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!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Squiggle Stories!

If someone handed you a squiggle line, what would YOU make out of it?  That was the theme of our last assignment of this session.  After Art Time was over, the students story mapped the 5 W's and 1 H of good writing:
WHO is in my picture
WHAT is happening
WHERE my picture is taking place
WHEN my picture is taking place
WHY it happens (the story line)
HOW it ends

These first two samples chose the same exact squiggle line, but turned them into completely different designs.  Enjoy these amazing samples of creativity!

Three Friends, by Josephine (4th grade)

     I stared into the white snow, bored of being the only Christmas tree in the lot.  No one liked me because I have a big hole in my trunk.    I swiveled my head and saw a cozy house with smoke coming out of its chimney.  I slept peacefully that night.  I dreamed of being a perfect Christmas tree.

     The next day was Christmas, and I was staring into the snow, when I saw a white bunny shivering.  "Do you want to stay in my trunk?" I asked.

     "Sure!" the rabbit replied.  He moved into the hole in my trunk, and rested.

     The next week, a bird was down by my side.  "You can move into my pine needles!"

     "Great idea!" and she flew into my needles.

     The bird and bunny played together and were as happy as I was.  We became great friends.

     A month later, an orange and black cat came during the afternoon.  He looked like a tiger.  He asked me where he could stay.  "You can stay with the bird in the pine needles!"

     A year passed, and everything was going well.  But, a family cut me down, and all that was left of me was my hole in my tree trunk.  The animals gave me a quick good-bye, and scattered into the forest.

     The next few days, I was just like the other trees: a stump.  I knew I was eventually going to rot.  I stared into the snow, as sad as I was before.

     I awoke one morning and realized I was fully grown again!  The rabbit, bird, and cat came back, and we lived happily ever after.

Endo & I
by Flo (5th grade)

     The waves crashed silently on the White Sea. I heard it calling me. I wanted to go, but I knew I couldn’t, because of the dreaded being that lurks there. If only …
My fantasizing is interrupted by my father, Mayor Collins, barging into my room. “Good morning, sweet pea!” my father greeted me.
“Morning, dad, “ I answered begrudgingly.
“Time for school, Micaela!” he replied cheerfully. Ick. School. As I tiredly walked to school, the beautifully light turquoise White Sea called me more than ever, but I knew I still couldn’t go.

When the school bell finally rang I had decided to go. I was going to finally swim in the White Sea and I didn’t care if a monster ate me while trying. I didn’t care if my dad and our whole village of Arenda mourned my death for months. I had to go to the sea.

Making sure not to be seen I scurried to the beach. The cold water washed over me. I breathed a sigh of content. But, as I went deeper I felt there was someone else near me. Could it be the dreaded sea monster? I started to regret going there in the first place.

The giant blue and orange monster rose out of the water in front of me, confirming my concerns. I could have swum for my life. I really could have.  But, for some reason I didn’t. I even let it swoop me onto its back. Astonishingly all it did was parade me around the waters. No, it didn’t eat me. We rode all the way to the depths of the ocean this way.

For the rest of that week, I rode him every day. Even though I know my dad would be scared I had to show him the truth about the myth. I just had to. So when I finally told him about my eventful week, and to trust me, he tersely responded, “Ok.”

I brought him to my new friend, who gave father a ride as well. After only half an hour he realized that the dreaded sea monster was no monster at all, and the whole village should know about him.

One Week Later: “Woohoo!” I exclaim as I get another exhilarating ride on Endo, the name I had given the sea monster who resided in the White Sea. My father has proclaimed to the whole village that Endo should not be feared and now he has become a village mascot, and the whole village adores him.

Cheesy and Fantom, by Sammie (5th grade)

         “AAAAHHHHH!!!!!” the mouse screamed.  Screech, thud went the evil cat as the mouse, Cheesy, scampered up the side of the table.  Not being able to see the mouse, but smell him, Fantom, the cat, chased him as if on the wild goose chase. 
            Fantom leaped onto the coffee table gracefully, red eyes glaring coldly.  This was not the first time Cheesy the mouse tried to fight for the mice’s freedom using his little “ninja” powers. 
            The mouse scrambled up the left side of the table trying to get back down the right side.  In the process he managed to pick up a toothpick.  Charging at Fantom, Cheesy yelled with all his might a war cry, toothpick in his two front teeth.  He threw it at Fantom and it bounced off his big, black chest as if all Cheesy had thrown was a feather.  In the process, Cheesy fell back from the force of his strong throw.  The cat picked up a paper napkin and wrapped Cheesy up as if he was lettuce in a burrito.
            “There, that should keep you wrapped up for a while,” Fantom crackled evilly.   As he sat in his comfy cat hammock, Cheesy’s relatives emerged from their hiding place in the hole.  They unwrapped him, all thinking the same thing: They would never be free as long as Cheesy was fighting for them.
            As they wobbled off the table, arms all wrapped around Cheesy, Fantom saw them and knew it wasn’t worth catching them.  He had already won.  The mice were his prisoners forever. (Or so Fantom thoughtJ)

