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!

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!