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, April 15, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Personified Object

What would it be like to live a day in the life of an object we see or use every day?  For three weeks, I called on the students by their new personified object name.  Students became a variety of things, from school supplies to home accessories; from sporting equipment to clothing; from food to historical landmarks.  The students were very creative as they mapped out how their day would begin and end.  Some of them also got very creative with the use of voice.  It was hard to pick just a few samples, but here they are from across the grade levels.  Enjoy!
My Life as a Pencil, by Sammie (2nd grade)

     I am a shiny red pencil, waiting to be used by Mrs. Huff's Afternoon Writing Class.  I am in a bag on a yellow table with other pencils.  One pencil is not nice to me.  He scratches my paint off!

     Then class begins, and a naughty boy steals me.  He isn't in Writing Class, and isn't allowed to use me!  My life is ruined.  His pencil box is a mess!  I am uncomfortable.  I do not like my life.  Why couldn't he pick someone else, like the mean pencil?!  The mean boy bites my eraser feet, and I cry.  Then he sharpens me so so much that I feel like my head is getting chopped off!  This hurts!  Because I am now so short, the teacher tells him to throw me away in the garbage can.

     But one of the good things that happens is that Sophia Pencil is in here too!  We can now get thrown away together at least! 

The Weird Life of a Pencil
By Sophia (2nd grade)

     I am a pink sparkly pencil.  I am always treated badly.  First of all, I am in a clear pencil box.  I see the lights coming on.  I see a line of kids coming in.  My owner, who is a naughty kid, opens the pencil box.  She puts me in the pencil hair cutting place (the pencil sharpener). 

     After she is done, she starts to CHEW on ME!  Then she is told to throw me in the garbage!  I see one of my friends in there with me too.  We start to talk.  After a few minutes, the sky starts to get dark.  Then, I think I look so small.  And my friend does, too.  My friend says, "Am I chewed on, or is it just me?"  Then I say, "You are chewed."  Then, we start to laugh, and then I fall asleep.

My Life as a Sock
By Adeline (3rd grade)

     Hi, I'm Adeline, a purple sock with white polka dots.  I spend a lot of time in a sock drawer that is in a girl's purple room.  Here is the beginning of a day in my life.  

     I hear the thumpety-thumps of my girl rushing into the room.  "Oh no.  Not again," I groan.  She opens the drawer, as usual, and yanks me out.  "Ow, ow, ow!" I wince.

      Next she puts me on her foot.  By now, I'm used to the weird feeling of something being in me.  But at first it felt so wrong and weird, that it tickled me!
     Then she runs into the living room-- "Ouch, ooh, ow!" and squishes me into a dark, oval space-- "Eek!"  Wait, what is this place?

     Now I'm going up-down-up-down-up-down.  Wait, why am I stopping?  It's been about ten minutes now.  Whoa!  It feels like I've been thrown off a cliff!  I hear a car door slam, and a muffled "Good-bye!"

     Here I go, going up-down-up-down-up-down again for about ten minutes.  When my owner stops, I hear a loud, muffled, "Riiiingg!" of a bell, and then I start going again.

     By now I am very bruised.  It hurts a lot when I go up-down-up-down.  My owner stops, and then starts tapping me for a looooong time.  It must've been an hour.  Then she starts walking again.

     P.E. class!!  Oh no, this is bad, bad bad!!  Super-duper disgusting and smelly liquid is starting to drip into me!  Yuck!!  Sweat!!

     After a long day, my owner finally takes me off.  Ahhhhhh.  That feels better.  I relax.

     "Washing day!" calls my girl's owner.  YES!!  Someone throws me into the washing machine.  "Round and round the sockey goes, do, do do, dooo!" I sing to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel."

     When the washing machine is done washing, the owner of my girl folds me and puts me back in my drawer.  What a fun and funny day!  And I bet it will all happen again tomorrow!

A Day in the Life of Venetian Lipstick

 By Mira (4th grade)

      This is scandalous. Tragic. Unbelievable. No place for a stylish, delicate, sassy lipstick like me. I cannot believe I am stuck here! My friends say I am overreacting. Dahlings, I am not overreacting. Not in the least. In fact, my friends are a little bit dull and dim-witted, nothing like my brilliant and creative brain.

