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, November 29, 2014

Squiggle Stories!


One of my favorite creative writing assignments is the "Squiggle Story."  First, the students get to choose from eight different squiggle lines.  I ask them to envision what they could turn the lines into, and their imaginations go wild!  I took the above picture during the art portion of this assignment.  If you look closely, you will see the beginning of "Frodrick" and "Surf" from the featured stories below.  In the middle, you can admire Morgan's (4th grade) beginning of her story about aliens coming to Earth, led by their Earthling-fooler "Goofy."  I love how students can see the same squiggle line and turn them into completely different pictures!  This first one below has been turned upside down and made into a fairy dress and a vase tipping over, and turned sideways and made into a sea monster.  Now, it is a bunny ear!

Enjoy these stories!

"Bumbo," by Julia (5th grade)

     "Haha!" giggled some bunnies outside Bunny Burrow Boulevard.  "Bumbo has big ears, let's say Cheers!" they chant the official chant of the decade, dedicated to Bumbo Brebolla, the bunny whose ears are as big as they get!  But don't worry!  Bumbo did not take it personally, as he might have five years ago!  Let me tell you how this famous bunny's story goes!

     It was a sunny and beautiful day, and Bumbo bunny was on his way home from school, when a note in a paper carrot shape flew toward him, followed by laughter and the sound of feet hopping away.  He unfolded the note, although he did not need to know what it said and who wrote it.  Benjamin Bunny, the meanest bunny on the block, frequently wrote notes, and they all said the same scrawled words: "Teacher's pet!  You stink!  Nobody wants you here!"  Although he had seen it many times, his eyes filled with tears.  His mother met him at the door, and said her usual greeting, "Not another note, Sweet Cabbage.  Oh dear."

     The following day, Bumbo received a letter.  But not just any letter!  It was a letter from Brock O'Bunny, the Bunny President, inviting Bumbo to the Orange House for a delicious gourmet meal and Photo Shoot!  "Can I go, Mommy?" he asked sweetly but excitedly.

     "My Sweet Cabbage, of course!" she screamed hopping up and down with excitement.  We need to get you a new suit, dress shoes…" and she went on with a huge list of new things to get him.

     When the big day came, Mama Bunny was hopping all over, making remarks like, "Remember your manners."

     "Remember, your father would be proud," she said, embracing him and blinking back tears.  When she finally let go, he scurried off to the bus calling, "Bye, Mommy!" over his shoulder.

     When he arrived, he found the president standing outside the Orange House, in conversation with a handsome bunny with a news camera in hand.  When he caught sight of Bumbo, he waved in a friendly manner.  "Bumbo, I hope you aren't camera shy," he said, laughing at the excited look on Bumbo's face.  "My name is Brock O'Bunny, your president!" he said.  "We have a lot to discuss."

     He surprised Bumbo by asking interview questions like, "What would you say to all the big-eared bunnies out there to inspire them?"  

     When it was time for Bumbo to go back to Bunny Burrow Boulevard, he told the president, "Thank you, Mr. O'Bunny.  This was very fun.  I hope I will see you soon.  Good bye!"

     "Actually, I was planning on visiting Bunny Burrow Boulevard next week.  I will need a place to stay.  If it is all right with your mother…." he was stopped mid-sentnece by a rumble of a private jet.  The president smiled and continued.  "If it is all right with your mother, I was hoping I could stay with you at your house?  Also, you are taking a private jet back to your home."

     "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Bumbo shouted, smiling until his cheeks hurt.  "See you next week!  My mom will be fine with it!  Good bye!" and Bumbo climbed into the jet on his way home.

     As you can see, Bumbo then became a very famous bunny.  Everybody, including Benjamin Bunny, respected him.  In fact, Benjamin became his biggest admirer!  Now the carrot note said: "Carrots are orange, cabbage is green.  Let me know if you want a taco supreme! -Ben Bunny."  

     All in all, Bumbo became a very happy bunny.

"Surf," by Charlotte (4th grade)

      Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…. there was a 10 year old sea monster named Surf.  You see, Surf was not like other sea  monsters.  Surf, unlike his foul, man-eating dad, disliked the taste of humans.  Surf's father desperately wanted poor Surf to devour everyone he saw.

     It just so happened to be July 29th, the day before Surf's birthday.  Surf was very excited.  As a birthday gift, Surf hoped that his dad might not pressure him to eat people.

