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, 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.