          Chapter 2
            Back in the mice hole, Cheesy’s mother had a very serious discussion. “Now son, you are very brave to fight the mean cat, but I just don’t think being a ninja is your best talent.  Maybe you should be a baker or something safe or quiet,” sighed his mother, bottom lip quivering.  Cheesy did not like the sound of that one bit.
            “Oh Mother, I know that you are only just trying to protect me, but I thought of this amazing move!” Cheesy begged, springing off his bed.  He did a sidekick with his right knee and bent the left slightly, making a HIYA!!! sound and landing on his little mousy bottom.” Wait no!  That’s not supposed to happen!” And he did it over and over again, until he improved it by landing on one foot hopping around, instead of on his bottom.  His mother sighed, giving up on trying to convince her son.
            The next day, Cheesy struck Fantom with a surprise.  He did his famous move.  But this time his failure was for good.  He fell onto a mini trampoline, sailed up to the ceiling fan, and held on for dear life. 
            The ceiling fan came crashing down right on Fantom!  The cat ran through the backdoor scared to death. 
            The mice colony was saved all because of a brave little mouse named Cheesy.  After that, Fantom never bothered the mice again.  And if he ever did dare tease them, Cheesy was there to save the day again! 

The Angry Cinnamon Roll, by Tyler (2nd grade)

     One early day before school at Panera, a warm, squishy cinnamon roll was hiding at a back table.  He was waiting to bite anyone who thought they would eat him for breakfast.  He was tired of watching his friends disappear.  

     As a kid came to the table, the cinnamon roll chomped the kid's finger nail off to team him a lesson!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Monster Draw Game

     This fabulous On-Demand Writing lesson is a favorite of my students year to year.   Here is how you play:

Step 1: Draw a monster or imaginative creature.  (We do this right before Halloween, so that is usually the theme that comes to mind.)
Step 2: Write a vivid description of your monster, organizing into paragraphs its different features and background scene.
Step 3: Trade descriptions with a partner, and without communicating, attempt to draw the other monster strictly from the descriptive writing.

     This game always results in some good laughs, as students learn the importance of including EVERY detail, and what happens when something important is left out.  This game is played in one class period, so students must work quickly, edit their work, and pace themselves.  Students then vote the following week on which monsters are practically twins!  Winners get blog honors, and here they are!

Anjalia's Monster (5th grade)
     My paper is vertical.  Outline in pencil!

     My monster has a medium-sized circular head about 1 1/2 inches away from the top of the paper.  It is yellow,  It has a green step on the top with three vertical lines on it.  There is a green stem on the top with three vertical lines on it.  There is a green tendril coming out of YOUR right of the stem.  There are two small circles for the eyes.  They are filled in with pencil.  Under that, there is a closed mouth that looks like a medium u.

     Under the head, there is a large circle.  There are two small triangles for eyes filled in with pencil. There is a tiny triangle for the nose.  There is an open, medium-sized mouth shaped like a piece of watermelon that is cut up.   It has two white teeth on top, and three white teeth on the bottom.  The mouth is filled in black.  The large circle/pumpkin is orange.  It has one medium sized arm on either side of it that is shaped like a sideways u with no fingers.  They are orange.  On YOUR right, the monster is holding a circle with three spikes coming out of it for candy.  It is purple.  

     My monster is sitting on a medium, green, round hill.  Under the monster is a red basket with a handle shaped like an upside down u.  The basket part is shaped like the large circle's mouth.  It is red.  In the top left corner, there is a small yellow sun with five yellow lines coming out of it for rays. The sky is blue. 
 These two students have been in 10 of my workshops and have played this game six times, so they are very thorough and great at this game!  Here is what Sammie (5th grade) came up with from her partner's descriptive writing:

Bette's Monster (6th grade)
     My monster's head is the whole body.  She is one great BIG circle.  Her huge circle is outlined with brown, but the inside is pink.  Her eyes are like humans', oval shaped, and also outlined with brown.  The inside of her eyes are blue.  Her eyes are medium shaped.  Her tiny red smile stands under her eyes.  There is no nose.

     She has two cute medium ears.  They line up with her eyes.  They are semi-circle ears, with a smaller semi-circle inside it.  The small semi circle is colored pink, and the rest of the ears are brown.  In between her ears is a medium sized bow.  The center of the bow is brown, and the ribbon part is pink.

     Lined up with the sides of her eyes are two small arms.  They have three fingers on each hand.  The arms are brown.  At the bottom of her body are her feet.  They are two small circles, and they are brown.

