Welcome to our Authors and Artists blog! This is a web site for my "Budding Authors and Artists" (grades 1-2) 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!
We are off to another great start in the "Authors and Artists" classes! The "Budding Authors and Artists" are in 1st and 2nd grade, and the "Awesome" class includes 3rd, 4th, 5th, and at one school, 6th graders. I love starting every session with a strong sentence writing activity. This year, the "Budding" students took the base sentence "The Sun Shines" and turned it into a sentence that had adjectives, adverbs, where's, and when's! This is actually an amazing feat for 6 and 7 year olds! The "Awesome" class picked their own noun and verb, and made what we call a "boring" sentence. They added phrases, clauses, adjectives, adverbs, and even learned how to correctly start a sentence with "Because." The "Budding" class tried this in a simpler form, on Week 2. It was also fun to do art to match! Enjoy these samples.
What would it be like to live a day in the life of an object we use, see, or play with every day? That was the goal of my amazing authors as one of our final assignments. Enjoy these samples!
My Life as a Rainbow, by Sammie (5th grade)
Light. Wind. Life. Those are the first things I saw, heard, and felt. The light shined on me as if I were singing on stage with the spot light gleaming. The wind bustled up against my colorful skin as if I were the streets of a busy city, and the wind was my people. My life sprung through me, colors rushing briskly. I looked around and smiled brightly myself. A new day had begun. A new day had begun to make people happy.
I couldn’t quite figure out why the people were bustling about, but the reason popped up right in front of my nose soon enough. A large, mopey, sad, depressed, cloud drifted over, spraying everyone with her tears. “Hello! Hello? Hi! Are you okay?” I nearly shouted. But, the cloud couldn’t hear me because of her ear-peircing howls. I continued to shout at her to try to get her attention. It didn’t work. Finally, when the cloud took a break of weeping, I tried again. “Hi! I’m Sammie the rainbow! You are a- a depressing cloud, aren’t you.”
Surprisingly, she wept out again and said, “I already feel bad enough. Just leave me alone!” Well of course she felt bad already! She was drenching the people in her tears!! This cloud looked so sad, I needed to comfort her~ but the moment I got ready to touch her, all my color got drained from me, and all my happiness was gone. I backed away warily. Phew! My happy, colorful, up-lifting self was back. The cloud’s moans were back.
What should I do? I followed the cloud down to the edge of town. Underneath her, the people ducked under coverings and under umbrellas. I felt so bad I couldn’t help, but only send them a cheesy smile. People started actually clapping, as if I were the hero to stop the villain. The good news of my arrival spread through the town as fast as a juice box spilling and spreading across the concrete.
It was my time. My time to stop this horrible cloud. I took a deep breath and asked, “Why are you showering the people in your tears?” I was so scared at what the answer would be, that I closed my eyes and imagined I was on a fluffy white cloud made of cotton candy with unicorns dancing around me. And that the sky was a beautiful pink, red, and orange and the sun setting.
The cloud finally turned to look at me and moaned, “Oh, because I dropped my triple scoop, with sprinkles on top, and chocolate covered cone on the ground right on top of a person. It was specially made for me!” she cried. “I was just having my first lick when a bird bumped into me.” Oh! So that was why she was crying.
“I don’t blame you!” I whispered. “I would cry too. What type of ice cream was it? I love mint chocolate chip.” I clapped my hands like a little toddler. Maybe I was being too curious. I crossed the end of my rainbow hands; hoping that she wouldn’t start to cry again. The people looked up curiously to see what was happening. A lot of them looked thankful; and drenched. The sun started to come up, and my colors shown vibrantly and beautifully. Flowers started to open and puppies stated to come out to play.
“I like mint chocolate chip, too! I got that one.” She pointed down at a huge teal with chocolate chips blob on the ground. A little girl was licking it up happily. She was “inside” the ice cream, because it was so big. Her mom was trying to tempt her to get out of it. I smiled to myself.
The raging rain storm was over. All was well.
Dragon Kite, by Charlotte (6th grade)
The wind in my face. The view of the grassy hills and oak trees. All the I, the mighty dragon, am familiar with. See, while I would love to explore and find out more places of this beautiful earth, it seems my wings have a mind of their own. They aren't letting me go much further than a certain child allows.
I'm so high that I am almost completely out os insolent kid's earshot. I can barely hear him babbling about a kite.
"Probably just one of the kites around me," I think to myself. in a deep royal voice.
"Come in for lunch, kids!" I hear a tired mom who would clearly rather spend a day resting say.
