Friday, December 14, 2012

The MUSEBOX: Hide Your Walnuts!

Professor Watermelon!

Walnuts! Chestnuts! Peanuts! Hazelnuts! Almonds! Pecans! Cashews!

I WANT NUTS!

Boris Nutcracker


Dear Boris,

With all due respect, I don't know what to tell you. You see, the MUSEBOX is where messages and artifacts are left for my Creative Writers! If you want NUTS, I am sorry to say that you were sent to the wrong address. But I'm sure my Creative Writers will go NUTS over writing a story about you!

Ah La Peanut Butter Sandwich!

Professor Watermelon


Dear Creative Writers!

All main characters WANT something really badly, or the story they star in will simply fall short. I think we have found a great main character in Boris Nutcracker. He definitely WANTS something. Can you write a story about how he goes about getting what he wants? This Creative Writing Challenge is worth $20 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination!

Professor Watermelon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The MUSEBOX: A Gift from Santa's Elves

Greetings Professor Watermelon,

Our North Pole Teddy Bear factory has never been busier. We have stuffed nearly a million Teddy Bears in last week. We wanted to send you a few of these Teddy Bears to share with your Creative Writing students. I'm sure Santa won't mind! We also wanted to ask your Creative Writers if they could write a story about our Teddy Bears and the factory. Do you think they are up for it?

Happy Holidays!

Santa's Elves


Dear Santa's Elves,

I LOVE these Teddy Bears. They are so soft and cuddly! And I'm absolutely certain that my Creative Writing students will LOVE them, too. As for the Teddy Bear stories, you got it. Let's see what my Creative Writers come up with.

Seasons Greetings!

Professor Watermelon


Dear Creative Writers,

You heard them! Santa's elves want some Teddy Bear stories. Can you write one? Maybe your main character is a Teddy Bear. What does this Teddy Bear want more than anything in the world. Who is keeping the Teddy Bear from getting it? You can write your story in the comment section below, or you can bring it to Creative Writing Club. This challenge is worth $20 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

Picture this...

Using the comment section below, write a few paragraphs describing this picture. This creative writing challenge is worth $10 Melon Dollars. Be creative (wink).


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weekly MUSE: Reindeer


Reindeer (Photo by Dawn Endico)
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen.

There is something magical about these names. They make me want to look toward the sky and listen for the sound of sleigh bells.

What’s that? I forgot one? Oh, yes…

RUDOLPH the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

These nine reindeer have been on my mind lately, and they have probably been prancing around in your mind, too. So let’s explore these magnificent creatures called REINDEER!

Reindeer (Photo by Billy Lindblom)
So, why did Santa choose reindeer instead of horses to pull his sleigh? Well, it is just a little too cold for horses at the North Pole. But reindeer thrive in the cold climates of northern Europe, North America, Asia, and Greenland.

Reindeer are herbivores, which mean that they only eat plants. They especially like moss and lichen. Reindeer eat up to twelve pounds of food every day. Imagine eating twelve pounds of pizza!

Reindeer are also the only member of the deer family in which both males and females grow antlers. Sometimes the males can grow antlers reaching five feet tall. Holy Cow… I mean, REINDEER!

Reindeer migrate up to 1,600 miles a year from north to south in the winter and south to north in the summer. This is one of the farthest animal migrations on the planet. At some parts of this migration, reindeer must swim through icy-cold bodies of water. Watch this AMAZING video of some reindeer herders in Northern Norway.



What an extraordinary adventure. Did you see the reindeer’s hooves paddling underwater? If you look closely, you will notice that the hooves are hollow. This helps with swimming and digging for food in the snow.

Also in the video, you saw some very young reindeer. Females give birth to one calf a year. And these calves can stand after just a few minutes, and they are able to move along with their mothers by the next day. WOW! It takes us several months to learn how to walk.

In northwestern Mongolia (Asia), there is a tribe of people known at the Reindeer People. Ancient forests are a part of this region, and the Dukha Tribe believes that their ancestors’ ghosts live in these forests as animals that lead the living. The Dukha people live very closely with the reindeer and rely on them for milk and transportation for hunting.  Sadly, these forests and wildlife are dwindling, which threatens the Dukha’s way of life. Take a look at these photos of the Dukha people.