      I am in an apartment in Venice, Italy. I must admit, Venice is beautiful! All those canals, parades, and romance. But, alas, I can see nothing of it, because most of the time I am…stuck in a bathroom.

      You see, dahlings, I am not meant to be in tiny, enclosed spaces. I am meant to be out in the world, being fashionable, wonderful, and ME! But I rarely get to be outside, only when my owner allows it.

      My owner, Madame Mathilde, is a rather unattractive, talkative, big-boned woman. For months and months, years and years, she has tried to get a date. But, alas, all the men turn her down. Maybe if she could use me better, then she might have a chance, instead of smearing me all over her red, pouty lips. I shudder just to think about it.

      At that moment, Madame Mathilde breezes in. She sets to work with my friends and me. My friends are a pearl-handled comb, some dove-colored face cream, rogue blush, and a deep azure eyeshadow. Though Madame Mathilde is not pretty, she is wealthy.

I watch in horror and grief as Madame Mathilde yanks the comb through her hair, smears face cream all over her nose and cheeks, powders blush up and down her face, and applies her eyeshadow so high that it reaches her eyebrows. She finally reaches down, plucks me up, and slathers me all over her mouth. Smacking her lips in front of an opal hand mirror, she declares herself perfect, and flounces off to a canal, dragging my friends and me as we cling to her tightly. I just hope this date will be short.

      Help me! The part of me that is on her lips is getting panicky on this huge mouth with rows and rows of teeth in it. I’m going to die in here!

      Madame Mathilde has set her date night at the Sicily, a famous restaurant, known for its delicious pasta, pizza, and Strangula Pretti (spinach wrapped in butter and melted cheese.) It also seems as if the Sicily floats on water! Oh, can things get any worse?!

      But, it does get worse! Dahlings, the servers are bringing very much alive and still screaming food to Madame Mathilde and the man across from her! Don’t they have any compassion? I shield my eyes, disgusted and horrified at the carnage my owner and her date are doing and even more worried about the food touching my fragile, pink skin.

Soon the couple finish their dinner and signal for the bill. It is brought by no other than Chef Ferdinand, a small, squat man with a gigantic chef’s hat and moustache. He slaps our bill on the table, his huge meat cleaver’s knife glinting dangerously in the light and his deep, tambour, Italian accent booming.

      Dear God, I pray. Please let this dreadful night be over. A fashionista like me needs beauty rest. At that point, I swoon into a faint. What can I say? I’m delicate.

      I’m totally and fully exhausted. It turns out that I went to all that trouble to be beautiful for nothing. The date did not go well. Not in the least. Madame Mathilde washes me off along with my friends. She is crying and moping about her “lost opportunity.” Madame Mathilde flops down on her bed and is asleep almost instantly. I make myself comfortable between my friends. I admit I can be a little bit self-absorbed and dramatic, but I am still a good lipstick inside. Believe me. You just need some time to get used to me.

         I sigh contentedly and drift off into a long, dreamless slumber. Good night, dahlings.

My Life as a Car Tire
By Catie (5th grade)

     Oh hi.  It's Crabby McCar Tire, here in the boring old shop.  The car I'm supposed to be on broke down, so I'm waiting to be re-purchased.  I hope I don't, because I HATE being on a car.  A screw in my back?!  I mean, just try to live like that.  And carrying all that weight?  I feel like I want to pop.  Which I have done.  Twice.  

     Wait.  Why is the clerk lifting me to the counter?  Oh no, I'm being bought!!

     Ohhhh.... I'm in agony!  I'm in the front of the car, the worst place to be placed.  You experience all the pain first, and harder.  Ohhhh.... the car is being loaded.  And everyone's piling in, with their cameras and maps.  Wait.  Cameras and maps?  My worst fear has come true: ROAD TRIP!!

     *Bump*  OWWW!  Ack, this is terrible!  "Fellow tires," I say, "Obey your new master!"  No reply.  "I said, obey me, and put on those brakes!"  Still no reply.

