Brentwood Elementary’s 5th Grade: Ms. Merritt’s Class


People often ask me who my favorite writers are, and my answer has always been my students. The fifth graders in Ms. Merritt’s class are among some of the finest writers I have ever read. Painting vivid pictures in the mind’s eye, and using figurative language to shape stories that fly off the page. On the following pages, you will experience teleportation caused by a wish, and travel with a spy through Russia. These students have shared their views on life with candor and striking sensitivity. Experience Beck’s “Mount Everest-sized disappointment” when losing his Xbox controller again, Jordan’s description of a messy life, Webb’s car trip to his grandparents, and Leah’s comparison of life to a bouncing ball. Gus eloquently frames life during COVID-19: “Where the twilight buzzes with emptiness and fear.” They wrote insightful epistolary poems to: watercolors and a paintbrush, guacamole, and a door. Ariana begged Zoom that it, “Please stop lagging;” Isaac tried to locate a hamburger named “James the 5th” and Harper wrote an endearing letter from a child to a cardboard box. Ms. Merritt’s students expressed what they think about friendship. Milo wrote about “Best brothers,” Claire shared her opinion about true friendship and Lahna about a horse and a girl who are best friends. Drake personified the feelings of a pencil; Chet listed alphabetical alliteration and Paloma offered a stunning poem about fruit. This is writing that will move you. Move you to laugh or weep or even fly like Anahi’s raven that will, “Dance like a ballerina across the bright night sky.” 

Jena Kirkpatrick 
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

The Man Who Wished

There was a man that wished for superpowers and one day he woke up and he wanted coffee. Then he got the coffee, and he got dressed. His car broke down and he teleported to work. This is when he realized he had superpowers he was shocked! Then his boss turned on the news and he saw a story about a man who tried to steal and since he knew how to control his powers. He teleported to the palace. The man caught him and turned him into the police. He became a superhero.



Powerful is what that raven is
That raven is powerful
I am the raven
You would never expect it
It comes out through the gloom
But the brightness that comes from the soul 
Will make you love it forever
With the warmth from its self
The black metallic color on you beams off the bright sun.
As you dance like a ballerina across the bright night sky the world glows to the point that the galaxy sees you
We see you Raven
We hear you Raven
We love you Raven



There are so many birds!
The purple ravens are the least favorite birds.
Red Robins are the one of the most popular birds.
I actually have seen a Red Robin once.
Birds can be…rude, kind, in between etc.
I love birds a lot!
They are my favorite animals!
Just imagine the nice or mean birds on your window.
Not calm or calm birds, they are amazing.
So many types of birds, color, texture.
The colorful birds are Amazing!


The Totally Unexpected Vanishing of the Xbox Controller 

Oh no…this can’t be happening? Every time I get the time to play on this beautiful pitch black box, you disappear. It’s honestly like you’ve been Thanos snapped out of reality. This is a Mountain Everest sized disappointment, it truly is. Just come out and show yourself to the world my beautiful Xbox controller! I beg you, please don’t make me suffer to the point where I will have to wait a couple of years so I can order a PlayStation 5 off a bunch of scalpers! I just want to play my game. I don’t have much time left, seven entire hours is an incredibly short time to play my game!

Oh wait, you were literally right in front of me on the couch the entire time I was screaming all the oxygen out of my lungs like a complete idiot. Eh, I don’t feel like playing on my Xbox now. I’ll just go take a nap during the time that I’m able to play my game. 

Beck Hicks

Dear Door,

Oh how I love you, door. I open you and close you so many times everyday. You squeak and turn yet it still annoys me. You keep the warm air inside my room all day long. You’re hard to close but you still hold a special place in my heart. No matter how many times you make me mad, I will always love you but not all the time though. I sometimes want to kick you; I’m not gonna lie. Still you’re great and it would feel really weird without you because there would just always be a giant open hole in my room. Stay strong, don’t give up, like literally stay strong. I don’t want you to fall. 🙂


The Spy of Russia

One day a man and his dog arrived at the border of Russia, he was on a mission to make sure the Russians weren’t up to something terrible. Once he got to the border checkpoint he needed to show his papers. But he had a fake set of papers so he could get by, he made it past with his dog and he was transported to a small town. Where he would begin his mission.

