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!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pumpkin Autobiographies

     Our biggest and longest assignment of the session was writing our autobiographies….. as a pumpkin!  My family and I endeavored to grow pumpkins from seeds we saved from last year's jack-o-lanterns.  We planted our seeds in late Spring and took pictures and notes on our pumpkin plants.  My kids and I had a fantastic time and learned so much about pumpkins!  Here are some pictures I showed my students when I had them think about what it might be like to be a pumpkin, from seed to vine to pumpkin stages!

     With that inspiration, the students were asked to brainstorm four separate chapters: Seed, Growing, Pumpkin, and The End.  Of course, I didn't have any pictures of The End, but the students got to pick their own ending.  Some became jack-o-lanterns, others became pie, and some ended their lives as uncut decorations!  (Those last the longest of course!)

     Enjoy these fun stories, from youngest to oldest:
by Saviana (1st grade)

Chapter 1: I Started as a Seed.
     I started my life as a seed.  Farmer Sammie planted me in her backyard.  It was very smelly in the ground, but it was fine.  I was a little scared.  I was a little jealous of my brother's seed coat.

Chapter 2: I Began to Grow.
     I started to grow into a green vine!  Soon I noticed I was getting watered by Farmer Sammie!  My life got a whole lot more interesting!  Except my brother was making fun of me.  He was a pumpkin already.

Chapter 3: Then I Became a Pumpkin.
     I was so happy that I was a pumpkin!  I was green, then I was yellow, then I was finally a big orange pumpkin!  I was having a good time until I noticed that my hair was getting cut.  I was freaking out!

Chapter 4: The End
     Farmer Sammie was putting me somewhere very hot.  When she took me out, she cut off my forehead!  Then my other eye!  I was a pumpkin pie!  She then brought me to the table.  I was scared.  Ow!  I was getting gobbled up.  What a happy ending!

by Daniella (2nd grade)

    Chapter 1: I Started as a Seed.
     I'm so light and tiny.  I'm scared the neighbor might step on me.  I'm jealous the pumpkin next door is so big.  The soil is dirty!  At least I'm wearing my seed coat!

Chapter 2: I Began to Grow.
     I'm so tired and still scared!  The neighbor next door is getting bigger!  I see the sky and light!  I'm growing vines.  My life is happy.

Chapter 3: Then, I Became a Pumpkin.
     I'm big like my dad.  The neighbor next door can't step on me.  My mom is proud and happy.  My owner waters me.  It tickles.

Chapter 4: The End
     My life is over.  I'm now a pumpkin pie.  My owner cuts me.  It tickles!

by Sammie (3rd grade)

     Chapter 1: I Started as a Seed.
     When I was a seed, I was very very little.  I got held by Farmer Laura.  Then I got planted.

     A week later, the soil was warm and moist.  Then I began to grow roots.  The soil was wet and cold in the night.  My roots were getting bigger.  I thought I'd sprout soon.

     Chapter 2: I Began to Grow.
     Then my head poked through the dirt a little, and my legs were getting wider and deeper.  Three days later, I got more hands and hair.  Then I got big golden flowers.  I was confused.  I thought I was going to be a pumpkin, not a flower!  At least I am getting bigger.

     Oh, look!  A big black and yellow thing was going inside me, buzzing.  I hoped it wouldn't hurt me.  Oh good, it went away.

     One day later, my flower closed, and there was a green ball on the bottom of my flower.  Could it be I have a pumpkin on my bottom??

     Chapter 3: I Became a Pumpkin!
     My ball was getting bigger, and was turning yellow.  One day, my flower fell off.  I was happy because I never wanted to be a flower anyway!  I was starting to look more like a pumpkin.  I loved it!

     Two weeks later, I was an orange pumpkin.  I couldn't believe it.  I felt so plump and happy!

     Chapter 4: The End
     I was so sad my life was about to be over.  After Halloween, I was baked into a yummy pie.  

     First they scraped out all my goo.  My insides felt squishy!  Then they combined my insides with sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  In the oven I got really really hot.  I got put on a Halloween plate.  Ouch, those teeth hurt!

