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!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Snowman Draw Game!

     The Snowman Draw Game is always a favorite of my returning students.  They can't wait to improve upon their results from Monster Draw in the fall, or prove that they are the Adjective Champions once again!

     This game is an excellent lesson in the importance of using adjectives to paint that perfect picture I mentioned in the last blog entry.  If you include adjectives that tell size, shape, color, and number, then your partner should be able to draw your snowman's twin!  Here are the three steps to playing the game:

1. Draw a snowman.  
2. Write a detailed description of your snowman with size, shape, color, and number adjectives in every sentence.
3. Exchange descriptions with a partner, and attempt to draw each other's snowmen.

The class voted on the winners, so here they are!

Samantha's Snowman (2nd grade)

     My snowman's body is shaped like a usual snowman.  Her body is pink.  She has a purple lined tiara.  She has a small triangle on top, then a slightly taller, bigger one, and then a high one in the middle.  Then she has light purple hair which goes to her skirt.  She has pink lips, and the sides are outlined with coal.  She has beautiful coal eyes that have five eyelashes, and one coal nose.   Her middle has a nice light purple plaid sweater that opens in the middle with three buttons instead of coal.  (By the way, it goes on the arms.  Put it at least almost to the hands, but not quite.)  She has five fingers.  Her skirt goes like an umbrella with a pattern of pink and purple (that goes halfway.)  Finally, she has purple high heels. 

 Great job, Samantha!
Sienna (2nd grade) did a marvelous job of careful reading and came up with this!

Charlotte's Snowman (3rd grade)  
(Notice how Charlotte broke her description down into paragraphs.  That was part of the lesson, but many children forgot when it came time to write because of the timed element of the game.  Hooray for Charlotte, who did it very well!)

     The whole snowman is outlined in black except for the arms.  My snowman has one BIG round bottom ball.  The middle ball is medium with a natural green vest.  His arms are brown and go a little bit down halfway, and then a little bit up the other half.  His brown hands look like lego hands that are twigs along with the arms.  The head ball is white along with all the others, but it has detail.  It has five little pieces of coal that form a straight line at the bottom.  The eyes are closed and look like capital U's.

     My snowman has two medium black boots.  He ISN'T wearing them.  There are eight big light blue snowflakes that form a rainbow over his head.

     There is a white snowy hill in the back of him.  There is a big yellow sun that shows only a quarter because it's in YOUR right top corner.  The sky is light blue with no clouds in it that takes up all the extra space.

The class got a good giggle at this pair.  Tyler (3rd grade) read so very carefully, and he noticed that Charlotte did not mention a nose in her description.  So, he didn't draw one.  That is the ONLY difference in their two pictures, so the class voted for these two as the winners!

Emma's Snowman (5th grade)

     My snowman is medium sized.  It has a large bottom, a medium sized middle part, and a small head.  The head has two black coals for eyes, and seven black coals for a smile.  The hair is fourteen light brown twigs that are sticking up around the head.  It has a blue scarf around the neck, with two ends of the scarf on your left with small strings on the ends of the scarf.  The middle part has two coals in a straight line going up and down.  The middle part has two arms, one on each side, going up ways.  On each light brown arm are three fingers.  On your right, the three fingers are holding a black top hat.  On the bottom is one piece of coal.  The snowman is sitting on a white hill.  On your right of the hill is a light brown bunny with a black collar, black eyes, and a mauve smile.  The background is light blue.

Emma wrote with such great detail that Kiefer (4th grade) came up with this twin!

Ashley's Snowman (3rd grade)
 (Notice how Ashley also split her description up into paragraphs.  This made it so much easier for her partner to read and follow!)

     My snowman has a large silver bottom, a medium silver middle, and a small silver top.

     His face has two circles with dots on them for eyes and a short orange horizontal nose.  He has six coal for a smile, and a black top hat.

     The neck has a medium red scarf, and the middle has three black buttons that are filled in.  He has gold arms and three gold fingers.

     The bottom is plain.

     In the background to his right there is a medium brown cottage with a rectangular door with a gold circle for a knob and a red window to the right of it.  The roof has some snow on it, and the chimney has snow on it too, with smoke coming out of it.  A teal sky is surrounding the snowman and cottage, and in the sky there are thirty-five small star-shaped snowflakes.

     I'm so proud of Ashley and Julia (4th grade).  Ashley played "Monster Draw" in October, and learned a lot on how to improve her descriptive writing skills to come back and win it this time around!  Julia, a first-time student, read carefully and drew this twin.  The class liked Julia's interpretation of "star-shaped snowflakes," and voted for them to win!

Congratulations to our winners!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Super Snowflake Sentences!

We are back in action with a new session across three different schools and four different age groups, and I am thrilled with the work my students have produced so far!

We started off with the basics: Super Sentence Writing.  Our club philosophy is: Paint the perfect picture in the mind of your reader.  Let them see exactly what you intended for them to see when you wrote those words.  And what better way to do that than to focus on making just one sentence the most detailed and vivid as possible?  I love this assignment because I can do it across the grade levels (This term I have grades 2-6), and just add levels of complexity as my students are ready.

We started off with the base sentence: The snowflake falls.  This is a grammatically correct sentence, as it has the necessary components.  However, it is BORING!  We added:

~where phrases and clauses
~when phrases and clauses
~My advanced classes learned how to effectively start a sentence with "Because," and also experimented with the placement of the phrases and clauses in their sentence.

Enjoy these samples across the grade levels!  Notice the variety of sentence styles and starters.  They are excellent!

 The cold, soft snowflake quickly and swiftly falls in the snowy oak tree when Santa's sleigh goes by.
-Colin, 2nd grade

Softly, as if it were dancing, the glistening and sparkling snowflake falls into the snow-covered sledding grounds after school while I'm doing my homework.
-Charlotte, 3rd grade

Because it is Christmas, the small snowflake slowly falls happily by the penguins.
- Hannah, 4th grade

At dawn, the majestic snowflake falls through the bitter air on to the snow white ground mysteriously.
-Emma, 5th grade