If you live in the Seattle area, you there are two places that I know of where you can meet some real-life reindeer: The Cougar Mountain Zoo and Swanson’s Nursery.  Ask an adult to check out these websites to plan a visit.

So, let’s get back to Santa’s reindeer – RUDOLPH in particular. I love the story of Rudolph, and if you are currently in Creative Writing Club, there will be an opportunity to buy the movie with your Melon Money. In the meantime, let’s sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together. Click on the video below.



With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character was a reindeer who wanted to migrate to the North Pole in hopes of becoming a member of Santa’s sleigh team?

WHAT IF your main character lived in a family of reindeer herders?

WHAT IF your reindeer character’s antlers would not stop growing?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “migrate”. Here is the definition: to pass periodically from one region or climate to another, as certain birds, fish, and animals.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekly MUSE: Indiana


Photo Credit: Don France
I traveled to my home state of Indiana this past week to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and friends. And while I was there, I was reminded of how unique this small Midwestern state really is.

Hoosiers, we’ve found another MUSE!

What? What is a Hoosier? Oh, that’s what we call people from Indiana. Yep, that means that I, Professor Watermelon, am a Hoosier.

You are probably wondering how to pronounce this funny word. Try saying it this way: “who-zure”.
James Whitcomb Riley, Hoosier Poet

Nobody really knows where this funny word comes from. James Whitcomb Riley, a famous Hoosier poet, said that the word comes from “whose-ear”. Apparently, back in the old days, pioneers were known to get into some hefty fights. After one of those fights, someone found a stray ear on the floor. They shouted, “Whose ear?”

Even if this story is bogus, it is still hear-larious. Okay, enough play-on-words.

Most people know Indiana for the most famous automobile race in the world, The Indianapolis 500. This race has captured a world audience since 1911. In fact, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is the home of the original Indy Car. Take a look at this site to learn more about the history of the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar.

Beyond racing, Indiana also has a rich BASKETBALL heritage. The most famous Hollywood basketball movie features the true story of a small town high school basketball team that, against all odds, wins a state championship. This is an OLD movie, but I bet it would still make a great movie night for you and your family. Here is the movie trailer. Take a look. If you like what you see, ask your parents to rent the movie or buy it from Amazon. Here is the Amazon link.

And if we are talking about Indiana Basketball, we cannot forget the 1955 Crispus Attucks High School team. Sadly, Indiana has had some learning to do when it comes to equality between white and black people. And during the 1950’s Indianapolis school kids were still being segregated. (White kids and black kids were forced to go to separate schools.)

Photo Credit: IPS Crispis Attucks Museum
Crispus Attucks High School was an all-black high school. And in 1955, their basketball team made it all the way to the state championships. AND THEY WON!!!  This was the first time an all-black high school basketball team had ever won a state championship in the WHOLE country.  

Today, Indiana basketball is still going strong. Take a look at Indiana’s NBA team, the Indiana Pacers, and the WNBA team, the Indiana Fever.

Indianapolis Children's Museum
Indiana is also the home of the world’s largest children’s museum.  With over 110,000 artifacts and 400 employees, this museum provides over 4,000 programs and activities each year. My favorite exhibit is The Power of Children: Making a Difference. This exhibit features the stories of Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White. Take a look at this page to learn about these extraordinary children.

On a fun and whimsical note, Indiana is home to Garfield and Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis. You know who I’m talking about – the famous persnickety orange cartoon cat? In 1978, Jim Davis’ Garfield comic strip was published in 41 newspapers across the country. One year later, he more than doubled that to 100. Today, Garfield has been featured in comic strips, cartoons, and movies. If you would like to learn more about Garfield and Friends check out this really cool website!

Did you know that the world famous pop star Michael Jackson was also born in Indiana. Yep. Michael Jackson’s birthplace is Gary, Indiana. Other famous people from Indiana include: David Letterman, Larry Bird…. And PROFESSOR WATERMELON! Well, not quite famous…..yet.

So, I have shared some people, places and events with you, but what else comes from Indiana?

The Empire State Building
Did you know that the Empire State Building in New York City is made from Indiana limestone? More than 200,000 cubic feet of limestone was dug from the Indiana ground to fill a train more than 400 flatcars long. WOW!

Indiana farmers also grow one of the largest supplies of popcorn in the United States. Field corn, soybeans, and wheat are also grown in Indiana. Livestock such as cows, pigs, and chickens, are also raised on Indiana farms.