See, kids have a very short attention spans. They instantly forget what they were doing before, and rush in to receive their lunches. The child who was previously "flying" me (he holds onto a string that was stopping me from being free) liberates by letting so at last! I take to the skies and feel the increasing wind speed of winds against my face.
I would love to fly away from these people, but, the winds are to sting. Ugh, I feel so trapped in my own body. Uh-Oh. Huge clouds , thundering "booms" followed by flashes of light, and a light mist engulfs me, and takes my mind to freedom. I've seen a storm clouds before and know they are not to be messed with. I want to be free, to fly myself away form the inevitable death that lay before me. My wings seem to have other plans, however.
"Hey, look at that dragon kite heading into the storm!" I hear form a bustling human-infested settlement below me.
What!? "I am no dragon kite!" I want to scream as realization flows through me. Realization and one other thing. "WATER!" I think to myself.
As I get heavier and heavier, I start to plummet to a strident city. "I've been living a lie my whole life. I am no dragon, not even a child's toy. I am just a mere jumble of soaked felt and plastic."
A Day in the Life of a Pencil Sharpener, by Adeline (6th grade)
Ugh. The classroom teacher is opening the blinds. Speaking of blinds, the bright light coming from the window is blinding. But it's the same thing every day, the same horrible things.
Here come the kids. I'm surprised they're not animals, the way they come in here so loudly and unruly. And I'm full too; the teacher forgot to empty me. That means I'm going to be forced to eat more later. I feel like I'm literally about to burst.
Oh no! Here come the kids. It's like a flood of shouting is rushing into the classroom! It's so loud in here.... my ears are going to explode! Thank you, thank you, teacher, for quieting them down. My ears are saved. Ugh; the day has barely begun, and I already feel annoyed and exhausted.
Uh oh.... someone's coming up to me to sharpen their pencil..... No! Don't feed me anymore! BLECK! My insides are all over the round now! "Ahhh!" I hear the kid yell, then see him start crying and shouting for the teacher, who is only a few feet away. Wearily, the teacher walks over and cleans up my barf. Ew, I think. But I feel a lot better now with nothing inside me.
It's early afternoon now, and the kids are working, but very loudly. Some are even yelling across the room, and once again, the classroom is the opposite of quiet and serene. The teacher quiets them again, but this time, there are still whispers, though not very quiet ones. Now the teacher is reading a book to her students, and I listen. This Robin Hood guy sounds really valiant.
Other than the story, I'm really bored. Nothing has really happened today. I can't wait for the day to end, and for the kids to go home. It's only then after everyone is gone, that it is quiet enough for me to sleep. I'm so tired, and there are still about three more hours left in the school day before the kids and the teacher go home and leave me alone so I can sleep. It's so annoying how humans are so noisy.
Ow!! *CHOKE* Gosh, don't be so harsh-- *CHOKE* Why does this girl have to shove her pencil down my throat? *CHOKE CHOKE CHOKE* Why do I have to be so abused? I'm just a poor classroom pencil sharpener! You don't have to be so mean!
Finally, finally, the kids are leaving for the day. I hear the teacher sigh, and for a second, I feel a little bad for her. It's so quiet now that the kids are gone.
I silently thank the teacher while she empties me, and I feel really thankful for her, and that the kids are gone. She closes the blinds of the classroom, and locks the door on her way out. The room is empty, dark, and quiet once again. Tomorrow, the room will, once again, be the opposite of what it is now. I wonder if the ear-piercing noises of the rowdy classroom will appear in my dreams tonight-- or rather, my nightmares.
After studying Thomas Edison and his greatest inventions, the students got to invent their own amazing new product! The "Budding" class wrote one paragraph describing their inventions. The "Awesome" class wrote a five paragraph essay, after outlining: ~a title and brief description ~how their invention would work ~whom it would help ~any interesting features/cost ~a fabulous "sell it" conclusion Here are a few of my favorites across the grades!
The Positive Attituder, by Lucy (6th grade)
What do you see when you look at a city? You see busy people who claim they don't have time, but somehow they find the time to complain. "The Positive Attituder" will prevent these cities from moaning! All you have to do is put these magical earphones on your head and fall asleep. It will create a positive idea about the day ahead.
This phenomenal and easy machine gives you a Can-Do attitude. All you do is put the otherworldly machine over your ears. It plays soft music to lull you to sleep, and once you are asleep, a soothing voice whispers encouraging thoughts into your worthy mind. Then, the next day, you are ready to seize the day!
This wouldn't just help busy, city people. This invention aims high to help any stressed person.