     The next day, on July 30th, Surf swam (more like torpedoed) over to his dad.  His father said, "Son, for your birthday, I would like to offer you a deal.  Eat just one person, and you will never have to eat another person as long as you live."

     Surf answered, "Deal!" and he devoured a very plump man swimming at a nearby beach.

     "Yum!" Surf said.  "I think I like people after all!"  So he and his dad swam over to a nearby beach together and swallowed everyone with glee.

"Frodrick," by Lucy (4th grade)

     One day on a farm, there was a chicken named Frodrick who only had one leg.  He was very hungry.

     "I'm getting hungry!" growled Frodrick.  Then he spotted it: THE WORM!  "Snack!" he croaked.

     He zipped over to the worm.  He thought the worm saw him because it looked like it was trying to get away.

     Frodrick paused for a second, watching it struggle.  The worm had a big, sad frown on his face.  Frodrick thought he heard a tiny little voice calling, "Mom!  Help me!"  While Frodrick watched  it wiggle, he heard the other chickens calling for him to get to church.  He thought, "I better make it fast!  Just one more hop!"

     "Darn it, I stepped on my snack!  Now it's not good for me to eat.  I guess I'll go to church  now," said the sad, sad chicken.

     "Blaaaaa," said the worm, saying good bye to its last heart.  (Worms have ten hearts).

"Butterfly Adventure," by Taryn (4th grade)

     Once upon a time, there were two butterflies.  One of the butterflies was called Butter.  The other butterfly was called Mom Butterfly.

     They were flying along, and then they came across a flower.

     "Mom!  Mom!  Come on!  I found a flower!" shouted Butter.

     "Honey, it's a Venus Fly Trap!" said Mom.  'When you land on it, it's going to eat you!  Now stay away!"

     After her warning, Mom Butterfly flew away.

     Suddenly, she stopped.  Butter wasn't there flying beside her!

     Butter had gone in the other direction.  She was heading for the Venus Fly Trap!

     "Now I know it's a flower!"  Butter said confidently.  "I know my mom is wrong!"

     When she landed, she bounced on the flower.  Then she bounced on it again!  It was a flower after all!  It smelled like cherry blossoms and had some nectar inside.  The petals were so colorful and soft!

     *The moral of the story is: Even if your mom says No, just do it.  Just kidding!!*

"Fishing," by Samantha (3rd grade)

     "Whistle, whistle!" went Bald Donald.  He thought it was a glorious day to go fishing.  He threw out his line.  But as soon as the little worm went under water, he felt a massive tug!  

     As he pulled out the line…. he saw something AMAZING!  Enough fish to make a shark happy for a year were hanging on each other by the tails.  

     All the little fish had angry scowls on their faces, except one small rainbow fish.  She told him she would be his pet if he let all these poor fish go.  He agreed, and brought home the little rainbow fish in a small fish bowl.

     And from that day on, Bald Donald had a pet, a friend, and a companion.

"The Statue of Liberty," by Nick (2nd grade)

         There once was a Statue of Liberty.  He held his favorite flames.  One day he let go of it.  Then he jumped.  He got it!  He felt so happy to have his flames back once again.

"The Bunny," by Alex (1st grade)

     Once upon a time a bunny was going to an ice cream man.  Then he was going to see his friends.  Then he dropped his ice cream on the ground and then he cried.

"The Man Who Climbed a Mountain" by Tyler (Kindergarten)
     The man is standing on a mountain.  He is looking down at a tree.  It was hot that summer.  He climbed to get a better view.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monster Draw Game!

Adjectives, Adjectives, Adjectives!!  They are very important when an author is attempting to paint the perfect picture in the reader's mind.  Adjectives can tell size, shape, color, and number.  And this is the theme of the Monster Draw Game!  We enjoyed this assignment at Halloween time.

Step 1: Draw a monster.  (Having a background will give you more difficulty points during judging.)
Step 2: Describe your monster in vivid and complete detail.
Step 3: Exchange descriptions with a partner.  Attempt to draw each other's monster.  Monsters who are practically twins will win the contest!

It is always fun to see the improvement in kids as they take repeated workshops with me.  These first two girls started off in my program as wee 1st graders.  Their first Monster Draw game in 2nd grade was a flop; they both remember!  Now look at them in 3rd grade!  Voted class winners!  Congratulations Anjalia (writer) and Sammie (reader)!

     My paper is vertical.

