Monday, October 12, 2015

Perfect Paragraphs!

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!

The Adnap, by Drew (1st grade)
     The adnap is yellow, red, brown, green, black, and pink.  It has feathers and wings.  It eats trees and lives on a cliff.  It helps people and jumps.  It is helpful and big!

The Hcirtso, by Saviana (2nd grade)
     The hcirtso is pale orange with black stripes.  My animal eats any animals it can find.  The hcirtso lives in a den in a forest.  My creature has sharp teeth, for biting tough meat.  It's furry, ferocious, and awesome!

The Nooccar, by Alyssa (3rd grade)
     My creature has lovely shades of light blue and pink.  It has braids, balloon-like things, claws, and a flat head.  It eats worms sometimes, but it usually eats sweets.  It lives in an ice cream parlor or a candy shop.  It flies, swims, and wants to be around everyone.  As you can see, my creature is a small, happy, and sweet animal.

     The "Awesome" classes were assigned to write paragraphs with more of a challenge.  After choosing their animal and drawing it, they were to follow a five-step process in order to stay on topic.  Their topics were more specific, and the challenge was to get their ideas down within the five sentence limit.   The purpose of this assignment is to teach that a paragraph must have an introduction and a conclusion that connect.  Also, for my students who tend to get a little wordy, this assignment gave them an exercise in being concise and to-the-point.  Enjoy these wonderful paragraphs and art!
The Yeknom, by Sasha (3rd grade)
     The yeknom looks creative.  It is brown, has a green tail, and has cat ears.  It has red wings with a gold star that helps it fly up on the tree when it can't climb it.  When the yeknom hangs on the tree, it is usually thinking about when it is going to eat some tasty cocoa beans.  I think that it is really interesting!

     The yeknom likes cocoa beans.  He is brown because he eats cocoa beans.  He scampers to them really quickly when he sees them, because he doesn't want anyone to get them!  When you see him lying on the tree, that means he is sleeping (probably dreaming of cocoa beans!)  He seems to crave them all the time!

The Drapoel, by Flo (4th grade)

     The Drapoel is a unique creature.  Her back is covered in fluffy red spots, while the rest of her skin is silky and purple.  She propels herself with the flower-like wheels on her sides.  Whenever the strange fish-bird glides across the ocean floor, she drops one of her rubbery orange teeth.  The Drapoel's eccentric back attacks people from all around the world.

     The Drapoel behaves very oddly.  Although she lives in underwater reefs, at night she burrows in the shore's sand to sleep.  Her swift swimming motion allows for fast transportation.  While the Drapoel glides, she often stops for a bunch of sea grass.  Despite her abstract personality, the Drapoel is as friendly as can be.

The Namuh, by Julia (6th grade)
     The namuh has a unique appearance.  He has a long beak, huge feet, a wild rainbow crest, and sky blue feathers.  He is a large bird, including his chubby round tummy, which reflects his incredible appetite.  Though the namuh has wings, his heavy feet don't allow him to fly, so when attempting to glide through the air, he is constantly knocking everything over because of his uncontrollable jumping and leaping.  Even though he is so large and clumsy, I think he is very cute and darling.

     The namuh eats forty meals a day!  He is actually a dessertarian, which means he only eats desserts.  Popsicles are his favorite, but he really is fine with anything, from chocolate to pineapple right-side up cake!  When craving a snack, he just waddles over to anyone enjoying a treat and asks if they would mind sharing with him.  Often times, when the answer is "no," the namuh just forlornly trots away to find someone with nicer tastes!

     The namuh has a sweet and loving personality.  He has an overly large heart, so at all times he wants to help others, and his kind, affectionate smile melts everyone's hearts.  He's also hilarious; when attempting to dance, his shuffle makes spectators roar with laughter.  He loves the song, "I Don't Like it, I Love It" because it reflects perfectly who he is: outgoing, friendly, and at his peak of happiness when his friends are surrounding him!

The Epoletna, by Jerry (6th grade)

     The Epoletna is a majestic being.  It has huge colorful wings, and has a similar appearance to a cat.  Its horn shines glamorously, so bright that it can be seen in space.  When it flies, its awe-inspiring tail glimmers, sending beautiful sparkles across the sky.  Pictures could never describe his appearance.

     The diet of the Epoletna is quite mysterious.  They eat rainbows!  They are the reason you might see only a half rainbow in the sky.  When a rainbow appears, they come out of hiding and suck the good half of the rainbow.  Isn't that a strange diet?

***Were you able to pronounce these animals, both forward and backward??  Could you tell what the original animals were??***

Name Poems

The "Budding" Class had a wonderful, fabulous, splendid, marvelous lesson on…. you guessed it!  Adjectives!  Here are some fantastic name poems, with adjectives that begin with the letters in each name, perfectly describing these talented students!

~Zach 1st grade

~Alyssa, 2nd grade

~Chloe, 3rd grade

Fabulous Sentence 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 Budding students got "The sun shines."  The Awesome students chose something or someone they loved as the subject, and a free choice verb.  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.

Brady, 1st grade

Kayla, 3rd grade

Izzy, 4th grade

Morgan, 5th grade