm. I dodged. He tried my leg. I kicked Fang’s jaw shut. Then, I punted his stomach. “Mommy!! I mean, No Fair!” Fang screeched. He barred the two big teeth and aimed for my head. I swam onto his head and started jumping. But, because of the lack of gravity, the result wasn’t so good.

Fang started chasing me past a field of seaweed, through a maze of stinging jelly fish, over big chunks of coral, and back to the giant clam. The enormous shark opened his mouth and started coming towards me. I quickly grabbed the big pearl from the clam and swam to the shark. I jammed the pearl into the shark’s mouth. “Agh-Kig-Ooog-Ogige!” he said with difficulty. Grinning, I started to swim to the top the ocean. As I started to climb out, I remembered I needed to say thanks to that clam! He did let me use the pearl. But, when I took a breath of water, I started coughing and spluttering. For some reason, I couldn’t breathe under water anymore! I shook my head and staggered to the rock. The rock opened, and I ran outside.

“Emily! What took you so long to swim to and back?” Dad asked.

“Uh, um…I went to eat a snack,” I replied, seeing the vending machine near the pool.

“That‘s a long time to eat a snack. You were gone for almost two hours,” Dad said, his voice rising.

I told him every single thing that happened just then. I expected him to call the Hong Kong News station (not that I knew any), but he didn’t.

Can you BELIEVE he didn’t believe me???!!!

 

Ellery & Me! The True Story Of My Experience With Ellery The Lake Monster
By
Abby (5th grade)

      This summer I went to Gray, Maine for the fourth of July. I met my second cousins Avery and Alexa, my Dad’s cousins Paige, Carrie and Becky and my great uncle Art and my great aunt Gail. It was so much fun road tripping Maine for a day, tubing, and just relaxing. But I can’t really call my first 4th of July in Maine relaxing…
     We went to Avery and Alexa’s grandparent’s house on Annyrelle Lake with a dock and a full cook-out buffet of everything red, white and blue! There were lobsters, white cake, mussels and more!
     After about an hour, all the kids asked if we could go tubing. I didn’t know what tubing was so I just grabbed a life jacket like everybody else and followed them to the dock. Little did I know that this afternoon would be much more than I bargained for!
     Tubing was so much fun! The tube went bouncing to the left, to the right, here, there, and everywhere! Then, about half way through our ride, Avery yelled, “Switch!” and everybody was scrambling to get to a different spot. The back flap was open, and Avery asked me if I wanted to get on it. “Sure, why not?” I thought. So I clambered to the back of the tube and the ride started! We took off, bouncing and bumping!
     At first it was fun. But after about one minute, it started to become torturous. The water was pulling down my life jacket squeezing through the big hole at the top. Lake water was spraying into my mouth and nose, and it was hard to breathe.
     “Help!” I screamed, but no one could hear me. “Help!” I screamed again, louder.
     Suddenly, something scooped me up and lifted me high in the air. I screamed and screamed until Sam and Avery heard me. Somehow, they got my dad to stop the boat, and they all looked up at me in awe.
     “Turn around!” yelled Alexa.
     Slowly, I turned around.
     “Are you OK? Because you don’t look so good,” said a high voice. Standing in front of me was a light green animal with dark blue spots, 50 feet tall.
     “Wha-what are you?” I stammered.
     “Oh, sorry. I’m Ellery. I live here in the lake. Oh, but don’t worry,” she added. “I would never, ever hurt you.  I’m a lover, not a fighter. And plus, I want a new friend.”
     Phew. I thought. I started to relax a bit. This huge, wet, fuzzy…well, thing, wasn’t going to hurt me, it just wanted a friend.
     “OK. I’m Abby. This is my first time here. Do you think you could show me around?”
     “Sure!” she replied with a huge grin on her face. “Hop on!”
     So I jumped on to her back. I was a little nervous, but then I remembered how nice Ellery was.
     “Ready? Let’s go!” she shouted, and she shot into the water. At first it was kind of scary the way she zoomed past the muddy ground. But it was all like one giant super fun roller coaster ride.
     “I almost forgot,” she said out of breath, “that you can’t breathe underwater like I can.”
     “You’re right, I can’t!” I said to Ellery. And from who knows where she pulled out something that looked like a baseball cap.
     “Put this on,” she said. “It will make you breathe underwater.”
     So I gingerly put on the baseball cap. Should I trust this thing? Would this cap hurt me somehow? All in a few moments I’ll find out, I thought.
     “Ready?” she asked. I nodded, scared. “Let’s go!” She zoomed off again, taking an excited me with her. It was the biggest, fastest, scariest roller coaster I had ever been on! It was so much fun shooting above the muddy ground and across reefs and next to fish. She shot out of the water every once in a while and I saw Avery using a waterproof camera to take pictures of Ellery and me jumping. Before I knew it, Ellery slowed down and took me to the surface of the lake.
     “That was so fun, Ellery! Thank you so much!” I exclaimed, twitterpated.
     “Yes, but now its time for you to have dinner. But before you go I want to give you this piece of seaweed,“she said, handing me a long slice of kelp. “If you tap the seaweed, you’ll be able to see my face and talk to me. I hope you’ll remember me!” she said sinking slowly into the water.
     “Ellery, wait! Here are my earrings for you to remember me by,” I said, handing them to her. So we said our goodbyes, and nothing would ever be the same again. I would call every night on the seaweed line, and no one but my family and I knew the truth about that twitterpatic day in Maine.

Another one of my schools used their "Backwards Land" paragraph (see prior blog post) as a springboard for their adventure story.  They also had to write from the 1st person point of view, but their assignment was to put themselves in their Backwards Land, and write a letter to someone about their experience!  So you have a frame of reference, I will include Crystal's (5th grade) paragraph AND her letter to her mom.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

C.D. Notgnihsaw, by Crystal (5th grade)

     C.D. Notgnihsaw is a musical, breezy suburban town.  Because everyone loves playing records and the weather is windy, the musical notes are carried far off, and tourists are drawn to the devilish pulsing music against their own will.  The climate of C.D. Notgnihsaw is thunderstormy and windy.  All of the evil in the town rubs off on the weather, so the clouds are dark gray and gloomy all the time.  While the climate of C.D. Notghnihsaw is loathesome, the culture is even worse.  Every person plays records to lure tourists to the town, and they trap the tourists so they can never go home.  Be sure to never go to this windy, instrumental town!

And now her letter to her mom:

Dear Mom,

     Hi from C.D. Notgnihsaw!  I wish you were here, but you aren't, so I'll share my adventures with you.

     The ride here was totally awesome!  I arrived by kangaroo, and I rode inside its pouch.  There was a flat-screen TV inside (it was an eight feet tall pouch), and it kept me entertained for almost the entire trip!  Guinea pig servants served me food and beverages the whole way.  Even better, I had a dance party with five hamsters!  Sadly, the journey only lasted an hour, which was way too short.

     When I arrived in town, I was instantly drawn to the music that the locals were playing.  Then, I walked through the iron gates and to my "hotel."  It was a smelly, one-room building, and that room was mine!  I slept in a roach-infested, filthy cot that horrible night.

      The next morning, I set out to meet some of the townsfolk.  Suddenly, I noticed that everybody was gloomy, and the weather was thunderstormy and windy.  Everyone was wearing black raincoats and boots.  The gray clouds in the sky matched their outfits.

     Mom, make sure to never come back here!  Now, because I did, I can never come back home because of the evil music that traps all who visit in a lamp!

     Love, Crystal