     I am glad I was a pumpkin!

by Sarah (4th grade)

      When I first opened my eyes, I saw a farmer holding me in her hand.  She said I was the littlest pumpkin seed she had ever seen.  She said she couldn't wait until she planted me in the pots which were near the pumpkin patch.
     Sadly, she accidentally dropped me near the creek when she tripped over a rock.  I was afraid, and really wet since I was close to a creek.  I was so lonely and lost.  I didn't know if I was too close to the creek or not.

     I didn't realize this was happening, but then I noticed…. I started to sprout!  Then my vines started growing longer and my roots were digging deeper into the ground.
     Within the next week, I grew beautiful, golden flowers.  I felt warmer, above the ground.  I was so excited that I was growing at last!

     A few weeks later, I finally turned into a pumpkin!  Even though I lost my flower, I was more excited about my pumpkin.  That week, I was only the color green, but then I started turning a yellowish orange color.  By the end of the week, I was pure golden.  I was still warm by the sun.  I was about a medium-sized pumpkin, and I only grew one inch in the next week.  
     I was really bored and waiting to grow more, but still happy that I was a pumpkin.

     When I was full grown, that farmer girl that dropped me, found me!  She said she was going to make me into a jack-o-lantern for a Halloween decoration.  I was tickled by the pen when she was drawing on me.  It hurt a lot when she was cutting my face with a knife!
     I became very warm when she put a candle inside of me.  I was so excited when she put me in front of her door.  I was scared of the people in costumes, but that didn't keep me from having fun on Halloween night!

     The Life of a Pumpkin
By: Mira (5th grade)

Chapter 1: Seed

I am, simply, a seed. And right now I am trying to contain my emotions, but inside, I am BURSTING WITH EXCITEMENT!!! I am about to be planted in the rich and plentiful soil of Illinois, in Bert’s Big Pumpkin Patch, with 400 other tiny white seeds (my brothers and sisters). I am about to embark on the greatest adventure of my life! The big and rough farmer named Bert, with a wide-brimmed hat, kneels down to pat me into the soil. Bert takes care of us responsibly though; he is a good handler with delicate pumpkin seeds.
After Bert finishes planting us all, he leaves. Now I can talk freely with my brothers and sisters in the soil!
I ask a brother next to me, “Aren’t you excited?”
He answers, “No.”
I shrug, than turn to a sister on my other side. “Are you excited?”
She nods happily and screeches, “So excited. OMG, OMG.” She rolls her eyes giddily.
I converse with other brothers and sisters and get their feedback on being a seed. Wow! I can’t wait to start growing!
As I sprout from the ground, I flourish into a light green sprout with two leaves. I am a delicate root, with a white stem.
As I grow, I feel the warm sun beaming down on me, on some occasions light rain sprinkling and gusts of wind blowing, tiny black ants tickling, and the rustling of sprouts of my brothers and sisters. I am ecstatic.  I feel content and grreeeaaatt, and very happy to be living this life.

Chapter 2: Grow

Okay. I am so angry and frustrated right now, you can barely imagine my rage!!! When I wake up, I am pretty happy and glad that I am growing little green arms and legs. I am turning into a full-fledged sprout!
After a few weeks, I start to realize that I am growing more and more and more and more and I am changing colors (all this while my new owner, Mira (isn’t it a coincidence that our names are the same?), is watering me and taking very good care of me)! But I’m not becoming a pumpkin. I am becoming a pretty orangish-yellowish flower growing on a vine with big, green leaves around me. And than I grasp the concept and bug out (pun intended). I rant and rave until the day is old. Then I cry a river, and after this I see that my brothers and sisters are pumpkins! After this, I go totally ballistic, and repeat the whole process over again. After this, I sob myself to sleep.
In the morning, I look down at my sorry self. And then I see that I am attached to this ball! I saw this before, all around me, when my brothers and sisters were growing faster. They were flowers, but then they shriveled up and that little ball became a large pumpkin. I didn’t think much of it then, but now I understand that this is a crucial point in my life.
YAY! YAY! YAY! I’m going to become a pumpkin! I’m just a late bloomer (pun intended)! My hat is off, and my tuxedo is on! I’m going to be the biggest, most beautiful pumpkin in the world!
As I sway in happiness, I feel the shade that the other leaves are covering me with, bugs crawling, caterpillars chewing, and the weather doing its weekly checkups.
Right then I know that this is the finest life of any living thing.

