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!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Great Inventions!

To celebrate Thomas Edison's birthday (February 11, 1847 in case you were wondering), I had all of my classes brainstorm on a great invention they could create in their imaginations.  What could they think of, make, design, or build that would improve people's lives?

We started the activity by learning a little bit about Thomas Edison's no-quit attitude.   We then brainstormed ideas on the board and named inventions (or simply described them if we weren't ready to name them).  Once everyone had an idea in mind, we outlined the following:

~Name of invention and one sentence description
~More detailed explanation of the invention and how it would work
~Whom it would help
~Other interesting facts (appearance, cost, etc.)
~A quick summary/conclusion with a descriptive adjective

Once we filled in these important pieces of information, the students realized they had a neatly organized 5-paragraph essay waiting to be written in front of them!

There were so many amazing inventions that it was hard to pick just a few to share with all of you.  Here are some that I think you will agree would really improve the quality of life.  (This first one is an invention after my own heart.....)  Who knows?  Maybe we'll be seeing these items on store shelves soon!

"The Hold Everything Box," by Ryan (4th grade)

     If I could create something, it would be the "Hold Everything Box," the invention that can hold anything!  Any mom who needs to clean up their children's toys or needs more storage space will no longer have to use tons of boxes.

     The "Hold Everything Box" can turn from a tiny cube to a huge storage bin with just one touch of a button.  By simply touching the button on the top of the "Hold Everything Box," it will turn into a huge storage box.  Next, press the button again.  Within seconds, the box will shrink to a tiny fraction of the normal box size.  It is that simple.  You could put all your stuff in the box!  It would fit toys, pencils, cups, papers, and even furniture!

     It's clear that moms have kids who probably have tons of stuff everywhere.  Well, the "Hold Everything Box" can be of great help to the moms and the children.  It could hold as much storage as you want.  The mothers can take a deep breath and the kids don't have to decide which toy, paper, or item to throw away because there is no more room in the house!

     It only costs $20, and one can choose any color or design!  From red to blue to polka dots and stripes, to anything!  The "Hold Everything Box" will always be yours.

     In conclusion, the "Hold Everything Box" is very useful to everyone, especially moms.

Here is a great sample from one of my youngest students.  Even my 1st graders were able to complete a very simple story map and convert it to a short essay.  Sammie (1st grade) truly invented something that would help ALL kids....

     I will invent The Magic Cookie Machine.  If your mom says you can't have a cookie, you can sneak them all day.  It would look like a toy, and you have to type different codes to get different types of yummy cookies.  It looks like a rainbow, but when my mommy walks by, it turns invisible so she can't see it.  My Magic Cookie Machine would be so so awesome!

Here is an invention EVERYBODY wishes they had!

"The Back Scratcher Robot," by Zara (3rd grade)

     My invention would be a Back Scratcher Robot.  The Back Scratcher Robot would scratch your back in the spots that were about to itch!

     It would take five minutes for installation.  To start the machine, you press a tiny blue button.  Then, a metal hand with just the right sized fingernails for your back would come down from a projector-like machine, in slow motion.

     This machine would help people with dry and itchy backs.  Don't you think buying plastic backscratchers or using your poor little children to scratch your back is bad?

     The Back Scratcher Robot would be very calm and relaxing for your back.  You can buy one at www.Z.com.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Squiggle Stories

      This project is fun for all ages!  Students got to pick from 10 designs of squiggle lines, and then got to brainstorm a story from the 5 W's and the H:
Who is the subject of their picture?
What is happening in the picture?
When is this taking place?
Where is this taking place?
Why is this happening?
How?  (This was the main idea of the story)

It was so fun to hear and read different ideas students came up with for the very same squiggle lines.  Here are some excellent samples from across the grades.  Enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Anjalia.  She was trying to lick the ice cream before it melted.  She was licking it in the hills on the first day of summer.  She wanted to win the "Licking Ice Cream Cone Contest" by eating it super fast.  Guess what!  She won!  And she didn't even get a tummy ache!
-Anjalia, 1st grade

Once there was a cat named Rosie who wanted something to play with.  (She was very bored.)  So she looked around the house.

