Girls with Pens at Perez Elementary

The fourth-grade girls who joined our Girls With Pens workshop had no idea what they were in for. They sat with me around a table in the library after school, pencils in hand, wondering what on earth I expected them to do. But within no time, they were writing stories about aliens, pigs, and what it would be like to take a tumble through their minds. These girls are smart, imaginative, and absolutely hilarious. Our time together was too short, and I hope that each one of them continues to write and test the boundaries of their imaginations.

Carolyn Cohagan
Badgerdog Teaching Artist



– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I was born in Congo.
When I sneeze, tornadoes erupt.
When I get mad, I cough earthquakes.
When I get happy, flowers start to bloom.
When I laugh, trees grow.
When I get sad, the leaves fall off the trees.
When I get excited, I shake all the animals.
When I get grumpy, it starts to rain so much that it floods.

Alize Alvarez


Ego Tripping

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I scream, I break the glass.
When I sing, I scare everybody in the world.
When I was born, I made jewels with my powers.
When I talk, I punch everybody.
When I was growing up, my laugh was really different.
When I was not born, my mom ruled the world like God, but better than him.
When I wasn’t born, my dad was like my mom.
When I was little, me and my sister Faith were princesses. We got everything we wanted, and we loved it so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much. We got free cable and wi-fi.
We were so lucky.
When I am happy, the sun sets and the flowers bloom.

Destiny Alvarez


Cool Bragging

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I sneeze, I cause a hurricane.
When I get mad, I cause the stars to fall.
I sat on a throne and declared that the king and queen would be my servants.
I made the 16-story mansion with diamonds and gold. They scrubbed it 20 times a day.
I have all the power in the UNIVERSE! I control all my power.
I was the one who swam in hot lava. I floated up, being the most beautiful.

Alyssa Hernandez



– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I laugh, the world shakes.
I’m the Queen of Italy.
I know all languages. English, Spanish, Japanese.
I am perfect.
I can freeze you.
I’m perfect at all subjects.
I have a plant of jewels and diamonds.
In fact, I brought some today.
I can read as fast as a cheetah running.
When I am mad, lightning strikes. The fire comes up, up, up.
I can run 100 miles per hour.
You will never catch me.
I own 50 mansions.
I’m the oldest daughter.
I’m the boss of you.
When you are mean to me, I make a cloud above you and it will rain on you.
So, you should start listening because I’m just getting started.

Emmaree Hernandez


The Best Poem

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I am better because I like books.
I am better because I am good at math.
I am better because I am so, so good at reading.
I am better because I was born in Florida.
I am better because I am funny.
I am better because I am cool.
I am better because I am good at writing and pictures.
I am better because I know more biographies.
I am better because I’m nice.

Mariajose Osorto Herrera


Go Crazy!

Go and run through my mind, but don’t you mess with me or you will regret it. That’s a promise. Sorry for that. Now run, skip, jog, leap, walk if you’re tired, jump, bounce, stomp, and many more. First, go through books and read because you might like it or you might not. Find all the books I read and find the library where you can read. Go and run through P.E. because it has a lot of activities and the gym teacher will let you run, jump, bounce, and go crazy. Then go and bounce to art, but not too much or you will get in trouble. You can go and make a lot of art and get out of my mind. J.K. Then go to all my dreams. You will find all my happy dreams or my sad dreams and some scary dreams, but do not be scared. It is just a dream, I promise. Then go with a buddy and leap frog so you can see my summer room. You can go to the beach and have a lot of fun, if you can go to summer camp and do activities and a lot of fun things. Then go to my song room. You can dance in my song room and jam out a lot. Then go and twirl to math. Find all my friends and my teacher. She is sick, but you will find my substitute, Mrs. Cory. She is nice. Then fly to my favorite color, green. Do not take my green. Hop to the exit. I hope you like my mind.

P.S. My mind is better.

Delia Martinez


The Best

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I am the ruler.
When you see me,
I will hypnotize you.

My hair is so soft
that they use it as blankets.

When I cry, I create
bodies of water.

My eyes are so bright
that they shine
like stars.

When I cough, a breeze
goes around the

When I was born, many
wonderful things
appeared, and the sun
was born.

Jimena Martinez


Ego Tripping

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I am happy, the leaves turn green.
When I laugh, the world shakes.
When I am sad, it rains hard.
When I get mad, everybody falls.
I will always make something happen.
I can run more than one hundred miles per hour.
You will always be tired when you play with me.
But when it’s time to attack, I can be loud and sometimes even shake the trees.
When it’s summer, and I jump in the pool and the sky shines.

Valentina Mora


My Evil World

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I was born, people
got scared. I’m so evil.

When I’m bored, I send my
little minions to go get me some games to play with.

When I dance, some people
cry because I’m good at it.

People get blind because
of my beauty. I’m so evil.

I have little slaves.
They help me a lot with my homework.

When I burp, the world shakes
and people get scared.

When I get sad, my little minions come
and give me tissues.

When I want to go to the movies and I have no money,
I steal money from my minions.

Lizeth Negrete


I’m So Strong

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I stomp, the leaves fall from the trees.
My house is made of sparkly diamonds.
My clothes are made out of glitter and diamonds.
When I think, the ground shakes.
When I bump my head, it starts to rain really hard.
Once, when I coughed, it made the Grand Canyon.
I am always right. I never get anything wrong.
I can control the weather.
I am so strong, I can fly like the birds in the sky.
I am so bright, something hurts when you see me.