     For the background, right above her head is a huge yellow sun.  There are ten points coming out of the sun.  On each side of the sun are two birds.  They are pink.  The ground is a plain light green.
 These 6th graders have been with me a long time, and are such careful writers and readers.  Adeline (6th grade) read Bette's clear description so carefully that she came up with this twin!

Josh's Monster (5th grade)
      My monster is a happy guy.  His head is magenta and spiky.  Five spikes to be exact.  He has one orange-yellow eye about the size of a button in the middle of his face.

     He has no eyebrows, and has one black pupil about the diameter of a pencil eraser.  He has no nose.  His mouth is a big smile.  The inside of his mouth is black, and has three oval teeth.  He has no bottom teeth.  His teeth are white.  He has no tongue.  

     He has two oval arms that stick out of his body.  They are white with ten magenta polka-dots on each arm.  They are located next to the smile.  His hands are magenta and shaped like horse shoes.

     His pants take up half of his body.  They have a thin green belt.  They have ten blue diagonal stripes.  His feet, which look like Pac-Man looking down, are magenta.

     There is a silver crescent moon on the upper right-hand corner.
Amazing, Josh!  This was his first time ever playing The Monster Draw Game.  He wrote so clearly, that his awesome artist partner Sasha (6th grade) produced this:

 Niki's Monster (6th grade)
     My monster is small and in the middle of the page.  He is a smiley face that is a circle with gray skin, two small black dots as eyes, and one big smile.  He has no teeth or tongue.  He has three blue spikes on top of his head.
     Next he has two short blue sticks for arms and legs.  For hands, he has turquoise mittens.  He has no feet.
     He is standing on a gray snow capped mountain that is floating on a cloud.  The cloud is white outlined in gray.  Tilting to the left of the monster is a short gray stick.  On it is orange shorts, a blue shirt, and an orange jack-o-lantern.  The jack-o-lantern has three black stripes, one triangle eye, and a straight line with two fangs.  On its head is a brown witch's hat and a light green tendril sticking out.  The tendril has two loops facing the monster. 

     Way up in the left upper corner is a bright, small circle.  In that are ten black dots.  On the right upper corner is a medium sized black bat.
One of my youngest students, Archer (3rd grade), got partnered with Niki and read so carefully that he drew this!
Congratulations to our winners!

Research Papers

     What better way to learn how to write a research paper than with a topic that you only have to use your creative brain to find the answers?  Research papers can be tricky, but this fun twist on "research" teaches my students how to organize their reports into:
Body Paragraphs (2-4)

     The Backwards Animal Paragraphs we wrote for Assignment #2 were our inspiration for our Research Papers.  Enjoy these two fabulous 6th grade samples!

The Kniks, By Charlotte (6th grade)

     Kniks are quite the unique animal.  Connecting a large leaf to a stick, they form a type of shelter in their forest homes.  The Knik's diet is rather unusual, and consists mostly of protein bars.  To add to the strangeness of this animal, they are often called the San Francisco Giants Team Mascot, because of their orange and black bodies.  Kniks are truly a weird sight!

     Kniks will thrive in any forest, but they prefer large leaves for homes.  Their shelter is quite small, as they only use it in the rain.  Luckily, they have no natural predators.  This is most likely because they would always be outnumbered.  Unfortunately, Kniks' habitat- literally any forest- is getting cut down.  To learn more, visit www.thisisnotarealwebsite.com, and join the Knicks Support Group!

     This animal's diet consists mainly of food either stolen or given by campers or hikers.  Favorite snacks of these critters include protein bars and marshmallows.  Because of marshmallows' and protein bars' tricky wrappers, the Kniks have learned how to open almost any type of container.  Sometimes, they crave S'mores, and come up to campers to get some for themselves.  They can get clumsy, however, and catch their wings on fire!  Don't worry though, because strangely, they can not feel anything on this part of their bodies.  To help extinguish the flame, nearby Kniks carry water in their beaks, and drop it on the friend on fire.

     The Kniks is a very social creature.  You can always see them with a few others at least, most likely with another family.  Hanging out with his or her friends, they use a complex language that is unique to their species.  Because they cannot fly, the Kniks enjoy "sleepovers," where one of them visits another tribe for the night.  As you can see, Kniks just love one's company!

     Kniks look quite strange.  With their bright red wings and pitch black tail tip, you could easily imagine one soaring through the sky, even though they can only glide a few feet from one tree to the next.  They are often called the San Francisco Giants mascot because of their orange skin and black feet, wing ends, and tail tips.  When the Kniks feel the need to be dramatic, they glide in front of the full moon as the others stare in awe.  This odd animal is not something you would see every day.

