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, March 16, 2013

LOVE Poems!

My youngest class got to celebrate Valentine's Day in my Budding Authors and Artists class.  So, to find out what LOVE was really all about, we explored the five senses.  I LOVE how these turned out, and I hope you do too!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Snowman Draw Game!

     Monsters in October, Snowmen in February!  If you missed the Monster Draw Game in Session I, then allow me to explain the process for this game that emphasizes creativity and a thorough use of adjectives.

Step1: Draw a snowman.
Step 2: Write a detailed description about your snowman.  Use adjectives for every feature, including size, shape, color, and number.
Step 3: Exchange descriptions with a partner.
Step 4: Attempt to draw each other's snowman.  If the writing is really good, and the reading comprehension is there, the snowmen will look practically like twins!

The classes judged the winners, and winners got a trip to my treat box as well as Blog honors.  Enjoy!

Josh, 3rd grade:
     My snowman has a big snowball at the bottom, a medium in the middle, and a small one at the top.

     He wears a black top hat with an all-red buckle on it.  He has square glasses like a nerd.  He has two black eyes.  He has a medium sized nose that is bright orange.  

     He wears a big green scarf on his middle snowball.  He has six black buttons too.

     He has two roller skates with small rocket boosters on the bottom snowball.  The roller slates are orange with five wheels on each skate with little water drops dripping because of his rocket roller skates.

     There is a tall tree on your left and a small brown dog looking at the snowman on your right.  There are three clouds and 17 round snowflakes.

Lucy (2nd grade) did a great job reading Josh's excellent writing!

Eugene (5th grade) wrote so clearly that his partner Luka (4th grade) could easily draw his snowman's twin!

     My snowman is made out of three snowballs.  The bottom one is big, the middle one is medium, and the top is small.  He stands on a floor.

     He has a blue top hat with the words "I'M THE SNOWMAN."  His eyes are small, vertical, red rectangles.  He has a horizontal rectangle for his mouth.  There are three teeth, on on the top and two on the bottom.  They are red.  The snowball is orange.

     The body is split into four areas.  Each one has a symbol.  The black Z, the brown backwards C, the purple circle, and the green area.  The C and the Z are on the bottom two.  The Z is on your right and the green area is above it.  Two red arms come out of each side.  The one on your right has two fingers and the other arm has three.  On the one with three fingers, he is holding two bags with dollar signs on them.  

     His bottom is a yellow circle.

     To his right there is an open safe with two money bags in it.  Above him there are two green clouds and two alarms that are flashing red lights.  To his left there are two $100 bills falling from the bags. 


This last one impresses me the most because 1/2 of the winning team was 1. new to the class and 2. one of the youngest students ever to win.  What can I possibly teach Anja (3rd grade) if she did this well at this game on her first try?!

     My snowman has three snowballs for its body.  A big snowball is on the bottom, a medium-sized snowball comes next, and a small snowball makes up its head.

     She has a top hat with a brown strap around the hat.  She has two coal eyes with three eyelashes facing her right.  She has a long orange nose with vertical lines on it.  She has seven circles for her smile.  She has a brown pipe with smoke coming out.  She has long wavy brown hair that goes to her shoulders.

     She has an orange scarf around her neck with polka dots.  She has a vest that is outlined in red and in the middle there is magenta.  There is a red pocket on her left side.  She has two brown arms.  Her left arm is waving "hi."  She has three stick fingers on each arm.

     She doesn't have anything on the bottom, but a brown and pink monkey is on her left.  He is about an inch and a half tall. 

     In the background there are hills, and on the left side there is a cabin.  There is also a mountain on the left behind the hills with a girl in all blue sliding down the mountain on her knees.  There is a green bush on the right.  There are five snowflakes on the right and seven snowflakes on the left.  There is one big half cloud at the top.
  Annika (5th grade) did a beautiful job with Anja's description!


Super Sentence Writing

Session II of my Authors and Artists program started up in January, and I am so excited to share some of my students' wonderful work with you!

No matter the age group, I start every session with a lesson in Super Sentence Writing.   I am a big believer that a solid grasp of grammatical concepts is a start to great writing.  So, I make sure to point out that a sentence can be as simple (and boring!) as this one:

The snowflake falls.

These three words have all of the components needed to be a sentence.  It has a noun and verb ("who" and "doing," "subject" and "predicate...." I vary my lingo depending on my students' ages), a capital letter, a mark of punctuation, and it is a complete thought.  But it is a very boring sentence.

My younger students get an introduction to adjectives, adverbs, and phrases.  Look at what Jayce (1st grade) came up with to improve his sentence!

 "The crispy, big snowflake falls softly at the North Pole in winter at 7:00 AM."

Shauna, another 1st grader, did a fabulous job as well:
"The puffy bumpy snowflake falls smoothly on the big bare tree during the dogsled race."

These are such amazing improvements!  Yes, 6 year olds can write this detailed and expressively!

Here are some fantastic samples of 2nd-3rd grade work:
 "While I was brushing my teeth and looking out the window, an icy blue snowflake fell slowly on shiny snow."  Chris, 2nd grade

 "On a cold January day in 2013, a cold and icy snowflake falls in the wintery snow." Darian, 2nd grade

 "At 12:10 in the cold shivery night, a small pretty snowflake twirlingly falls on a fluffy white snowman." Lucy, 2nd grade

 "During an icy time in Broadway, a freezing snowflake falls slowly on a dog's food bowl at 11:00 PM." Rohil, 3rd grade

You can see how the slightly older group was ready to play with their placement of the "where" and "when" phrases and clauses.  None of these excellent sentences started with the base sentence.  Instead, these students moved their "when" phrases to the beginning.
Can you start a sentence with Because?  Yes you can!  My older classes in Grades 4-5 learned that lesson very well.  They also exhibited amazing vocabulary.  Enjoy these fabulous samples!
"The gentle and dazzling snowflake gracefully falls on fluffy and cozy Mrs. Huff on a frozen and cold morning."  Annika, 4th grade
 "As the clock tower strikes midnight, the intricate, icy snowflake falls on top of an unfinished snowman." Crystal, 5th grade
"Because it jumped out of the cloud, the soft white snowflake quietly fell on the cold hard ground." Michelle, 5th grade

"Because there was no wind to blow it off course, the beautiful fluffy snowflake fell slowly onto the happy family's frost-covered cabin."  Alex, 5th grade

"Slowly, the white, fluffy snowflake falls onto the old, creaky wooden porch." Aaron, 5th grade
(Aaron experimented with putting an adverb at the beginning of the sentence.  Most of the time, that doesn't work, but I love it here!)

Now that we have mastered the art of creating a detailed, vivid picture in the minds of our readers using the tools of grammar, we will be ready to write ANYTHING!