Brianna Parker


Jo Jo Saves Sugar Town

Once, there was a monster named Jo Jo. He lived in a tall, dark forest close to a land full of sugary candy. A guy he saw named Mr. Sugar Crusher had a magic orb. Jo Jo saw the magic orb and he chased him and fell over. Jo Jo had to save the people from Sugar Town. Jo Jo went into a little cave and he saw a map. The map was a plan. On the back, it said, “Mr. Sugar Crusher’s plan to be king of Sugar Town.” Jo Jo read the plan. Jo Jo found an island. He saw Mr. Sugar Crusher running. He chased him like a spy. Jo Jo caught up to him, but he was tired and fell asleep. Jo Jo had a huge problem. Jo Jo didn’t see Mr. Sugar Crusher. He saw another map. The map was a plan to hide it somewhere else, so Mr. Sugar Crusher hid it on another island. Jo Jo swam to the closest island. He found Mr. Sugar Crusher and he had hid it and Jo Jo freaked out. Jo Jo went back to the island where he had been before. He found something shiny in a large and long bush. But it wasn’t the magic orb. It was a diamond. Jo Jo went to the other island and found a map. It said, “If found, please burn or eat.” But Jo Jo did not eat or burn it. What Jo Jo did was study it. He knew it was Mr. Sugar Crusher’s map. Mr. Sugar Crusher wanted it burned so no one would learn his plan to rule Sugar Town. Jo Jo followed the little ink footprints and walked all the way. It led to a secret lair and it had many locks. One was an eye lock, but there were his real eyes next to Jo Jo. The other lock was a voice lock. Jo Jo knew how Mr. Sugar Crusher sounded. She tried to do his voice and it worked!!! The last lock had a rock lock. All you needed to do was throw a rock at it and enter. Jo Jo entered. Mr. Sugar Crusher was on a stool. He tried to hypnotize Jo Jo to help Mr. Sugar Crusher rule Sugar Town. Jo Jo saw Mr. Sugar Crusher walk away from the magic orb, so Jo Jo grabbed the magic orb and ran away. Jo Jo went back to the first island. Mr. Sugar Crusher felt so, so stupid. Everyone in Sugar Town was happy. To celebrate Jo Jo, they ate 5 out of 32. They celebrated by dancing for at least five years. Five years later, Mr. Sugar Crusher came and people tried to fight him. But he said, “I am so sorry, and I won’t try to do anything bad ever again.” So they trusted him, and so did Jo Jo, who now lived in Sugar Town with her friends.

Yadira Paz


The Most Best!

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I stare into someone’s eyes, they blow up like a balloon then they turn into little pieces. When I get mad, I make tornados. When I sneeze, everything shakes. I am stronger than an elephant. I can actually carry 100 elephants at once with my pinky. I am so pretty that everyone is jealous of me. When I stomp, there is going to be an earthquake. When I was born, I was really strong and I knew how to read a ninth-grade book! I am always right, and I always get my tests right and I always get a 100!! My grades are all A++ !!! I can live up to 1,000,000 years, and I look so, so, so, so, so young. I know how to karate chop 100 bricks at one time. One time, I found fossils and gold and diamonds and other good stuff. I use my powers to control time and the future!

Angela Prado



– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I am better because I was born in Texas.
I am a cool person, and I am a beautiful girl.
I gave my little cousin a little toy.
I am 10 years old.
I wish I could see my little cousin.
He died and flies like a bird in the sky.
I am evil, like a person who talks and runs.
People go blind because of my beauty.
An evil that no one can see.
When I get sad, my little tears come down and my mom comes and tells me stories.
When my mom tells me stories, she makes me happy, like a person who laughs, like the person who is happiest in life.
When I put my sweater on, I feel so warm.

Leslie Quijada



When I woke up in my mom’s body, I woke up like my mom. Then I went to the bathroom, and I looked like my mom. I screamed, but then I realized that it’s okay because I can drive, go to the store by myself, and I don’t have to go to school. I am so happy I look like my mom because I can do whatever I want! But I’m worried… what if my mom knows and she is so confused and thinks that I know someone who does magic!

Vivianna Tovar


The Fight of Periwinkle and Mr. Evil

One time, there was a girl named Periwinkle. She lived in a tunnel full of monsters. But she had a problem. Her problem was that she needed food for her people or they would eat her. She needed to go fight the villain, Mr. Evil. They called him Mr. Evil because he was so evil. One day, Periwinkle went to Mr. Evil’s lair. Then she went to fight him. It took them forty minutes. But Periwinkle won. Then Periwinkle got the orb, but something happened.

To be continued . . .

Sophia Urdiales


My Red Dress

– after Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

When I put on a dress, it’s too red.
I change my dress into a skirt.
It hurts when I scream.
I’m out of breath
and when I look at the mirror,
I see my beautiful face.
I go outside.
I see a butterfly.
When it flies, the wings are beautiful.
When I see a bee, it looks at me. I get scared. I want it to fly away.
When I go to the pool, it looks like the ocean.
I get scared because I think there are sharks.
I eat spaghetti. It looks like worms, but I eat it.

Melissa Vazquez

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