     Obviously, Kniks are very unusual.  Make sure you help these odd bat-like creatures by helping the Kniks Support Group!  Visit our web site to learn more about these social forest dwellers!

The Worraps, by Tyler (6th grade)
     The Worraps is a very feared beast.  Its scary appearance, gruesome diet, and sinister habitat put it on the top of the Most Dangerous and Strange Animal List!

     This monster is very scary-looking.  He wears his slick purple skin and gold helmet rather well.  His red eyes reflect the blood of his victims.

     Alongs with its looks, its diet is very gruesome.  It will eat whatever comes near, and it really likes human flesh.  The interesting thing is not what it hunts, but how it hunts.  He (and only he, for female worraps do not wield this ability), can turn nearly invisible and blend into the ground.

     The Worraps' habitat is very exotic.  The beast lives in the ocean or around the beach like on cliffs or rain forests.  The ocean allows the Worraps to get the most food due to the fish that live there.  The cliffs provide hard kills, but good meat from birds.  The rainforest gives a big variety of meats, but is also hard to hunt in.

     Now that you know all about the Worraps, go be the first one to hunt a Worraps without being killed in the process!

Monday, October 31, 2016

An Interview with a Pumpkin

     October brought a fabulous lesson in personification!  The AAA students learned all about growing pumpkins.  We studied all of the steps, from planting, to flowers, to pollination, to growth.  Then, we imagined what a pumpkin might feel like during this whole process.  We then "interviewed" a pumpkin, and had fun creating voice, mood, and of course, the pumpkin's end to life.  Enjoy these fantastic samples!

Pumpkin Interview
by Rayne (4th grade)

Rayne:  Hi, my name is Rayne.  Thank you for meeting me here.

Sugarspice:  You’re welcome.  My name is Sugarspice.

Rayne:  What a beautiful name that is!

Sugarspice:  Thank you so much.

Rayne:  Okay, let’s start right at the beginning.  Can you tell me the earliest thing that you can remember?

Sugarspice:  Oh yes, I remember it like it was yesterday.  One day I woke up from a nice long nap and saw light.  The next thing I knew a small hand was pulling me and my family out of this brown bag thing.I got stuffed in the ground and it was very dark!  Then this wet stuff hit my head and got me all wet.  I was soaked.  After a while, I grew two lovely pigtails and my mom told me they were called seed leaves. 

Rayne:  I bet you looked gorgeous with pigtails.  Did these seed leaves change at all?

Sugarspice:  Yes, my seed leaves did change.

Rayne:  What did they change into?

Sugarspice:  My seed leaves turned into vine leaves.  The vine leaves pricked me a couple of times.  Then my vine leaves grew and grew.  Then a tendril tried to latch on to everything around me.  Then this flower-like thing began to grow, on my head and I finally realized it was a yellow flower.

Rayne:  That’s very interesting.  Please tell me more.

Sugarspice:  Then a little green ball appeared at the bottom of my flower.  My mom told me I was going to become a pumpkin.  Then my mom said I had to be pollinated.  So, a bee came buzzing toward me and pollinated me.

Sugarspice:  After a week or so my flower fell off. 

Rayne:  Did you get scared?

Sugarspice:  I didn’t really feel anything so I guess it didn’t hurt.  I thought I was sick because I was green.  But after a little while, I turned orange and white.  Eventually, I got chopped off the vine.  It hurt very very badly! 

Rayne:  Sounds painful.

Sugarspice:  It was!  But then I got beautiful lace painted delicately around the bottom of my stem, and now I’m here with you.  Thank you for interviewing me.

Rayne:  You’re welcome.

Pumpkin Interview
By:Bette (6th grade)

Bette: It’s a pleasure meeting with you today Ms.October. You’re quite beautiful, and I love that color on you.

Ms.October: Thank you so much. You’re not so bad yourself. I’m very happy with the way I turned out. The journey was quite worth while.

B: Let’s dig into this journey, what do you first remember?

Ms.O: Well, It’s quite a far time back, but I do recall hearing a slice of scissors, then being blinded by sunlight. I saw a small girls face, her brown frizzy hair blocking most of it. She ran over to the yard and started to create a hole in the ground. From there I was thrown into the darkness, and quickly covered up.

B: I see. Do you recall anything after that?

Ms.O: I do recall being quite parched. That little girl must have some super power, because three seconds later I was drenched in the cold water.

B: Oh thank goodness! How long in the darkness did you stay?

Ms.O: Although it felt like forever, about 1 week. By Sunday I had the funniest green colored hair.

B: Wow, how exciting! What do you remember after that?

Ms.O: I thought I was growing longer hair, but the girl called them tendrils. These weird things never stopped growing. They would latch on to everything they could! It was amazing!

B: Oh! How long did they stay like that?