     Arrgghhh!  Those guys are so dumb.  Please excuse my attitude.  If you can imagine being surrounded by nothingness while spinning at the speed of light, try it.  Not pleasant.  Oh boy, now there's a light in my eyes.  Wait, light?  Light!  A gas station!  Maybe if I pop, I won't have to go on this trip!  Ooooh, I see a sharp rock.  If I can just time it right.....

     P O P !!!!

     Oh geeze, I forgot how unpleasant that is.  But, I get to stay in a remote place, free of buyers.  What's this?  They're unscrewing me, never to use me again!  And now I'm in the dump!  (Paradise for a tire)

     Good bye, it's time for me to live my life in style!  Like I said, it's a tire thing.

                   By Emma (6th grade)

How I adore rainy days! Various sizes of raindrops sliding down my head is what I live for. Outside the window, sidewalks slick with water and morning dew on the grass make everything look picturesque. Young Isabel, my owner, comes skipping down the hall and goes to grab an umbrella. Ohh! She picks the red one with the white daisies….that's me!  I will finally have a chance to experience the outdoors.
Isabel opens me and holds me above her head. I can sense fat, small, large, and minuscule raindrops sliding down my head. It feels like I am taking a cold shower right now. Frigidness overcomes me as well as excitement.  Yay! I am spinning and dancing in this beautiful rain shower.  Puddles looking like small ponds conceal the ground. I stare at the ominous clouds shrouding the sky.
I glance around, my vision slightly blurred from the incessant rainfall. I am able to make out crowds of people, lofty buildings, luminous head lights, and bare tree limbs.
I wish I could stay out here and enjoy the magnificent rain, but I know we are nearing the school. Suddenly, a huge gust of wind sweeps us up and carries us right to the front door.
Luckily, Isabel regains her balance and we are welcomed into the cozy classroom. I am disregarded in the umbrella bucket with others of my kind.
Tic-tock tic-tock goes the clock in the classroom. Isabel has math class right now. I hear the teacher droning on and on. 9+10=19, 20 <  30, and more writing on the wall that I can not understand.  Only five more minutes till recess, and I hope it is outdoors.  I do not enjoy being cooped up in the classroom all day.
Unfortunately, recess is indoors because of the increasingly heavy rainfall. I watch, still waiting as I see puzzles, dolls, art supplies, blocks, and books being taken out. Being small  makes the classroom look colossal.
School passes at the rate of a walking snail! Finally, class is dismissed, and Isabel shrugs on her raincoat.  Waving goodbye to the teacher, we bounce out of the classroom in a hurry to get back home.
The sky has cleared up a little and I can see the sun peeking out from behind the  clouds. Cool, crisp wind caresses me. We pass street lamps and the once deserted park that is now filled with happy children.  While I would love to be open, I am enjoying this view and our stroll  home.

Back home we are dry and warm. Although I love the rain, exhaustion overcomes me. What I need now is a very long nap. Isabel sips hot chocolate at the counter while doing homework. This has been the most magical and exciting day of my life! Who would have thought umbrellas have such an adventurous life?  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Persuasive Writing: Olympic Fever!

For three weeks, my classes loved discussing the Olympics and all of the amazing performances, stunts, successes, and tragedies they witnessed.  This inspired a very fun writing assignment.

The students were to brainstorm what it would be like to combine TWO Olympic sports into one amazing, outrageous new game.  Both the Beginning and the Advanced classes had to think of the following ideas:

~ A clever name
~ How the two sports would be combined
~ Rules/scoring

The "Awesome Authors and Artists" had to take it a step further.  They were to turn their ideas into a persuasive letter to the Olympic Board of Commissioners.  They needed to "sell" their sport and describe its benefits so clearly that... who knows??  Maybe we would see it in the next 2-4 years!

Enjoy these fantastic samples!

To the Board of Commissioners,

     To begin, after witnessing the recent 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia,
I was stunned and shocked to watch the breathtaking events. People all over the
world look forward to seeing such talented athletes. These games bring
excitement to all and build suspense as everyone representing their country
wants to bring home gold.

     The main purpose of this letter is to ask you to include a new game in the
2018 Olympic Games. Without further adieu I present you "Foot-Boarding."Two
of the most popular games at both the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics
co-ed! Incorporating these two events would lead to great success.