Anyone can get different designs to go on these supernatural earphones. It only costs an undemanding price of $9.99, so it can be affordable for any occupied and thwarted person. The size is also adjustable for any head.
With "The Positive Attituder," anyone can be successful. They can also be inspired to make other beneficial inventions to help improve others' lives!
The Insta-Print, by Ethan (5th grade)
Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847. He was a great American inventor who made the light bulb. Thomas Edison's light bulb changed the industrial world. This new machine called the Insta-Print will change the world forever, too!
Have you ever heard a student say, "Ugh! I'm done with my rough draft, but now I have to write a final copy." Or, "I don't have enough ink to make then copies. I wish I had a printer that doesn't use any ink." Or, "I wish printers didn't have cords, didn't malfunction, and I also wish printers were easy to set up." With the Insta-Print, these complaints will never be said again!
The Insta-Print is very easy to use. First, write your notes, essays, or draw a drawing. Next, choose your paper type, color, and size. Then, choose black and white, or color. Fourth, push "print," and wait five seconds. Then, the thing you want to print will be printed!
This invention would help 1st-12th graders most. But this invention can help artists, authors, or anyone who wants to write a paper only once!
The Insta-Print is only $34.99 and is available on Amazon, Prime-Now, and EZ Buy. It is also available in retail stores like Target, Walmart, Costco, and Safeway. The Insta-Print comes in fifteen modern colors. It can fold up and fit in your pocket! This Insta-Print is different from a printer because the Insta-Print does not need ink, and is cordless. You might think, "Then I guess it needs batteries instead of cords." If you thought that, you are wrong! It does not need batteries! The Insta-Print is easy to set up as well. It's perfect!
Next time, when you need an essay or school paper, it will be PERFECTLY easy!
Painless Teeth Toothbrush and Toothpaste Set, by Sasha (4th grade)
Don't you want your wiggly teeth to come out painlessly? Well, buy the Painless Teeth Toothbrush and Toothpaste. It makes your loose teeth come out without any discomfort.
The Painless Teeth products are easy to use. You put the toothpaste on the brush and brush your teeth. It will not make all of your teeth come out. It works for loose and wiggly teeth only. You wait one minute, and the tooth falls out painlessly.
This invention would help millions of kids all over the world. No more hurting teeth? That would be heaven! If you're a parent, wouldn't it be nice to not have a screaming child yelling at you when you are trying to pull out their loose teeth?
You can get this product in any color. One dollar less if you get it in blue. One dollar more if you get it pink. You can customize the color and the flavor!
Never have painful loose teeth again!
The Book Jumper, by Daniella (4th grade)
How many times have you ever wanted to
play a character in a book? Well the Book Jumper is for you!
the easy steps which you have to follow to make the Book Jumper work. You would
get the book and it would scan your face. This screen would appear with a
keyboard next to the screen. Next you would type in the name of the book you
want to go into, and the character's name you desire to play. You would open
the book to find a whirling tornado. It would cover most of the room. You would
do the biggest jump you can imagine. Then you would find yourself spinning in
every direction. Finally, you could see the setting of the book. You get to
play the character you chose for the whole year.
This invention would help all book lovers because you can get to
know the book better and you can experience all of the feelings that the
character has. It would also help the Authors of the book because all the
people who go in the book would give feedback to the Author.
This invention has many cool facts. There’s no cost, and the book
jumper would appear when needed. The design would appear when you type in the
name of the book, (the design that sutes the book will appear). Even if you’re
a girl, you can play a boy! The book is magical, so it can read your mind and
see if you want to change a boy to a girl, or the other way around. It even
works on all comics. If you only watched the movie, you can’t use it, and
if you never even read the book (you’re sad in my opinion) you can never use
the book jumper!
Think about it; going to fictional,
foreign lands that only you can say, “That’s my dream come true!”
The "Awesome Authors and Artists" participated in a fun persuasive writing/speaking assignment. Week #1, they learned all about Thomas Edison's most famous inventions, and formed groups based on their opinions on which one was THE most important. They wrote essays together (or sometimes separately, if no one chose to agree with them), using teamwork and research to come up with the best arguments. Week #2, the students met with their group to fine tune and add any new arguments, and then had fun debating with a speech and a question/answer session. I gave the students the option of symbolically joining someone who had persuaded them so well that their minds got changed. (I say "symbolically," because they were a little worried they would have to write a second paper! I made sure to let them know that all they had to do was get up and join that new group in spirit!) Sophia (5th grade) was one of those students who started this assignment off alone, and ended up convincing Sammie and Samantha (5th graders) to join her group due to her persuasive arguments. She also did a great job of proving that Thomas Edison's other inventions wouldn't be possible without this one. Bravo, Sophia! Here is her piece:
The Powerful Power Stations!