Ms.O: Eventually they stopped growing and out of nowhere, a golden flower had sprouted on the top of my head!

B: Truly magnificent! What happened next?

Ms.O: I remember feeling a small ball on the end of my flower. It was the darkest color of green.

B: Awesome! What happened to the flower?
Ms.O: Oh, the scariest thing. One minute all was quiet, then the air was filled with this horrible buzzing! I was landed on. This thing was furry, black and yellow. It threw this orange stuff on me, and like magic about 1-2 weeks later, my flower had disappeared.

B: Wow! How frightening! What else do you remember?
Ms:O: I started to get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. I was green at first, then became the brightest color of red. After, small bumps began to appear on me, and then here I am.

B: What a terrific story! How do you expect to end your life?

Ms.O: Something about being decorated, the girl said.  I honestly can’t wait!

B: Amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to come here today!

Ms.O: You’re most welcome!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fantastic Paragraph Writing!

     Both "Budding" and "Awesome" classes had a fantastic lesson in paragraph writing.  To find an interesting subject matter, we brainstormed real animals and spelled them backwards on the board.  Our new and imaginative animals were then the subject of our paragraphs!  The younger classes answered some brainstorm questions about appearance, diet, habitat, and activities.  When they were done brainstorming, they were given goals appropriate to their grade level in regards to how many sentences to write.  Everyone learned how to do a conclusion sentence using strong adjectives.  Check out these awesome samples!  (And see if you can figure out the original animal's names!)
By Nathan, 1st grade:
     My animal's name is the Nihplod.  My animal has a telescope.  My animal eats boxes of toys.  My animal lives in a burrow.

By Tyler, 2nd grade:
     My animal's name is the Rehtnap.  Its colors are black, orange, and blue.  Its eyes are blue.  My animal is furry and has an orange hat.  This ferocious creature eats alligators and crocodiles.  He lives in the jungle.  The Rehtnap looks for people to pet it.  The Rehtnap is black, furry, orange, and nice to people and other animals (besides alligators and crocodiles!)

     The "Awesome" classes were challenged by being given strict guidelines to follow at paragraph writing time.  While it may sound restrictive to be limited to five sentences with specific sentence patterns, this lesson taught the students to vary their sentence starters and patterns to keep their writing interesting.   The key was to be creative within the parameters given.  They did a fantastic job.  Check out these imaginative animals!

By Amelia (3rd grade)
      The Lahwran is fierce and aggressive.  Its tail is sharp and poisonous.  Swimming through the ocean, its horns glow a brilliant gold.  Because its teeth are so sharp, all the sea creatures swim away in fright.  Although it can be scary, it only eats when it is hungry!

By Danika (4th grade)
     The Elahw is a very unique creature.  Its diet is different than any other creature.  It eats only candy corn that's read, white, and blue!  While it's eating candy corn, it stands up on two legs and wags its tail.  What a wild diet this Elahw has!

By Sophia (5th grade)
     The Yttik is the most beautiful animal in the world.  It is swan-shaped, has peacock feathers, scarf-shaped feathers on her neck, and a little foof of hair on its head.  It is so beautiful, that even the scariest predators can't bear to touch it!  While it glides across the clear, blue water, the Yeti's feathers glimmer in the moonlight.  The Yttik is a lovely, unique bird.

By William (6th grade)
     The Elgae lives deep in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.  Living in the Bermuda Triangle is difficult because there are no fish there, but he finds a way to eat.  It's hard to find food, so sometimes he travels out to other regions to find his meals.  When he hunts, he sometimes finds a pack of fish.... YUMMM!  Then he will travel back to the Bermuda Triangle and rest, awaiting new adventures.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

"Sunny Sentences:" How to Add Description to our Writing!

We are off to another fabulous start in "Budding Authors and Artists" (grades 1-3) and "Awesome Authors and Artists" (grades 3-6).  Our first assignment focused on the power of a single sentence.  Our job as writers is to paint a clear picture in our reader's mind; exactly what we want them to see.  How do we do that?  With……
~where phrases and clauses
~when phrases and clauses
~creative sentence starters

We started this assignment with a base sentence: a "boring sentence" that has the grammatical components to be a complete sentence, but lacks any description or excitement:
The sun shines.
 Step 2 was to add modifiers to our sentences, one at a time, while our peers helped us pick the best ones  in the most outstanding order.  It was a wonderful lesson, with great results.  These students know how important it is to use vivid, descriptive language to make their writing more exciting!  Check out a few samples from various grades.

Hewitt, 1st grade:
The big circular yellow sun shines warmly in the blue sky in the afternoon.

Maxine, 2nd grade:
The bright yellow sun shines happily on the playground at noon when I'm taking a nap.