     My monster is a medium green square with fat blue stripes.   It has no fur or skin.  It has two big black vertical oval eyes with a black circle pupil at the bottom of it.  It has no nose.  Its mouth is red and smiling.  Its mouth is closed.  It is medium.  It is shaped like a U.  Its two arms are pink small rectangles with no fingers.  Its legs are small purple rectangles that have no feet.  It has no clothing.  Its standing on a fat green floor with one purple circle at the bottom, one on the right, and one on the left. Oh!  I forgot all about the antennae and the lollipop.  The two antennae have a black vertical line with a yellow circle on top.  In my monster's left hand (my monster's left NOT YOUR left), there is a lollipop.  The stem is purple and the part that you eat is pink.  Okay.  Back to the background.  There are three gray tall triangle mountains in the background that are overlapping each other.  There is a dark yellow medium ball with the same color spikes coming out of the ball for the sun.

     Can you see my monster in your head???

     Next we have two returning students who have been with me for a few sessions as well.  Mathis (5th grade) is just a wee bit interested in Greek mythology and attempts to bring mythical creatures into every assignment I give!  Here he drew a Poseidon monster, and described it so vividly that Morgan (4th grade) could practically draw his twin!  Congratulations you two!

     My monster is a cyclops with one large, round, and brown eye in the middle of his head.  His skin is peach.  He is smiling and holding two big, round black boulders in each of his hands.  He is in the middle of the page.  He has no nose.  Above his head there is a blue trident.  He has shaggy brown hair.  He has a long sleeve shirt with a blue trident and underneath the word "Poseidon" is written.  The shirt is green around the trident.  He has brown pants and blue shoes.  In the background, he is floating on a small brown circle just big enough for him to stand on.  Last but not least, there is a sun on your right with rays of orange and yellow.  He is floating away in the sea.

     This last group is an exciting combination of a 3rd and 5th grader!  This was Nicole's (3rd grade) first time playing the game.  Francesca (5th grade) wrote very carefully and clearly to help her partner achieve this match!

     Notice: The whole thing is slanted from the bottom right corner to the middle left.  There is a line that she is standing on (the ground.)

     My monster has two arms, both bright orange, and he is flexing, so they get wider when they attach to his body.  His hands are circular, with no fingers.  He has four legs, also bright orange, with circular feet and no nose.  The hands and feet are orange, with the hands being small.

     Her head is also a body, and she is very round.  She has a medium size pink bow sitting on her head/body.  She has a light blue mustache, medium sized, with a dark pink tongue, pretty big, sticking out from under it.  Her eyes, which are large, are ovals, with a half circle on the bottom half.  That circle is cut in half with a vertical line.  The right half (your right) is colored with pencil.  The other side is with dark blue.  The eyes are above the mustache horizontally.

     There is a tree to your left that has gone behind her arm.  The trunk is brown and the top green. It is medium size.  There is a medium size gray rock to your right.  Below the ground there are three patched of grass in each corner below the ground.  The rest below the ground is white.  The sky is scribbled blue with spaces.

     Try to draw my monster.

Congratulations to our winners!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Postcard Stories!

     The "Awesome Authors and Artists" got to take their "Backwards Land" paragraphs to the next level.  After creating their land and describing it vividly, they then had to journey to their land and write a short story about their stay there!  Some places were NOT good vacation destinations, and some turned out to be very promising!  The authors had to stick to the details they wrote about in their paragraphs, and then apply those details to their stories.  Check out Morgan's (4th grade) story.  Her vacation to a winter wonder and ocean land started off horribly, but ended very positively!

     (You can see how her story scanned on my scanner.  You can get a peek at how the paper was designed to imitate a real postcard, complete with a writing side, and a spot for the address!)

Dear Mom,

     I am so tired.  You would not believe what happened on my way to Amohalko!  There was a big man sitting next to me, snoring the WHOLE time.  On the other side there was a baby kicking, screaming, and crying.  It was a ten day trip with NO restroom!

     Things looked up once I got there.  I checked in to my five star hotel, then built a snow fort next to it.  The front desk gave me a hover board and taught me how to ride!  There were so many fun activities!  Some of my favorites were hover boarding contests, ice sculpture lessons and a contest, taking a tour on a whale, and I got to see dolphins in an ice proof suit!  The ice sculpture prize was a free ticket to professional ice sculpture lessons, a free mug of cocoa, and a free hover board ride home.  I was determined to win, and I did!  I made an eagle.  It was one of the hardest sculptures.

     I will definitely buy a home here, and I hope you will come with me next time!

     Love, Morgan