I chose the power station as Thomas Edison's most important invention because it controls everything and makes everything work! I hope that you will be convinced that the power station is the best invention by Thomas Edison.
There are tons of power stations everywhere. They are so important! They help run video games, light bulbs, schools, shopping malls, factories, and many more important things that everybody loves.
Without the power station, the world would be dark because of no light at night. Countries that have few hours of sunlight would not be able to see! People would starve to death because of no power to help the refrigerators keep food cold. There would be no light to write stories on the typewriter or to help build the electric train! Kids wouldn't be happy, because they couldn't play with electric toys.
The power stations bring light to the dark world!
Dylan (6th grade), Charlotte (6th grade), and Joseph (5th grade) all agreed that the phonograph was Edison's most important invention. Here is why!
The Phonograph is the best of Thomas Edison's inventions. The Beatles, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC wouldn't be around if not for the phonograph. The phonograph also led to things that we use daily, like CD's and tape recorders. If there were no DVD's, there would be no videos of shows that you forgot to watch in the theater. Also, without the phonograph, there would be no sound from the phone.
Sometimes, if the music is fast, it will make you fast too. If it is slow music, it might have the opposite effect. This can also be a good thing because if somebody has anger issues or someone has high blood pressure, it can make them calm and then lower their blood pressure.
This is why the phonograph is easily, by far, the greatest invention. It inspired other inventions. If not for the phonograph, many other inventions wouldn't exist.
Sophia (3rd grade) picked the invention Edison is most famous for: the light bulb. Enjoy her beautiful introduction, body, and conclusion in this well-organized essay!
The light bulb is very important. This invention changed the world. It really helps light up your day!
The light bulb is used to bring light to billions of houses. Millions of people use its warm glow to light up classrooms. Without the light bulb, this writing club would be held in almost entire darkness. The simple light bulb led to modern lights, like the ones in this classroom. The world needs light!
Candles used to be used instead of light bulbs. They may set fire to paper or wood. They may even set fire to your entire house!
Imagine living in a northern country during winter. You would only have two to three hours of daylight each day! You would be living in vast darkness!
No light bulbs, no streetlights or headlights. No streetlights or headlights, no taking nighttime walks or driving at night. Light bulbs really help light up the world!
I LOVE this simple project completed by my Budding Authors and Artists Classes for Valentine's Day. It's so much fun hearing their creative answers when it comes to sounds, smells, tastes, colors and more! Enjoy the sweetness!
ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES, ADJECTIVES!! Without them, our readers are left with an incomplete picture in their minds. With that theme, the 3rd-6th graders participated in the Snowman Draw Game. Here is how it is played:
Step 1: Draw a snowman with a background.
Step 2: Describe your snowman in paragraph form, from head to bottom, with adjectives that tell SIZE, SHAPE, COLOR, and NUMBER.
Step 3: Trade descriptions with a partner, and try and draw theirs while your partner draws yours!
The winners were judged by the class, and the contests were close. Congratulations to our winners!
Izzy's Snow Family (5th grade)
I have made a snowman family! The first snowman is on your left. He is made of three balls. He has two round black eyes. He has one horizontal orange triangle nose. His smile is five black dots. He has a black hate that is slightly tilted to your left. The circle under the top one has a brown sleeveless vest that is outlined with dark blue. It also has three black buttons going straight down the middle in a vertical line. His arms are brown. They are straight with three little fingers at the end.
There is another snowman on the right. It is a showgirl. She has two round black eyes and a horizontal orange nose. Her smile is three black dots that are slightly moved to your left. She has a small pink bow on your right. She has a pink shirt just like the snowman except it's pink and is outlined in gold. Her arms are straight and brown with three tiny fingers at the ends. On the shirt, there are three dots organized in a vertical line. The bottom circle is a skirt that almost goes down to the end, but doesn't. It is also outlined in gold. It has three gold lines down the middle.
There is also one in the middle. He is a tiny ball not touching the ground. He is high enough off the ground that he can hold his mother and father's hands. His eyes are two circles that are black and tiny. He also has a tiny horizontal orange nose. (All the snowmen's noses are pointing to your right.) He has a hate that is rainbow, but you can only see the the colors red, orange, green, and blue, and there is a tiny yellow propeller at the top. He also has two tiny balls for feet.