Claire, 4th grade:
 Because it is twilight, the blinding yellow sun shines brightly on a field of wild flowers.

Joshua, 5th grade:
Because it is summer, the jubilant yellow sun shines brightly over the rainbow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Another Workshop Ends!

Wow, those four months flew by!  It's now time for our Publishing Parties, where the students receive their portfolios with all the work they created.  They designed their own covers, and I am sharing one of my favorites because it reflects how much this student, Lucy (5th grade) enjoyed this session.  Students get to choose adjectives that reflect their work, and also design a central picture.  I bet you can guess what I love about Lucy's artwork.  (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Thanks for a great year, everyone!  Happy Summer!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Squiggle Line Stories

     This is always a favorite assignment!  The children get to pick from a pile of papers with squiggle lines on them.  They can turn the paper any direction they'd like, and then create a picture out of the design.  It is always so fun for me to see how different kids take the same shape and create completely different pictures out of it!  

     After art time, the students brainstorm the 5W's and H of writing for their story:
Who is in my picture
What is happening
Where my picture is taking place
When the action is happening
Why the action is happening
How the story plays out/ends

     Here are some fabulous pictures and stories from across the grades!

The Rocket, by Gabriel (1st grade)

      On the astronaut's birthday, the rocket went to space.  The rocket went through lightning into space.  The astronaut thought about how cool the moon would be when he landed on it.  It took him so long to get back to Earth that he was a whole year older!

The Worm and the Mother Bird, by Alyssa (2nd grade)
     One day, at 1:00 pm in the spring, a red, soft, fluffy bird with a bright yellow beak was hunting forever for yummy, crunchy food.  She was looking for food for her babies and some for her.  The worms are smart and tricky.  Her cute baby birds always get the yummy food, and she never gets it.  Then, the mother bird found a slimy worm.  She flew fast and swooped in as fast as she could, and finally she got her yummy food!  She finally got her lunch.

Brownie, by Saviana (2nd grade)
     One hot summer day, a dog named Brownie was in a green field.  He caught a smell.  A smell like..... just a smell like something sweet.  He went across the field, so full of flowers he almost lost the smell!  Brownie followed it and sniffed as hard as he could.  He wanted something to chew on, his teeth were begging him.  What was that smell, he didn't know either.  

     "Brownie!" called the farmer.  "Time to eat!"  

     He rushed to the porch and ate his lunch so fast, he didn't know his stomach was hurting.  He just thought about finding that smell!  He went back to the field and followed the smell.  Finally, he got to it!  He dug one foot then, there right before his eyes he saw a bone!  Happy and tired, he went home.

My Fluffy Bunny, by Rayne (3rd grade)
     One beautiful sunny morning, Brownie went out for a stroll down the road.  She was a little hungry, so she looked around on her walk.  She saw a worm, and she thought it would taste like the dump!

     Then the bunny passed a nut.  She tried it, and it tasted like cardboard to her!  So, she went along with her walk.  She didn't see anything for a while.  The only thing she saw was a fox, so she decided to take another trail.

     Then she saw Cat.  Cat was going for a walk, too, but then Cat saw a mouse, and went after it.  Brownie was sad that she had not found anything to eat for herself.

     Then, she saw an apple tree.  She went over to the tree, and saw juicy, yummy apples.  She reached up, and grabbed an apple.  Then she smelled and tasted the apple.  It smelled delicious, and tasted like it was perfectly ripe, so she ate it and went home.  She was no longer hungry!

Hungry Chubby, by Daniella (3rd grade)
      Chubby was sleeping with her mom.  Her mom couldn't sleep because her little cub's tummy was grumbling so loudly her ears were about to pop!

     Mrs. Polar Bear said loudly, "You go get some food!"

     Chubby walked as she saw the full moon and got even hungrier because she thought that it was cheese.  Chubby ran to a little circle in the ice that was cracked.  There she saw three little fish named Scared, Scream, and Help.  She licked her lips and said, "This is going to be easy."  As she snatched three small fish in her huge paw, they screamed, "Help!" and "I'm scared!"

     As she walked back to her mom, she stuffed the three fish in her mouth, and said, "Yum."  Then she lay on her mom's nice warm belly and went back to sleep.

The Snake, by Samantha (4th grade)
     "Yes!  I see it!  I'm not hallucinating!" said evil Dean DeVil.  "Cruel is going to be so happy!  Ever since we married, we've been itching to make a real snake skin dress line!"

     Giddy with happiness, Mr. DeVil inched toward the innocent snake.

     With reflexes like a cat, Mr. DeVil snatched the snake.  The poor snake squirmed and struggled, but it could not escape Mr. DeVil's strong grip.

     Cackling piteously, Mr. DeVil brought the snake to his evil private lab.  Mr. DeVil chained the frightened snake to the operation table.