And since we are talking about agriculture, I must inform you that the legend of Johnny Appleseed also ends in Indiana. This famous apple tree planter is buried near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Well, I could go on and on about my FAVORITE state, but it looks like I have babbled enough. If you want to know more about Indiana, just ask me. My brain is overflowing with HOOSIER knowledge. Speaking of…

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character was lost inside the Indianapolis Children’s Museum overnight?

WHAT IF your main character met one of the men from the Crispus Attucks Tigers Basketball Team of 1955?

WHAT IF your main character was the first kid to win the Indianapolis 500?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “agriculture”. Here is the definition: the production of crops, livestock and/or poultry.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

MUSEBOX: The ZarBomBos Want to be STARS!

Professor Watermelon!

We are from the Planet Zaztar, and we have come to Earth to seek fame and fortune. We heard that you lead a pack of Earthlings who create stories. It is our hope and desire that these Earthlings write stories in which we become the STARS! This is our only road to fame and fortune! Your creative writers must help us, or we may land in their backyards and cause mischief of one kind or another.

HooppaScootcha (Zaztarian for "Sincerely")

The ZarBomBos


Dear ZarBomBos,

Although alien mischief sounds quite exciting, I will certainly let my Creative Writers know of the challenge you have put before them. My Creative Writers are great at making EXTRAORDINARY character, and by the looks of you all, this task my be quite simple. (Chuckle)

Wishing you FAME and FORTUNE!

Professor Watermelon



Dear Creative Writers,

I may have the ZarBomBos on my hands, but you have a CREATIVE WRITING CHALLENGE on yours. Can you take these EXTRAORDINARY creatures and make them the STARS of your next story. You are welcome to share some ideas in the comment section below, and that will earn you $10 Melon Dollars. But if you write a full length story, I would love to publish it on this blog. If you work really hard, you will earn $100 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WEEKLY MUSE: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


I can’t wait for Thanksgiving Day! First of all, I LOVE food, especially PUMPKIN PIE! Secondly, I LOVE spending time with my family! And thirdly, I LOVE watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! We’ve found another MUSE!

Since 1924, Macy’s Department Stores have ushered in the holiday season with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Herbert Straus (far left)
In 1924 Macy’s President, Herbert Straus, wanted to show gratitude to a community who had made Macy’s the world’s largest department store. He decided to give New York City a parade. It would start at 145th Street in Harlem and end at Harold Square at 34th Street in Manhattan.

The original route was six miles long, but the parade length itself was only two city blocks. This didn’t matter to New Yorkers at the time. Once the parade passed them, they trailed it all the way down to Macy’s original store at Harold Square. Some estimate that up to a million people viewed the parade that year.

Every year since, Macy’s has continued this tradition. Now, 3.5 million people line the streets of Manhattan to watch the parade, and 65 million people watch it on television.

But, why? What is all the fuss? I will tell you!

Today the parade is 2.5 miles of marching bands, lavishly animated floats, performers, clowns, and GIGANTIC BALLOONS!

And these GIGANTIC BALLOONS are what I consider the signature and main attraction of this spectacular parade. Balloon makers spend all year creating these monstrosities, and it isn’t easy work. Click here and take a look for yourself.  

These balloons are made in a studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, and all 40 of them are driven through the Lincoln Tunnel the night before. The Lincoln Tunnel is a tunnel that carries traffic under the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York City (Manhattan).

Balloon Inflation (Photo by: Kristine Paulus)
Over 300,000 people watch the inflation of the balloons the morning of the parade. Click here and watch this spectacle for yourself.

Hello Kitty, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Spiderman, Spongebob Squarepants, and Kermit the Frog are just a few of the GIGANTIC BALLOONS you will see at the 86th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 22nd from 9am to Noon on NBC.

If you want to learn more about this SPECTACULAR event, click here to find the parade’s official website.

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF all the balloons in the parade came to life?

WHAT IF the parade marched all the way across the country? How long would it take to get to Seattle?

WHAT IF your main character found out that somebody was planning to pop all of the balloons, and it is your main character’s mission to stop them?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

The Five New York City Boroughs
So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “Manhattan”. Here is the definition: Manhattan is one of five New York City boroughs. These boroughs operate like city’s within a city. Take a look at the map.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bookworm Bookmark: Two New Candidates for President of the United States


Dear Creative Writers!