The first day he was there he saw some soldiers that looked like they were transporting something very important, so he and his dog followed them. The soldiers went to a secret bunker on the side of a mountain and what the man and his dog saw was horrifying. It was a nuclear testing facility and they were preparing to set off a nuke. Then he saw it, it was a huge mushroom cloud about seven times the height of Mount Everest and he was shocked to see how every scientist and soldier was calm. Then came the shockwave which was so loud that one of his ears started to bleed, he and his dog started to get out of there when a group of Russian soldiers spotted him. They yelled at him to stop but he could not understand them, then bullets started to wiz at him and he just kept running. At one point the russian soldiers stopped shooting, but the man did not realize that his dog was shot in the leg and was bleeding out. Once he saw the wound he ripped off a piece of his shirt and wrapped it up on his dog’s leg, he rushed his dog to the nearest town and found a vet. They put the dog under anesthesia and spoke with the man. The man could not understand them well, but luckily there was one veterinarian that spoke English. They said they had to amputate the leg and he was fine with it as long his dog was okay.

He found a place to stay for the night but he could not sleep, it was because his dog meant everything to him and he did not want to lose him. The next morning he went to the vet and his dog was very tired but he looked okay. He left with his dog and went to an airport where he could get back to America and warned everyone about what he saw. He told the military about what he saw and then a high rank in the military warned the president. They made sure their security was strong everywhere.

They never had to go to a full on war with Russia but they still made sure that no country was threatening another country.


Alliterative Sentences A – Z

Ann ate amazing apples
Bobby baked brownies
Calvin collects carnivorous cicadas
Debbie downer dated dinosaurs
Emily enchanted extraordinary elephants
Filip finds fun facts
George gives great gifts
Harry hates hot jalapeños
Italy is impressive
Jesters jabber jubilantly 
Kelly kills Kangaroos
Lily La Lion loved lamps
Manny makes messy mops
Nattale needs numbers
Oliver’s otter offends other otters
Pepper paints portraits
Quill hates alliteration
Rosa really relates
Samantha says “Sup.”
Terry’s tupperware tells the truth
Uranus uses underwear
Vanesa vetoes valiantly
Wade wants water
Xavier X-rays xylophones 
Yale yodels 
Zebras zig-zag


Dear Guacamole, 

You always run out too fast. We eat you with enchiladas, chips, tacos, quesadillas and potatoes. If you are always running out, how will we enjoy you? If this is about queso, then you are better! We can’t eat queso with beans. But if you have a problem with tacos or enchiladas, then we’ll go out to eat, but please please stop running out so quickly. I need you for chips and sandwiches. Oh! Speaking of sandwiches, do you like egg salad or is this what that running out is all about? Fine I’ll just put you on chips (and maybe a potato or two) or quesadillas (I love quesadillas) and you should too with all the Oaxaca cheese it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. End of discussion. Period. You will not run out ever!

Sincerely and hungry,


It all starts with an unsharpened pencil, but soon this unsharpened stick can become something greater. But do not worry, it will have a delicate mark of letters. If you like sharpening your pencil then maybe you will enjoy this, but if not then maybe you shouldn’t try this. A twist and then a turn and voila you have your sharpened pencil but then a horrid snap. If the pencil breaks then maybe you have more. But it takes some chance to find one that is just right for you.


—a golden shovel poem

striking word: how can I stay strong in a world where fear and sickness wait outside my door 

we’ve put on these masks but I still don’t know how
this place is ever gonna feel the same. how can 
it when there’s a pandemic? no one I
love being able to talk to no interaction or friends to stay
with after school, no sleepovers, no strong
adults throwing me into a swimming pool this summer, no waterballoons in
the bucket this summer, nope not this summer try again next year, it’s a
different place in Austin, a different planet. a world
where everyone wears masks of all colors, where
the twilight air buzzes with emptiness and fear,
where nobody knows when this will stop and
I hate how this stupid sickness
and how it makes school be all online and stuff. can’t wait
for it to end and I can walk outside
again without  worrying  about having a mask. my
life like everyone else’s is corona outside my door.