Then she found a pink ball of yarn on a table next to a vase.  It was a very pretty vase.  It was blue with a purple rose on beautiful green grass.  There were brown branches on the sides of the vase.  It was Rosie's owner's favorite vase.

Rosie knew her owners loved the vase very much.  But she wanted the yarn so badly.  So she bounced up on the table and got the pink ball of yarn.  But..... she knocked over the vase!  And her owners saw it all happen!  Rosie got in very big trouble.  She got put outside (away from the yarn).

After all that work, she didn't get to play with the ball of yarn!
-Charlotte, 2nd grade

(I have to share some interesting information before this next story and picture from 6th grader Ben.  Ben and Charlotte are brother and sister in two different classes.  Unknowingly, they chose the SAME Squiggle starter!  But look how differently they perceived the same line!)

"John!  I'll give you ten pesos if you go bring back a leaf from the forgotten valley!" said my brother Robert.  I denied him.

"No way!  If I'm going to the valley, it would be worth thirty!"

Robert agreed to give me thirty pesos if I went in.  I started to see the fluffs that measure the valley.  I recently learned at the castle that the Fluffs were made out of water, and you can walk right through them.  Remembering this, I walked beneath the fluffs.  The grass started to get rougher, like the old "leather" as the old people call it.  There they were, the only trees on the island.  I plucked a leaf off, and as I did, an earthquake started.

I was starting to worry about John.  He had been gone for twenty minutes.  I thought I should have told the king.  

Thirty minutes later, I arrived at the castle.

"King!  John is gone, adn there just was an earthquake in the valley!"

The king was missing!

King?  I saw the king sprinting over to me, with a dagger in his hand.  But he didn't do anything.

I ran right past John without knowing it.  Right then I was about to retrieve him no matter the cost.  I ran all the way to the peak.  I kept going.  I climbed over it.  I came out on a plateau and, walking to the left, I found a huge jelly-like object.

I came to a cliff, and climbing down, realization dawned on me.  I was living on a huge animal swimming through the sea!  I climbed back up, and stabbed the beast in the eye multiple times with my dagger.  I must slay the beast!  But I had just made the biggest mistake of my life.

I heard a cacophony of terrible noises spread across the air like knives on my ears.  The world tipped and my eyes filled with salt, and I couldn't breathe.

I had tipped the beast over!

In my short life, I had never heard a noise that loud.  Then I flipped over, my eyes and nose burned.  This is how a dead man must feel.


Lost and Found

              Goldy the baby chick shivered in the

crisp, brisk April air. She had been here for one

hour already. She kept having memories of

falling out of her nest, being unable to fly, and

wandering all alone.

              She gasped as she heard loud trotting

through the tall, marsh grass. She saw a huge

figure lapping up water at the waterfall. She

peeped nervously.

              The figure turned towards her and

started walking to her. As the shadow loomed

above her, it was too much for Goldy. She


              Goldy awakened to gentle drops of

water dripping on her face.

              “Hello,” said a spotted dog, which she

 realized was the shadow she had seen earlier.

“It took minutes to wake you up!” “I’m glad I

finally did!” said the dog. “What’s your name?”

it said. “I’m Fudge.” Obviously, Fudge was very


              Goldy noticed that the water she had

felt was Fudge’s drool! “Goldy,” stammered the

little chick.

              “Are you lost?” asked Fudge.

              “Yes,” stammered Goldy again.

              “Well, we better get going,” said Fudge.

“New Zealand can be very dark after dusk.”

              As they traveled, Fudge said, “I can

already smell the scent of your nest!” Goldy

smiled. She was soon going to be at home.

              “Well,” said Fudge, after five more

minutes. “You’re here.” “You’re safe now.” He

gently lifted her up and plopped her down in

her nest.

              “Thank you,” said Goldy. “Thank you so

much!” she repeated. And then she fell into a

deep, dreamless slumber.
-Mira, 3rd grade

Aren't these fabulous stories?  I am so proud of my creative students!