Chapter 3: Pumpkin

It is a windy September afternoon, and I am a H-U-G-E pumpkin! Mira talks to me and says I am of the Storybook Pumpkin variety, and that I am the biggest of my kind that she has ever seen! I am very wide and have rounded ridges and lines. My color is a tangy and tarnished orange, and my flower has shriveled up. My brothers and sisters are gone, because their pumpkins got picked not too long ago, and I am sad and lonely sometimes. But I have my friends, Queen Elizabeth and Hernán Cortes, the royal beetle and the adventurous butterfly.
I am very excited to be a wonderful pumpkin, and ecstatic for ME!!! But sometimes, I am sad because I know I am nearing the end of my life (sniffle, cry quietly). On these occasions I talk to Queen Elizabeth and Hernán Cortes.
“Were you sad when you turned from a boring caterpillar to a magnificent butterfly? Or were you happy to be free?”
“Did you like it when you started changing colors as a beetle? Or were you scared?”
“How do you feel now when you know you are nearing the end of your… uh… er… well… cycle???”
These questions I ask constantly, and many others. Finally, they answer.
“You know, Mira, I think dying is very peaceful,” says Queen Elizabeth, the beetle gently.
“Yes, yes,” chimes in Hernán Cortes, the butterfly. “I think you have ab-so-lute-ly nothing to worry about.”
I sigh in relief. “You’ve taken a huge burden off me,” I say. I thank them warmly, and they skedaddle off.
Over this month, I discover strange, curly, green things growing out of my head, which Mira identifies as tan-druls. No, tendrils! I experience more rain and wind in fall than in any other season, and the gusts and gales feel refreshing and cool.
What an extraordinary thing it is to be a pumpkin.

Chapter 4: End

Ahh. Just smell that brisk, crisp air and leaves. A typical windy day, and I am very excited for this day because today… I am getting picked!
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a pumpkin and hanging out with Queen Elizabeth and Hernán Cortes, but recently, my life has been a little bit… well… BORING!!! I am pumped to get plucked, because I am ready for a new adventure!
As I see Bert slowly walking towards me, I say a (sniff) tearful farewell to my kind and good friends, the special beetle and butterfly. Bert leans down and takes a good look at me, with Mira right at his heels. Bert reaches over, and with a sharp THWACK, separates me from my vine. And with that, everything goes black.

I wake up to the sweet and strong scent of bread. I am in a huge bakery, called the Lee Boolaungear. No, the Le Boaleangoer. I’ve got it now! The Le Boulanger! Oh no! A big and fat woman is taking me to a gigantic oven! Aaaaaah…
Aah. I am soooooo toasty and warm in here, it is like I am in a pool sauna. I look at my surroundings and watch steel walls glow like burning coals and feel heat that burns like fire from a flaming dragon. But it all goes by too fast. In less than ten minutes, I am pulled out of the oven, and I am transformed into a HUGE pumpkin muffin!!! I feel a burning sensation inside of me and know, right then, that this is an adventure.

Five days later. Imagine my surprise when Mira bursts into the store and strides right up to the worker here today, and says:
“Where is the enormous pumpkin muffin that I’ve heard so much about? I am—or was—its owner before it was a muffin, you know.”
The employee stammers, “Uh—uh—uh—of course, miss, right this way, miss, watch your step, miss.”
Mira walks purposefully into the back room and says, “Hello, Mira. I’ve come to enroll you in the Annual Thanksgiving Pumpkin Muffin Contest 2014, for your own benefit.”
And just like that, I’m being carted away and off to the biggest event of my life.

Gosh. Gosh. Gosh. I cannot believe it. I’ve just won the contest for best pumpkin muffin in weight and taste. I am just plain BIG, weighing approximately 467.7 pounds, and apparently, the judges can’t stop taking bites of me. A first place blue ribbon is pinned on me and many people are tasting my warm, soft skin. I close my eyes and am in quiet for a moment, even with all the hustle-bustle around me. With Mira standing beside me and fond memories inside my head, this really is the most perfect life.