The family is standing on pure white snow. The dad is holding a golden rope that is connected to a brown sled. The sky behind them is blue with sixteen tiny golden polka dots.
Izzy's writing was so clear and descriptive, that her partner Sammie (5th grade) drew this!
Josephine's Snow Rabbit (4th grade)
My snowman looks like a rabbit. It has a big ball on the top, and a medium ball on the bottom. It is on a flat snowy ground.
My snow rabbit has two long rabbit ears as long as the head. It has two big pencil coal eyes, a medium coal nose, and a smile made of seven small pieces of coal.
My snow rabbit is wearing a scarf that has alternating red and green stripes. It has two brown sticks as hands, with three fingers. For the feet, it has two small snowballs, a little bigger than the coal eyes.
In the background there is a pine tree on your right, a little taller than the snow rabbit. There is a present on your right also. The present is wrapped in green, with a red ribbon bow. The sky is light blue, with nothing in the sky.
Josephine broke down her parts into such clear paragraphs! Here is what her partner Amelia (3rd grade) drew:
Kavin's Snowman (6th grade)
Draw a small ball at the top of the paper, then a medium ball under, and a huge ball. All balls are gray.
Draw two eyes in the small ball that are gray. Draw five dots and the layout should be in the shape of a mouth. They are gray. Draw a small orange carrot nose, and a gray hat on the top of his head.
Draw three small dots that are gray in the medium ball. Draw a small, red bow at the top. Draw two stick arms. Under the stick arms, draw gray icicles. Draw three gray drops under each tip of the icicles.
There are four snowflakes for the background.
From Kavin's clear writing, Tyler (6th grade) was able to draw this!
We are off to a fabulous start in "Budding Authors and Artists," (grades 1-3) and "Awesome Authors and Artists" (grades 3-6). Our first assignment of every session is to learn how to develop a sentence into one that creates a perfectly clear picture in the reader's mind. We start off with a basic sentence, one that is grammatically complete but very dull to read:
The snowflake falls.
We then add:
~A "where" phrase or clause
~A "when" phrase or clause
~"Awesome" students are taught how to start a sentence with "Because."
After peer editing, which included experimenting with placement of the phrases and clauses for the more advanced writers, the students came up with their final masterpieces. The art aspect included the favorite activity of cutting a snowflake, and adding some glitter glue or stickers for fun. Enjoy these samples across the grades!
The special, pretty snowflake falls softly on my house at night.
Violet, 1st grade
Right when Santa's sleigh leaves, the shiny bright snowflake gracefully falls right at the edge of Santa's chilly home.
Kalea, 2nd grade
During Chinese New Year's Eve, the shiny, delicate snowflake smoothly falls in the cold, chilly air.
Sophia, 3rd grade
Because it is Christmas Eve, the majestic, delicate snowflake falls on to the trees while the children look out the window.
Abigail, 4th grade
While the children are sleeping, the soft and gentle snowflake falls slowly in the early dawn.
Mrs. Huff has taught Language Arts for 19 years. After being a classroom teacher for 12 years, she chose a new career path in teaching writing workshops and tutoring in order to stay home with her young children. She loves teaching creative writing, reading, and grammar. She specializes in teaching elementary school grades, but enjoys assisting older students with their writing as well. She was an English major and PE minor in college and received extensive training in the area of phonics and writing.
Mrs. Huff's hobbies include coaching and playing volleyball and soccer, photography, scrapbooking, writing, and spending time with her family. She also thoroughly enjoys volunteering her time teaching and helping out in her children's classrooms.
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What Parents and Students have said about the workshop:
"The small group environment allowed for lots of personalized attention and immediate feedback. My daughter loved the workshop and came home raving about the creative writing assignments which included group, partner, and individual writing."
"It amazed me how my son was excited to stay after school for an academic-style club. Mrs. Huff made the classroom environment comfortable and light after a long day's work at school, yet encouraged hard work and focus and got the kids to produce great things. We loved the program!"
"I loved Mrs. Huff's teaching style and enthusiasm."
"I never thought I'd hear the words 'awesome' and 'writing' in the same sentence from my son, but that's what he said after the first class."
"My daughter absolutely loved the workshop. It made her think, and challenged her to write something different. She loves writing, and this gave her a scheduled time to do what she loves best with a teacher's guidance. Plus, she loved her teacher!"
"Authors and Artists is my favorite part of the day."
"This workshop is hard work..... but it's fun work!"
"I was very impressed with Mrs. Huff's manner with the children. There was a sense of mutual respect in the classroom between the teacher and students. The students were comfortable and worked hard, but had fun!"