Playful and Poetic

These are the two words that come to mind when I think of Ms. Gildon’s Decker Dolphin writers. The students delighted in the chance to write about their names—the ones they were given at birth and the ones that got away.

These writers transported themselves inside postcards to imagine worlds far away or the possible wrath of a scary volcano. How would you prepare for an alien attack or train a dog’s fleas to talk? Well, read on and find out!

One day, challenged with a fire drill and other interruptions, we all sat on the floor and considered why words are important. This became of the group’s best pieces of writing, thanks to their willingness to share ideas!

Thank you, Ms. Gildon’s Decker Dolphins, for writing so that others may also delight in the magic of your words.

Terri Schexnayder
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Why Words Are Important

Mothers teach us to talk with words. Teachers instruct us to read with words. Words are a storyteller’s tool. You talk with passion, thanks to words. Words bring Harry Potter to life. Expressions of happiness and anger come with words.

Words ask parents for a drive to Chuck-E-Cheese. The “ABCs” is the way to sing words. Words alert you to the time of day and to share my birthday. They describe action in a comic book, and zombie stories come alive on the page with words.

“Can I have pancakes, please?” are the words to use after breaking your arm! Words are useful for ordering at McDonald’s.

Words on signs around town give us directions. And, they help announce disasters— Evacuate!

Ms. Gildon’s Students


How to Stop a Volcano

When you live in front of a volcano, and it wants to erupt, you have to move very slowly so he cannot hear you. Next, take a giant silver ball covered in metal. (You have to buy a tiny ball and an air machine.)

Then, walk slowly and quietly until you get to the top of the volcano. And, boom! Plug the air machine into the top of it and shoot the ball into its mouth so lava doesn’t come out. That’s how you stop a volcano from erupting.

Javier Carbajal


The Misunderstanding

When Julie saw the time on the clock, she was scared! She was going to be late for dance rehearsal. When she arrived, the other girls were there already in their tutus and ballerina slippers. Julie quickly put on her costume and lined up with her dance partner.

When rehearsal was over, Julie joined her best friend Chloe outside and they went for ice cream. But something didn’t look right as they entered, and suddenly the girls felt something fall on them (it felt gooey).

They fell to the floor and were stuck. The owner laughed hysterically. Julie worried she wouldn’t make it back to the evening competition in time, but Chloe wiggled free and helped Julie escape.

They ran across the street after the light turned green. Julie felt as if she were dancing and running at the same time. Whew! They made it in time.

Then, in the crowd, she spotted the scary owner of the ice cream shop. He yelled, “Now

that is what I call dancing in a scary manner!”

“What?” answered Julie.

“I tricked you all. I saw you running and dancing,” he chuckled.

Julie and Chloe were very confused, but went to eat dinner in a much better restaurant.

Stephanie Carbajal


How to Prepare for an Alien Attack

I just heard something scary this morning. Two days from now, aliens from Titan are planning to attack the whole earth, but first they will come to Manor! We must prepare, and here are the ways to do it:

  1. Everyone should hide in the dog house.
  2. Stock up on fried chicken, green apples, and plenty of cold water.
  3. Surround your hiding place with the alien ship.
  4. Dress like an alien.
  5. You will have to raid the refrigerator again before too long.
  6. While hiding, plan a trap to stop them from destroying the rest of the earth.

Okay, now you know … Hurry, they are coming!

Jason Cordova


Poor Lady in a Postcard

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who lived in an old, abandoned house. She was so beautiful, but her clothes were not. She wore an ugly, old peach dress and a crazy shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She loved to read, play, and dress up. The girl lived alone in a house with grass all over the floor.

There was this song called “I Love It,” and she loved to sing it over and over again. Even when her house was on fire, she didn’t care—she just kept on singing! Wait, there are city scenes in the background. Now it doesn’t appear that she is alone.

Vida De La Cruz


Jeff the Hummingbird

Jeff flaps his wings to fly for the very first time. By the little hummingbird’s side are his mom and dad. He stands on a branch trying to catch food from the sky above.

Jeff’s colors of black, grey, green, and blue are wonderful. The tree on which Jeff is perched is his good friend. The other birds think Jeff is probably not a good bird, but Jeff does not believe that about himself. He grew up to be a good bird—actually, he grew up to be the richest in the world!