     This I how I envision this unique sport. It will have similar rules to a game of
football, but with an interesting twist. Eleven players compete against each other
within an expanse of snow with yellow and blue sidelines. If the ball is thrown or
carried to the end zone it would equal six points, just like in football. Additional
points will be added to their score; if they perform a flip or double corkscrew,
while scoring a point. For example, if the quarterback snowboards with the ball
and does a 360 degrees turn while scoring, he would earn ten points. Three
points will be deducted if the throw is missed. Their uniforms will be an essential
part of their attire. The players will wear snowboarding goggles and helmets
with the matching colors of their team. Their snowboarding outfits would have
numbers and names on them to represent their country.

     Commissioners, imagine the fascinating and spectacular scene! Co-ed
football combined with snowboarding! Extravagant jumps and flips in the middle
of a football game would WOW spectators. This new, popular event would
make the the crowd bigger than ever! This would lead to millions of tickets
bought. The number of seats in the stadium would have to be expanded times
100 to accommodate the number of people. People all over the world will
fight for all the judging and refereeing jobs needed. This could lead to greater
revenues being given back to the host cities, a snow field, uniforms, tickets,
airplanes, and hotels will be bursting with so many people.

     I know you will consider "Foot-Boarding" to be one of the potentially
greatest sports of the 2018 Games. A versatile mind will establish this new and
original game and a huge crowd. This sport will accomplish everything.
Emma (6th grade)

Dear Olympic Board of Commissioners,

     I love watching the Olympics with my family in the summer and winter, and I think you do amazing work at your job.

     Now imagine: Tennis on ice!  I have invented a sport with that exact exciting combination.  I call it Tennis Skating!

     Let me explain how I see this new sport.  It will be ten points for a triple toe serve, and one point for a regular serve, like tennis.  Judges use regular tennis rules, and give extra points for figure skating tricks.  Athletes have to wear a tennis skirt and shirt, but they have to be sparkled or point are taken off!

     Every two years this sport could be played!  All athletes from all countries could participate, and that means more medals and more pride.  There would be special equipment and uniforms.  Popular sports lead to more spectators, which leads to more ticket sales, which leads to more money!!

     I remember when I was a child and loved to see new sports.  I hope other children will have my amazing experience.  Bring Tennis Skating to the Olympic Games, and make dreams come true!

                                        Sincerely, Ashley (3rd grade)

     The name of my NEW sport is BobSwim.  It combines bobsledding and swimming.

     There is only one person in the sled.  The rules are you have to flip three times to score 20 points.  Then go as fast as you can into the water!  Don't worry, the bobsled will float.  If you want to know how many points people have, look at the scoreboard.  The bobsleds have a bobcat on the sled, and wavy water lines.  The event is held at the beach, in Santa Cruz.  It's only for boys.

     My NEW sport is super awesome cool!

By Colin (2nd grade)

Would YOU watch any of these sports on TV?  Or would you try out for Team USA?  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

What Does the Pledge of Allegiance Mean?

Did you know that Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge in 1892, but it has since been changed from its original version?  What DO all those huge words in the Pledge of Allegiance mean?  What are we really saying when we put our right hands over our hearts and recite this sentence?  My younger classes studied the Pledge of Allegiance and answered all of these questions by playing a game of Dictionary Races.  One at a time, they looked up all the difficult words from the Pledge, and the fastest teams would read what the word meant.  We then slowly created a "translation" of the Pledge of Allegiance, putting the words into a language more easily understood by 2nd and 3rd graders.  We even had a history lesson about the Civil War, and what it means to live in a "Republic."   Of course, sparkly star stickers and flag art were a must, too!  Here are a couple of samples for you to enjoy.  
(One class got a red background, and the other got white.  I'm not sure which one I like better.... comment below to tell me YOUR favorite!)

The Pledge of Allegiance means:
I promise to be loyal to the flag of the United States of America, and to the government for which it stands, one country under God, undividable, with freedom and fairness for all.

Here is Anjalia's (2nd grade) lovely work: 

 Here is Darian's (3rd grade) fabulous work:
Now you know what you are saying when you recite the Pledge of Allegiance!