Anderson Mill Elementary’s Guide to Surviving a Colorful Life

I loved watching the ah-ha moments when the young writers Anderson Mill Elementary realized they did have the creativity and words to express themselves on paper. Whether it was a prompt asking, “What is the color of your emotion today?” or “If you could create your own rules for life—to survive something—what would they be?” or “Describe the actions and tastes of your hair,” their wonderful, unexpected ideas came once they had the confidence and encouragement to let them flow.

I also enjoyed these writers’ eagerness to share their work, and how they supported their friends when they also stood up to read. The atmosphere of our cozy room at Anderson Mill provided the trust and energy necessary for writers to do their best work. Please enjoy the poetry and prose of this ambitious clan of writers

Terri Schexnayder
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Ten Rules for a Zombie Attack

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Get with people who are alive.
  3. Gather your weapons.
  4. Find a shelter or house where no zombies can hide.
  5. Make sure you have backup supplies.
  6. Have lots of food.
  7. Have plenty of running water on hand.
  8. Always watch your back.
  9. Never, ever go into the woods alone.
  10. Make sure to always follow these rules!

Amaya Beaumont

Ten Rules to Fit In

Want to fit in at school and other places? Follow these rules:

  1. Put all your important stuff where no one can find it.
  2. You have to know what’s going on everywhere.
  3. Never give—always trade.
  4. Always bring a jacket everywhere you go.
  5. Check the weather.
  6. Don’t have a lot of secrets.
  7. Talk to your friends about everything.
  8. Always be prepared.
  9. Have enemies.
  10. Never look happy!

Madalynn Benitez


Top 10 Rules on the Dangerous Bus

When I was on the bus, I learned these rules I am about to share with you:

  1. Never sit next to a boy. They are very noisy and annoying—like a monkeys!
  2. Never sit anywhere near a bully. They might be mean to you.
  3. Never eat on the bus. The bus driver might smell something and you will get into trouble.
  4. Never wear a ponytail. People might laugh at you and pull it.
  5. Never sing your favorite song. Others could make you stop and you’ll feel awful.
  6. Never wear a dress when it’s windy. The bottom of the dress might go up.
  7. Don’t talk to the bus driver. She might tell you to be quiet.
  8. Never make eye contact. Someone might ask, “What are you looking at?”
  9. Never talk to bullies. They might say something mean about you.
  10. Never get a haircut. People might call you “short hair.”

Sherlyn Cardoso

My Sad Hair

My hair acts sad.
It smells like ham.
My hair sounds silent
and swings.
It feels like paper and
it is not wavy.



Five Rules if You Want to Survive an Alien Invasion

I’ll tell you how to survive because I was once in an invasion:

  1. Put paper foil on your head to protect your mind.
  2. Have “The Rock” with you.
  3. Get lots and lots of weapons.
  4. Find a good hiding place (not under the bed).
  5. Act weird to confuse the alien.

Follow these rules or die!

Juan Diaz

My Rules to Being the Youngest in the House

Ever since I was seven, and my brother was twelve and my sister was nine, I was bullied by them. If you’re in this situation, this what you can do:

  1. Run when they chase you.
  2. Never ask to hang out with them.
  3. Hide when they call you.
  4. Do what they tell you.
  5. Find yourself a hideout.
  6. When I say, “Never go to their room,” I mean, “Never go inside.”
  7. Be by yourself—no matter what.
  8. Be careful with every single step you take.
  9. Sleep with your mom if you are scared.
  10. Have a loud voice to call your parents.
  11. Follow these rules and you will be safe!

Itzel Fiscal

My Wonderful Hair

May hair acts like it’s the best bow around.
It feels like silk and smells like coconut.
It sounds like an earthquake.
I brush it very easily and
it feels like silk.

Hope Gonzales


My Blue Poem

I am as blue as your favorite color,
as happy as a beautiful sky
that will never rain or thunder.

Blue never makes people mad.
I am the color blue.
I will always be a good and perfect sky.

I am the thing that makes the sky
bright and
the thing that makes it night,
not just the moon.

Oh, no, it’s going to be night soon!

Dezirae Hunter

Fifteen Rules to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Whoa! I barely escaped the zombies. Remember these rules so you can make it out of here:

  1. Find a shelter (basement or closet).
  2. Do not ever go into the woods!
  3. Turn to your friends for backup.
  4. Stay together.
  5. Do not go into the alley.
  6. Find a gorilla for bait.
  7. Be the last survivor.
  8. Do not go into the village.
  9. Grab your weapons.
  10. Call your mom.
  11. Repeat rules 1 through 10.
  12. Sit in a corner.
  13. Kill the zombies.
  14. Repeat #10.
  15. Win it all!

