Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Special Visitor Comes to Sunnyland

     On a dark, gloomy Tuesday afternoon in December, several third and fourth grade classes learned about using descriptive words and fantastic details in their writing from children's author Gary Hogg. Some of his books include a series called "Spencer's Adventures," a chapter book called Scrambled Eggs and Spider Legs, and a picture book called I Heard of a Nerd Bird


     During the terrific writing workshop, he taught us two important rules to include in our drafts. The first rule Mr. Hogg introduced to the attentive students was "Writing is thinking." We practiced that rule by getting a good picture of something in our minds and then jotting our ideas on paper.

      He mentioned that we should not worry about spelling in the first draft; instead, we should just focus on getting our ideas on paper. The second rule was "If you can think it, you can write it." He shared how important it was for us to write about things we know about. The idea of writing about a rocket ship is exciting, but if we don't know much about rockets, it's hard for us to write about them.

     Near the end of the workshop, our guest invited one of our classmates to the front of the audience. He read what had been written and asked the apprehensive student many questions that helped him write a more detailed and descriptive piece. In the end, our fearless student felt excited because of all the details and ideas he walked away with in his writing notebook!  

     Thank you, Mr. Hogg, for visiting Sunnyland and for spending time with us and teaching us more about descriptive writing. Thanks to the Sunnyland PTA, too, for sponsoring this workshop. We returned to class feeling inspired to write spectacular stories. 

Please Comment! What is something you learned from Mr. Hogg or something you will remember about his visit?  


  1. Dear Mr.Pahl,
    The day Gary Hogg came it was very cool.I liked it beacuse he inspered me to use discritive words.Insted of saying red I (you)would say blode red.He also menstioned that it might take longer but it makes it more interesting.

  2. Dear Mr.Pahl,
    One thing I learned from Mr.Hogg is to write with discriptive words and details in drafts like blue to midnight blue. He taught me not to worry so much about the rough draft. He showed me two rules about writing. "writing is thinking" and "if you can think it you can write it".


  3. Dear Mr.Pahl,
    I have a question who took the pictures? I am happy you put this on the blog because when I told my mom and dad they thought I was nuts. From, Superstar

  4. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    I liked it when Mr. Hogg came and taught us how to write better writing. So now I know how to write better writing for the future. I hope he comes again and teaches us some other things so we can write even better.

    From, Burgerpotpie

  5. Dear Mr.Pahl,

    I was blown away when I heard about Gary Hogg even more blown away when I heard he was coming to our school.The whole point of him coming was to tell us how important descriptive writing is.He told us to think about what we were gonna write about while he had a instrument that would make different kind of sounds.Thanks alot Gary Hogg for coming to our school.


  6. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    I really like when Mr. Hogg came to our school because he explained to us about writing. Also he had us write about something that had happened to us. And I will never forget that.


  7. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    The day Gary Hogg visited our school I felt excited to see an author. When he came to our school our school he taught us that reading is thinking. He told us to write about our imagination.


  8. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    I wasn't here when Mr. Hogg was here but I listen what you said about what he talked and I learned to use more delicious words and don't worry about spelling when you're just putting your ideas in paper.

    From, Jenny

  9. Dear Mr.Pahl,

    I like what you wrote about Mr.Hogg’s visit. I hope Mr. Hogg can visit again.

    Sincerely, Little Animal

  10. Dear Mr.Pahl,

    The author that we met was really amazing. I am going to read his book called I Herd Of A Nerd Bird. I think it is a funny book to read. I got an autograph from Mr.Hogg. He is the best author!

    Pretty Princess

  11. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    I got a really good experience out of Mr. Hogg coming to our school. I think I’m going to become even a better writer because now I know how to use better delicious words in my writings. Another reason is because I know how to use more descriptive words.

    From, Sillyband

  12. Dear Mr.Pahl ,

    I liked Gary Hogg coming. Because it way better when you say something with more descriptive words like the blood-red Corvette Stingray. Now I feel more confident with making more stories.

    Snake Eyes

  13. Dear Mr. Pahl,

    I liked Mr. Hoggs visit because of all the detailed words he tought us how to use. I really enjoyed the instrument that he played. I wrote that I thout it sounded like fog. Mr. Hogg gave me ideas for my writing.


  14. Dear Mr.Pahl,
    That was a really fun experience for me because I think i can be a even better writer,with more delicious words and describtive words.



We love it when you leave us a comment!

Please be sure your comment is interesting for others to read and that it somehow adds to the conversation. Be sure to read it after you type it. Does it say what you want it to say? Is it correctly written and spelled?

Please use ONLY your first name when commenting. You may also tell us where you are from or whether you know someone in our class. Examples: From, John, Mr. Pahl's friend, or From, Dawn, Nik's mom, or Sincerely, Mary, a student in Mr. Salsich's class.

Just below the Comment Box is a drop down menu. Select "Anonymous" from the choices; it is the last choice on the list. Then click "Post Comment." In order for your comment to be approved and posted, you should see a message highlighted in yellow that says "Your comment will appear after moderation." If you see a red line after you click Post Comment, your comment did not go through for some reason. Try it again until you see the message highlighted in yellow.

Thank you!