It looks like two new candidates have stepped up for the election tomorrow night. These two bookworm bookmarks are standing up for bookworms everywhere. Bookworms deserve rights, too! Can you write a few paragraphs through these Bookworms' perspectives explaining the type of AMERICA they want!

Remember that these are bookworms, not people. So try to really think what a bookworm would want. Have Fun!!! This challenge is worth $10 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

WEEKLY MUSE: The White House

The White House (Photo by: Phil Roeder)
What house in the United States of America has a Red Room, Blue Room, Green Room, and a Queen’s Bedroom?

The WHITE HOUSE!

And this week everybody’s attention is on this stately mansion because we all wonder who will be living there for the next four years. Will it be President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney?

Regardless of who will live there, the White House itself is a Spectacular Star Spangled MUSE!

Did you know that every President of the United States has lived in the White House except President George Washington?  That’s right.

Mount Vernon
George Washington chose the land where the White House would be built, but he never lived there. Instead, he lived at his estate called Mount Vernon. Here is a link to the Mount Vernon website if you are curious to learn more about the first presidential estate.

President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into unfinished White House in 1800.

During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the White House. It was not completely destroyed since the house is made of stone, but the inside of the house would have to be rebuilt. Take a look at this video and see traces of this fire left on the White House today.

The White House has been renovated, remodeled, and added-on-to by almost every President. Some of the White House’s most interesting features include a bowling alley, added by President Richard Nixon.  In 1944, a cloak room was transformed into a home theatre by President Franklin Roosevelt. This theatre can hold 44 people.

The White House currently has 6 levels, 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators. WOW!!! Can you imagine living in a home that BIG?


The basement of the White House is where most of the food is cooked. Five chefs run the White House kitchen. Take a look at this video to see the chefs preparing for the first ever state dinner for KIDS! That’s right. Not until 2012 has there ever been a formal state dinner served especially for CHILDREN. I think there should be at least one a year, don’t you think so too?

And for those who can’t get enough of the “spooky” side of life, many believe that the White House is haunted by the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln. Even the late Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, said that he saw President Lincoln’s ghost in the Lincoln Bedroom. If you would like to see a picture of the Lincoln Bedroom click here.

And we can’t forget about the Nation’s First Bees. For the first time in White House history, Michelle Obama invited a hive of honey bees to work their magic on the White House gardens. Take a look at this video to meet them.

And if we are going to meet the Nation’s First Bees, we must meet some of the Nation’s First Pets. Take a look at this slideshow and meet the Obamas’ dog, Bo. Also meet, President Bush’s dog, Barney and President Clinton’s cat, Socks!

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character is the first kid to be the President of the United States?

WHAT IF your main character is a mouse who is part of a mouse family that has lived in the White House since it was built? They even lived through the fire!

WHAT IF your main character met the ghost of President Lincoln in the White House?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “estate”. Here is the definition: a piece of land property, especially one of large extent with an elaborate house on it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MUSEBOX: The Keeper of the EYEBALLS!

Dear Creative Writers!

I understand that today is Halloween, but LOOK at what arrived in the MUSEBOX!!!


And when I opened it, LOOK at what I found! EYEBALLS!


 
 
I think they are chocolate, but this is still CREEPY! Do you also see that rolled up note??? LOOK at what it says!
 
 


 
 
"Eye am the Keeper of the Eyes!" Eeeek! Who could have sent this to me? And Why? What kind of message are they trying to make? I don't get it. Do you? In the comment section below, can you write a few paragraphs letting me know what you think this MYSTERY is all about?
 
 
Happy HALLOWEEN, I think.....
 
 
Professor Watermelon

Monday, October 29, 2012

WEEKLY MUSE: Lollipops



With Halloween right around the corner, I bet you are thinking the same thing I am thinking! TRICK or TREAT!

Dressing up as your favorite ghoul, goblin, super hero or princess is so much FUN. And knocking on your neighbors’ doors and threating a trick or treat is incredibly thrilling. From door to door your treat bag gets heavier and heavier with loot, and at the end of the night there is nothing more exciting than dumping your CANDY on the floor to see your bounty!

While you sort and sample your candy, I am certain that your will find a few different types of LOLLIPOPS. Looks like we’ve found our WEEKLY MUSE!