     Just as Mr. DeVil was about to slice the scared snake in half, his evil Henchmen arrived.  While the women distracted Mr. DeVil, the snake found out that the chains were actually made out of metal shavings!  Small, carefully placed magnets were holding the chains together.

     Hope ignited in the snake's heart.  He bravely knocked a magnet out of place with the tiny tip of his tail.  To his delight, the chains fell apart!  Happily, he slithered to the door.

     He stopped dead.  Mr. DeVil was running towards him!

     He slithered towards the exit, his heart beating loudly over the sound of the minions' cries.  One inch left..... He made it!

     Happy again, the snake slithered into the garden.  Never, EVER to be bothered again by Mr. DeVil!

Sophie Squiggle, by Adeline (5th grade)

     Sophie was staring at the mirror, trying to adjust her magenta bow just right.  It was Picture Day at her school, so she was also practicing her smile.  But not just any smile.  A smile she could keep on her face while trying to see her bow at the same time.  All while having the same exact adorable face she always has.  It was hard, and if you tried to do it, you would probably give up in two minutes.  But Sophie was trying, because all of her pictures in the yearbook didn't have her cute bow in it, and plus, she was always frowning in frustration, trying to keep her bow in the picture.

     "Sophie!  The bus is here!" her mother called.

     "Coming!" Sophie shouted back.  "Ugh.  My stupid giant head," she thought as she climbed up the steps of the school bus.  "It's always ruining everything, even my school picture."

     "Okay, Class, it's time to go," her teacher announced.  She led all of the young aliens to the area with just a whole bunch of reddish-brown dust.

     "Sophie Squiggle!" the photographer called.

     Sophie squirmed up in front of the camera, and did what she practiced all morning.  When Sophie started to scrunch up her face, she relaxed and glued on her perfect smile.  Then she stared up at her head and frantically tried to move her head to the perfect position so that her bow would show.  But right in the middle of when Sophie was perfecting that: CLICK!  The photographer had taken the picture!

     "Next!" The photographer shouted, and the next alien walked up.

     When Sophie came home, she saw her picture and realized two things.  One, her bow wasn't in the picture.  But luckily, she was wearing her adorable smile and looking the cutest she could be.  And that is all that counts!

Henry Gets Bullied, By Ahnika (6th grade)

     Once there was a Hippo named Henry who loved to eat flowers. He would graze in the fields alone in the sunny afternoons, and dance in the evening underneath the shining moon. Henry was a very kind hippo, but his friends were not so nice. They always teased him until he would cry, and they would laugh when he ran away to his mommy.

Henry eventually quit school and got home schooled by his grandma. His grandma Heather was sweet and caring, and helped Henry feel better about his troubles at school.

It had now been a year since Henry went to regular school. Henry was happy and full of spirit again and forgot all about his mean friends at school. Until he saw them again when he was on his regular afternoon grazing routine. Henry immediately tensed up and got ready for the avalanche of hurtful words to come. But Henry was surprised to hear what they said.

Henry’s old friends apologized for their bad behavior and asked Henry for his forgiveness. Henry stood still, amazed at what happened. He gave a nod with tears in his eyes.

     The bullies’ faces got sad when they saw him crying, “I am just so happy,” Henry said. “I am coming back to school!” he exclaimed. The bullies’ faces lit up. After Henry returned to school, his enemies became his friends.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pledge of Allegiance Translation

How many kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have NO idea what they are saying?  The "Budding" class got to translate the Pledge into language they could understand!  After studying definitions and picking the ones that would fit best, the students began to recite a Pledge that contained words that helped them understand the importance of the words they were reciting!
After learning the vocabulary, they got to color and design flags, and glue them above their words.  Here is a beautiful sample done by Tiffany (3rd grade.)

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, undivisible, with freedom and fairness for all.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Great Inventions!

     In honor of Thomas Edison's birthday on February 11th, the students were to come up with a  creative invention that would help improve their lives, the lives of others, or perhaps even the entire world!  They started off with a story map that would eventually lead to their 5-paragraph essay.  (The Budding Authors and Artists filled in the blank with a similar outline.)   The paragraph topics were:
1. Introduction: Name and briefly describe your invention
2. More details/how it works
3. Whom your invention would help
4. Other important or cool facts
5. A conclusion that would make the reader want to buy your invention!

It was very difficult to pick my favorite inventions!  So many of these would improve my own life!  Would you buy any of these products?

The Barry Bonds Bat, by Tyler (1st grade)

     If I were a great inventor, I would invent a Barry Bonds Bat.  It would help people always hit home runs.

     First, you would tap it and it will wake up.  Next, it will be ready to bat.  Then when you swing at any ball, you will hit a home run!

     My invention would help anyone in baseball and softball.