John T. Johns

The Turquoise Sea

When I feel as hurt as the dark sea,
I crash against the grainy sand, whole.
It washes away with my pounding wave.

My juicy heart falls with the water of the sea,
turning into a soft, squishy blueberry
as I drink the salty, sour water of the sea.

I feel as if a hurt soul is biting
a piece of my happiness—
when I feel like the unhappy turquoise sea.

Maya Kharel


My Spiky, Calm Hair

My hair is like ocean waves when the wind blows.
My hair smells like rose petals in the spring sunlight.
Also, it spikes up like a porcupine!

My hair is silent as a shadow when it moves.
But, most of all, it makes me feel
bright and shiny like the sun.

Rayne M.

My Favorite Color

The color that makes me happy is green.
It makes me smile.
When I am green, I am as happy
as the grass while the wind goes through me.

When I am green, I am as happy
as when I bite into my delicious green apple.
When I am green, I am as happy
as the leaves that start to grow
on the branches of my green tree.

That’s the color that brings me joy, a smile,
and makes me happy.

Brianna Martin


My Green Emotion

I am as green as fresh blades of grass.
Like new leaves and a little plant.
I am green like emeralds in a king’s crown.


My Spiky Hair

My hair is as sharp as a nail.
It smells like gel—nasty, nasty gel.
My hair stands up like a Christmas tree.

My hair is as silent as if
you were in the middle of nowhere
with tumbleweeds passing by.

My hair feels like a shark’s teeth,
like a witch’s nails, long and sharp.

Jovani Reyes

Rules to Stand Out in Fashion

Here’s how to have a fun time at a fashion party:

  • Wear a tiara with every short dress, skirt, or shorts.
  • Never wear a short skirt with a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Never wear a bikini with tennis shoes.
  • Never cry if you wear mascara.
  • Never write poetry on a motorcycle.
  • Never listen to what a boy says about fashion.
  • Always wear lipstick.
  • Ride a motorcycle into the pool.
  • Never wear tennis shoes with a dress.
  • Love parties and fashion!

Nevaeh Ross


The Yellow Me

I am as happy as the sun, a big ball of fire.
Let it shine.
I am as shiny as the stars.
Watch me glow.

I am a twinkly diamond, as sparkly as can be.
I am a pretty daisy.
Look at me.

There is my happiness—
watch me go!

Sinaiyaah A. Shields-Jones

Ten Rules to Survive Your Brothers

Here is how I survived living with a younger and older brother in my house:

Rule 1: Don’t talk to them.
Rule 2: Never listen to them.
Rule 3: Stay far away from them.
Rule 4: Don’t talk about them.
Rule 5: Never mess with them.
Rule 6: Never mess with their stuff.
Rule 7: Never tell on them.
Rule 8: Never annoy them.
Rule 9: Never get upset at them.
Rule 10: Pretend you care about them.

Follow all these rules and you will survive your brothers.

Adriana Telesforo


My 12 Rules for Fashion

Here are some tips for looking better than your enemy or friend:

Rule 1: Don’t wear tiny shoes with skirts.
Rule 2: Don’t wear bunny dresses.
Rule 3: Never wear mascara to a funeral.
Rule 4: Don’t wear high heels to the pool.
Rule 5: Don’t wear your hair down in the rain.
Rule 6: Never wear a one-piece bathing suit to the mall.
Rule 7: Don’t ever wear a hat on a windy day.
Rule 8: Try not to wear red nail polish with flip-flops to a police station.
Rule 9: Don’t cut your hair bald.
Rule 10: Never use a blow dryer when watching Twilight.
Rule 11: Don’t follow these rules.
Rule 12: Be yourself.

Trinity Woods


I feel as yellow as the sun.
I feel as yellow as a happy face.
I feel so happy, so happy
that I want to go home.

Trevor Woods

Ten Rules to Protect my Stuff

  1. Don’t let your friends touch your games.
  2. Protect your brother from dogs.
  3. Protect your dog from fighting with another dog.
  4. Protect your bike—someone might steal it.
  5. Protect your car.
  6. Protect your soccer ball.
  7. Protect your toys.
  8. Protect your friend by not getting bullied or getting pranked.
  9. Protect your family.
  10. Listen to these rules. I am spying on you.



2 thoughts on “Anderson Mill Elementary’s Guide to Surviving a Colorful Life

  1. hello this is Sinaiyaah .A. Shields-Jones i am a freshmen now and i am happy to see that my poem is still here and i would want to know how can i publish more of my work?

    • Hi Sinayiyaah,

      I’m so glad you’ve come back to visit your work here on our site! There are lot of online publishing options for teen writers. You might do a google search of “publishers of teen writing” or “publishing outlets for teens.” Then check out some of the sites that come up to see if they’re publishing work similar to yours (same genre or style, etc.). Feel free to email me at if you have questions.


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