Did you know that the word “lollipop” actually means “tongue slap”?  And the first example of a lollipop was probably made by the caveman. Cavemen would use a stick to collect honey from a beehive. And since nobody wants to waste something as sweet as honey, the cavemen would lick the remaining honey from the stick.

Many cultures throughout the world and throughout time have had different types of candies that were made easier and less sticky to eat by poking them onto a stick. But the American “lollipop” appeared in the 1930’s.


Samuel Born
George Smith, the owner of Bradley Smith Company (a candy company), named his “stick candy” the Lollipop. George Smith said that he named the candy after his favorite racehorse, Lolly Pop. But some people wonder if this story is a fib, since the name seems pretty convenient, knowing what the word lollipop means (tongue slap).

When it comes to lollipops, we can’t forget Samuel Born, a Russian immigrant who invented the stick-inserting machine that made lollipop making MUCH easier. Samuel Born opened several candy stores and invented many more different kinds of candies. Two such candies are still in production today: Mike and Ikes and Peeps. Both of these candies are made by the Just Born candy company. And both of the candies will probably end up in your treat bags, too!


Another favorite lollipop is the Toosie Pop. This lollipop is made by the Tootsie Company. Have you ever heard this quote: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

“One, Two, Three….Crunch! Three!” I don’t think anyone really wants to take the time to count, hee-hee-hee!

So, what are LOLLIPOPS made of? SUGAR! SUGAR! SUGAR! Well, most commercial lollipops are made of a combination of sugar and corn syrup with added flavorings. Take a look at this video if you want to make some lollipops at home. YOU MUST ASK AN ADULT FOR ASSISTANCE! Making lollipops involves boiling a water and sugar mixture. This mixture can cause serious burns if it spills on your skin. OUCH!

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character lived in a LOLLIPOP factory?

WHAT IF your main character went trick-or-treating and met a witch who was handing out LOLLIPOPS that smelled like rotten eggs?

WHAT IF there was a place called Lollipop Planet?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “commercial”. Here is the definition: of, or pertaining to commerce or sales.
 

Jade the Rat and the Cookie Mix-up: By Lauren B.

Photo Credit: Brian Boucheron
Jade the Rat and the Cookie Mix-up
By: Lauren B.
 
Chapter 1: The Scout
 
There once lived a rat named jade.
"I am awesome!”
Yes, Jade was one amazing girl.
"I'm a boy!"
Okay, anyway, Jade had four sisters, two brothers and one baby. All of them were annoying to her.
"I'm telling you one more time and one time only that I'm not a GIRL!  Second of all, they weren't just annoying.  They are SUPER annoying - the kind of annoying that drives you up a tree! There's a big difference here!”
Let's move on. One day while Jade was walking down Main Mouse Street, he met a girl mouse.
"Finally!”
When jade walked up to the girl she said, “Hi, I'm a Girl Rat Scout, would you like to buy a box of chocolate chip cookies?”
Jade thought about it. In his head, he remembered that his mom had said to never trust  any Girl Rat Scouts, but he loved chocolate chip cookies.
Jade looked at her 1 more time.  She stared at him with gleaming eyes.  Jade couldn't resist it. He said, “Okay, one box of cookies, please!”
“Coming right up!” said the girl as she gave Jade the box with a wink.             
 
Chapter 2: Mixed Up
 
When jade got home, his mom asked him where he had got those cookies. Jade quickly said he had gotten them from the marker. He didn't want to risk telling his mom. He would have to do a lot of explaining, and he hated explaining stuff to his mom.
After escaping from his mom he ran to his room and opened the cookie box and took a bite from one of the cookies. He spit it out and ran down stairs.
“Mom, I bought a box of cookies from a Girl Rat Scout, “he told her. “And she said they were chocolate chip, but they were actually oat meal raisin cookies and you know I hate oatmeal raisin cookies.
“Well, I am really ashamed of you,” said Jade’s mother. “I told you almost every day not to trust Girl Rat Scouts!  You’re going to have to deal with them on your own!”
 