     The bat would change to any colors you want for boys and girls, and it would only be $4.

     I think my Barry Bonds Bat would be helpful to a lot of baseball and softball players!

My Invention, by Alex (2nd grade)

     If I were a great inventor, I would invent a Talking Floating Ducky.  It tells whose turn it is if you have a brother or sister when you are playing a game.

     First, you squeeze the floating ducky, and it turns on.  Next, it floats in the air.  Then, it tells whose turn it is.  Finally, you poke it, and it floats down and sleeps.

     My invention would help younger brothers and sisters if they have a hard time taking turns.

     It costs $12.69.

     My Talking Floating Ducky would be marvelous!


My Identical Twin Helper, by Danika (3rd grade)

     If I could create a new invention, it would be the "Identical Twin Helper."  It helps people that have identical twins and can't tell which one is which.

     "The Identical Twin Helper" is a toothbrush shaped item that would work like this.  You slide the button in the middle.  Then you push the black button on the bottom.  Next, you put the toothbrush in their mouth.  Slide the button up, and their name will appear!

     My invention would help every parent that has twins.  Teachers, coaches, and doctors would find it handy too.

     The toothbrush costs $10 and comes in one size.  The colors are purple, pink, blue, green, black, yellow, white, red, and orange.

     This invention will definitely help you if you have identical twins and can't tell which one is which.  My invention is amazing!

The Astounding Dish-Table, by Flo (4th grade)

     Aren’t you always complaining about having to do the dishes? Or having to set the table? Well you can kiss your troubles goodbye with the all-new Dish-Table!

     Here is how this staggering invention works. First, you press the “set table” pedal and any dish you’d need would pop up. After that, you can pick up the plate, serve food on it, and eat your meal. Next, you would step on the “wash” pedal. Your food would automatically be scraped off your plate, your plate will be washed, and would be prepared for the next time you set the table.

     This creation would help anyone who has ever needed a helping hand with the dishes, or just didn’t have the time or desire to do the dishes.

     The starting price for this product is $1,500 USD. You can order a rectangular, circular, white, black, formal, or wood-styled Dish-Table. A cool fact is that the Dish-Table is solar powered, so it’s great for the environment.

     This miracle-working table will minimize disagreements around the world. No more arguments about who’s turn it is to wash the dishes!

The Flavor Changer, by Morgan (5th grade)

     Are you a parent that gets stressed at every meal time?  Well, fear no more!  The "Flavor Changer" is a new hi-tech chip that you can place in your child's mouth.  Every parent would have one less problem to stress about if they purchased this awesome product!

     The "Flavor Changer" changes the flavor of a food your child doesn't like.  All they have to do is think of a flavor, such as chocolate, and as soon as they bite down, the flavor sprays all over their mouth.  The best part about it, is that it has the same healthiness as the food with the original flavor! The chip uses mini suction cups to stick to the child's mouth.  They can't feel it there, and you can take it out at any time.

     This new invention would help picky eaters and annoyed moms who want their kids to eat a balanced meal.  Imagine how much easier yours and your child's life could be!

     The "Flavor Changer" comes in five different colors: red, blue, purple, green, and black.  It is only $7.99 for 21 in each pack, one for each meal of the week.  As a bonus, it comes with different suction cups that you can switch out, and a case!

     My invention would be a stress-relieving product for picky eaters and parents everywhere!

"No Regrets," by Rebecca (6th grade)
     Have you ever stayed up at night, wondering what would happen if you had done something else? Well, worry no more!  Now with the brand new "No Regrets" invention, you can live with one giant weight lifted off your shoulders.

     "No Regrets" is a small tablet or a large machine, depending on your preference.  Activating this machine is as easy as the simple tap of your finger.  There are two modes: decision-making and alternate-ending mode.  In decision-making mode, you can scroll back to the desired time.  Then, you can interact with the others and relive that moment.  When alternate-ending mode is activated, you can remake your decisions without it altering your current state.  You can then see the future after that decision, either in slo-mo, normal speed, or elapsed time.  You can change between the options at any time.  The uses of "No Regrets" are both handy and plentiful!

     This machine can help people of all shapes and sizes.  For example: students.  They can retake a test or choose a different work partner.  Adults can use it to apply to a different college or job, and decide on a different major.  Anyone and everyone across the globe can benefit from this invention.

     Don't fret if you fear you won't enjoy the basic look and style.  There are multiple options!  Colors include chartreuse, burgundy, crimson, teal, silver, gold, black, and white.  Sizes range from small to large, weak to powerful.  You can get it with buttons or a touch screen.  There are several charging options: solar, manual, batteries, or plugged in.  This invention is fully customizable!

     Whoever you are, wherever you are, your life can be improved by the "No Regrets" invention.  Live life with No Regrets!