He went in and out of a lot of movies, like “Titanic.” Finally, at a party, an eagle caught Jeff. Jeff was scared, but he managed to escape the eagle’s nest alive. He returned home, where his parents asked, “What happened to you?”

Jeff said nothing, but was very glad to be safe and sound.

George Hernandez-Arellano


What Is This Thing?

It feels rubbery, like a bouncy ball.
It looks like a bunny’s backpack.
It’s a portal to keep your money safe.
It looks like a flip phone and is as big as one.
What is it?

Juan Hurtado


Julio and Stella

Long, long ago, there lived a girl named Stella and her brother Julio. They were very poor in Mexico. Stella thought it would be a good idea to move to Texas.

“Are you crazy?” Julio asked.

“I want to be someone in life,” said Stella.

She convinced him to go to Texas with her, and since they couldn’t walk there and didn’t have a car to drive, they traveled by boat. The next day, they were all set to leave Mexico.

Suddenly, a huge tsunami came and slammed into their boat. Men, women, and babies died that day, but Julio and Stella lived.

As they were not far from Texas when they reached land, they decided to walk the rest of the way to Texas. Despite it all, Julio and Stella became someone in life.

Franscella H. Jaramilo


How to Train Fleas to Talk

First, you search for the fleas hidden on your dog. Put them in a cup or a basket. Next, try to get the fleas’ attention. Show them how to talk like you—slowly, like you show a baby. Say “A” first and wait for the flea to repeat the letter. Then “B, C, D,” and so on, while the fleas repeat after you.

Then, teach them to count—one, two, three, etc. They are going to learn numbers and the alphabet. They will learn how to talk. I would suggest teaching the dog next, so he can communicate with his fleas. That is how you teach fleas to talk.

Nayra Mejia


My Name

My name is Robert. Let me tell you a little but more about my name. For example, it reminds me of the name of the “Tom and Jerry” author. Another reason why my name is important to me is that I remember a friend from kindergarten who had the same name.

I do, and always will, want to be known as Robert because my family says to me, “You want to be called Rob or Robert—you sound like a superhero!”

Robert Rea Ortiz


Lopsided Museum

There was a time when a museum was upside down and upside up. People who visited it thought the place was scary. There was trash everywhere! When it was nighttime, the museum’s darkness would haunt you.

Christopher J. Ovalle-Ramirez


Gazing at a Coin Purse

It’s like a soft blanket.
It’s like a rectangle.
It’s flat like a pancake.
It could be used as a coffee mug.

Oriol Macedo Ponce


My Name is Michelle

My name, Michelle, is long with eight letters. It’s colorful with blacks and reds. There is another name I like. Monzerad.

It’s pretty like a butterfly and also has eight letters. Its colors are pink, purple, and teal. When anyone calls me Monzerad, I feel like butterfly roses.

Michelle Rangel


Long Ago

Long ago, there was a stone that came from space. It landed in a volcano where it was stuck for many, many years. The huge stone lived in the place and time where dinosaurs roamed. Finally, the stone caused the volcano to explode, and all the dinosaurs died.

Then, the stone destroyed everything around it. Years and years later, when people looked for the dinosaurs that once lived there, all they found were a lot of bones and fossils.

Adela Rivera


The Legendary Cowboy

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Jeff, who was born in 9999. Jeff was a legendary cowboy who killed about a million people, according to the history books. He made a $100 bet with a guy named “What Are Those” that he wouldn’t drink the potion called “Drink Here and Die Home.” But “What Are Those” did drink it, and nothing happened to him. An hour later, “What Are Those” had a heart attack and died!

Jeff said to himself, “I wonder why his name was ‘What Are Those’?”

He went to the guy’s house, looked under the bed, and saw a lot of sandals. Jeff exclaimed, “What are those?”

Kevin Jaimes Rogel


My Special Name

My name is short and has six letters. Every time I change grades, I hear my name. Do you want to know how pretty, awesome, and excellent my name is? Well, it’s Evelin.

When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be called Yuridia because it sounded cool and like a flower. I like it because it’s much larger than my real name. If I could have the name Yuridia, I would be enormous! It’s the prettiest name I have ever heard.

Evelin Reyes Soto


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