Chapter Three: Cookies
 
The next day, Jade marched up to the spot where he had met the Girl Rat Scout, and he tried to find her. There she was standing right in front of him.
“Give me back my money,” said Jade. “You said that you would give me chocolate chip cookies, not oatmeal raisin cookies!”
“Yes I did,” said the snotty rat. “But when you asked for it, you said ‘could I have a box of cookies?’  You didn't say what type, so I picked for you and since we were running out of chocolate chip cookies, I gave you oatmeal raisin cookies!  And no, I will not give you your money back and I promise that!”
 
Chapter Four: Arrested
 
Ding! It was almost like a light bulb had struck Jade's head! He had an excellent idea. He would call the police because the police arrest anybody even if they didn't do a serious crime. The Girl Rat Scout would be arrested before you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
When Jade went to the police station, he told the police officer about the crime. The police officer said that he wanted to meet the selfish stinking rat! When the girl saw the police she ran away screaming, and she was never seen again!
 
FUN FACTS ABOUT RATS!
1. Dead rats are often seen in the road.
2. Crows eat dead rats
3. Their favorite food is mac and cheese
 
Lauren: What a fun story. I am so happy that you found the creative writers MUSE after reading the WEEKLY MUSE on Rats. I am very proud of you, Lauren. I can't wait to read more of your stories. You certainly have TALENT!
With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thank You, Emerald Park Elementary!


Dear Mr. Johnson's Class,

Thank you for inviting me to your classroom this morning. I am always so impressed with your behavior, manners, enthusiasm, and TALENT! I am honored to know each of you, and I thank you for letting me be a part of your life journey! See you again soon!

Hugs and Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bookworm Bookmark: Pumpkin Seed


Hello Creative Writers,

Look at this week's BOOKWORM BOOKMARK! I've named him Pumpkin Seed, but I'd love for you to name him/her, too. As you can see, this BOOKWORM BOOKMARK is enjoying my favorite pumpkin book, The Runaway Pumpkin, by Kevin Lewis. It looks like the bookworm might be more interested in the PIG than the book, though. Ha-ha-ha! I see a story taking place. Do you? Can you write it? If you can, post your story in the comment section and I will give you $10 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MUSEBOX: The GIANT'S Spoon!

Professor Watermelon!

I am not dead! And here is my spoon to prove it! If you see my little friend, Jack, tell him that I smell the blood of an Englishman!

Fee Fi Fo Fum,
Giant

Dear Giant!

Heavens to Betsy, that's a huge spoon. You mind if I try it out? And I don't think you have to worry about Jack anymore. The last time I heard from him, he was chopping Brussels sprouts, not bean stalks.

Cheerio!

Professor Watermelon



Dear Creative Writers

It looks like the GIANT is back! And I've got his SPOON! Don't worry, he sent it to me in the MUSEBOX. I did not steal it. I wonder if this spoon has some magic in it like the objects from the GIANT'S castle. Remember the Golden Harp and the Golden Egg Laying Goose. Can you write a few paragraphs and describe what magic this wooden spoon may have? This challenge is worth $20 Melon Dollars!

Watch out for GIANTS!

Professor Watermelon

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Day of the Dead


Paul Asman
Graveyards and cemeteries can be spooky and sometimes a bit creepy, but they can also be a place to remember loved ones who have passed on. And there’s nothing creepy about that. In fact, we are approaching a Mexican holiday where families actually hold picnics and parties in the graveyard to honor the return of loved one’s spirits.

Do you know what Mexican holiday I am referring to? It happens to be our WEEKLY MUSE....

Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)!

The Day of the Dead could also be called the Days of the Dead, since the people who celebrate it often spend several days in celebration. November 1st and 2nd are the noted calendar days, which coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day.

And since the Day of the Dead occurs around the American holiday we call Halloween, many times the festivals overlap and share some of the same customs, especially since America is home to many Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants.

Those who celebrate the Day of the Dead believe that loved ones who have died are able to return to Earth in spirit form. Families will often place photographs and favorite foods of their dead loved ones on homemade alters inside their homes. Families will also clean and decorate the graves of these people.

At night, families will spend time in the graveyards and welcome the spirits back to Earth. They eat, drink, and tell delightful stories of the returning souls.

Like Halloween, children will dress up in costumes and beg for candy. One very popular candy is sugar skulls. These are very fun to make. If you would like to make some, check out this series of videos – you will needthe help of an adult.

Superstition is found around most holidays, and the Day of the Dead is not left out. Some people participate in this holiday because they feel that they have to. They think that if they do not clean the graves and leave gifts to the dead, those souls will feel cheated and may HAUNT them. Now that is CREEPY (wink).

The Day of the Dead rituals and celebrations go all the way back to the ancient Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that marigold flowers have a special scent that the dead can smell. This is why marigolds are still placed on graves and alters today.

 

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF your main character was one of the souls that returned to Earth on The Day of the Dead? Who was he/she, and who is he/she coming back to see?

WHAT IF your main character made a batch of sugar skulls that came to life and told funny skeleton jokes?

WHAT IF your main character was a dog or cat who participated in the Day of the Dead celebrations?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

The word of the day is “superstition”. Here is the definition: irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chestnut Hill Academy Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners

Great job, Chestnut Hill Academy! Your pumpkin carving skills are SPOOKTACULAR! The winners are......

1st Place: Allie



2nd Place: Aidan


3rd Place: Illa


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Titanic: By Jaiden



Titanic
By: Jaiden

If you want to read a story with princesses and happy endings, you might want to put this down. Did you know, 100 years ago there was a boat that was unsinkable, or so they thought?

100 years ago 2,228 passengers got aboard the Titanic. They were going to go to America, all the way from England. Sadly, the Titanic only made it halfway to New York City when the Titanic hit an iceberg.  But let’s go back a few hours earlier when everyone was boarding the ship.

Eva, a little girl, boarded the ship with her family. Her mother had a gut feeling that her family was in serious danger. Eva’s mother finally said, “I don’t think we should board the Titanic.” Eva’s mother knew that the “unsinkable” ship was sinkable.

A few hours later, Eva’s mother slept at day and was awake at night, fully clothed, and was ready to save her family at any given moment.

Eva’s mother said that she felt a bump and woke up her husband and Eva. Her husband went up on deck to see what had happened. Eva’s father came rushing down and told them the dreadful news. They ran up on deck and got into a lifeboat. Eva said that they rowed the boat really far out so that the Titanic wouldn’t come after them and pull them under as well with the many people who died with the Titanic.

Eva said that she could hear the screaming people crying for help, and she could hear the commotion still when they were rowing away from the dreadful Titanic.

Eva recalled when the lights went under; she knew the Titanic was lost somewhere under the ocean.

Finally, when all the lifeboats were together, they spread the people out on the lifeboats, so that on every lifeboat there were an equal number of people.

Eva got separated from her mother until they got rescued.

Eva said that the most pathetic thing she saw were the women searching for their husbands and quickly finding out that they had gone down with the ship.

To this day, the Titanic lays over 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Today, Eva Hart and the rest of the Titanic survivors are all dead.

Even though the Titanic is at the bottom of the Ocean and is home to many animals, the Titanic will still be remembered as the unsinkable boat that was sinkable. The Titanic’s story will be spread for many years but will still be at the bottom of the ocean forever.


Jaiden,
I am so happy that you found the MUSE in my Titanic post. I can tell that you were inspired by Eva Hart's story, and while you were researching the MUSE, I bet you imagined what it would have been like to be on the Titanic that dreadful night. I really like your story, and you are becoming a remarkable writer! I am very proud of you, Jaiden. Keep writing!
With Imagination,
Professor Watermelon

Monday, October 15, 2012

MUSEBOX: Who Rattled My Bones?!

Greetings Professor Watermelon,

While I was haunting the cemetery, I found this tiny skeleton sitting on my tombstone. He is obviously just a little decoration, but I found him quite charming and demanding of a story to be written about him. Professor Watermelon, could your Creative Writers take on this challenge? I was a famous writer during my day. I wonder if your students even know my name. Hmm.

Sleepy and Hollow,

The Ghost of Washington Irving

Mr. Irving,

It is an honor to share your tiny skeleton decoration with my creative writers, and I am sure they are up for a spooky challenge. And since my creative writers are very worldly and smart, I am sure they know who you are - especially this time of year!

Happy Haunting,

Professor Watermelon


Dear Creative Writers,

This is a very special skeleton. I mean, how often do you get this kind of MUSEBOX gift from a ghost, especially the ghost of a famous American writer. This is a two part challenge. Can you tell this tiny skeleton's story. Also, can you give me three facts about Washington Irving? This challenge is worth $25 Melon Dollars!

With Imagination!
Professor Watermelon