Life of a Cardboard Box

Cardboard Box
Global Material Recycling
8079 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753

Dear Cardboard Box,

I know you haven’t arrived there yet but when you do I want you to have a token of my gratitude. Rough, tan, Cardboard Box, you came from a tree (I don’t know what type). But I don’t think you knew what you were going to be used for. I am assuming that you assumed that your only purpose was to get a shipping label slapped on at a company like Amazon and distribute or hold things like computers and stuffed animals but you mean much more than that to me.

When I was littler you were a simple play car, or a fort, or a box to ship your little sister to your grandparents in. Once I got older though you turned into one of my best craft projects, a dog box. I had seen a bunch of pictures online of them but I didn’t know how hard they were to make. It took me a week and so sorry for the pokes and jabs of a green pipe cleaner when I was spelling out my dog’s name in big fuzzy letters. And for the sticky glue I got all over you. Also for the dusty dirty dog blankets lining your bottom but, and I think you will agree, it was worth it for the creative, fun, box tradition, whatever they may use it for, to be passed on to a new generation, my dogs (both of them because even though I made it for one of them I think the other got jealous so they took it over.) You held up strong for the first few months until you collapsed and tore from exhaustion at the end of your life, but all generations will always love you, a simple shipping box. My dogs and I thank you for your dedication and selflessness.


Hamburger Letter

Dear Hamburger James the 5th,

Look man I need to gobble you up ok, it’s nothing personal. You’re just so good, it’s not like it’s my fault you smell like fresh meat with gravy!!! I ordered you with all meat and no vegetables, I need my money’s worth. Is it that your brother Jeff Mayos is here also, is it that you don’t want to see him get eaten?  I will eat you both at the same time, or are you just terrified? Last time you jumped over me and zoomed away! Can you at least tell your 83 fries that are all named Max to stay so I can dip them in Catsup?


P.S. Please stop hiding! I have looked everywhere, the trashcan, the restaurant, and my car. Please just come out.


Life Is a Mess!

My room was so messy it looked like an asteroid just hit the room. So I just slept on the couch that felt like a fluffy pillow. Then a couple days later I started thinking about how nice it would look if me and my brother redecorated the whole room, so I went to his room and asked him if he would like to help me redecorate my room and he yelled “NO!” at me. My heart dropped and tears came down my face as I walked away in sadness.

The next day as I was walking to school I heard somebody sneaking up behind me so I looked and saw my brother.

“Why are you following me?‘’ He asked

’’You just yelled at me like you were a lion.” I said.

“I just wanna say I’m sorry I was just having a bad day.”

“It’s ok just don’t be like a lion next time.”

“I won’t’’ my brother said as we both laughed.

’’Now that that’s over, still wanna redecorate your room after school?’’my brother asked.

My cheeks lit up as I shouted, “YES! Oops I mean yes.‘’ I whispered.

A couple hours later I heard the bell signaling the end of the school day. DING! I stood up and zoomed out the door and went straight to my dad’s car. Ten seconds later I saw my brother walking to the car and as soon as he got in I gave him a huge hug and said, “Thank you.”

“No problem. But I’m not doing it.”


The Best Best Friends

Emily and her best friend Tosty are going to move to the big big city. But she doesn’t know! When her mom tells her she is so sad. She packs her bags and puts Tosty her horse in the horse carrier. The horse carrier is pink. It is Tosty’s favorite color.

They go on a 17 hour drive. When they get there, Tosty gets stolen. Emily goes on every website she can looking for Tosty. She spent hours trying to find him. Finally she finds him going on bid for half a million! She asked her mom.

“I do not have that much money.”

“Can I ask dad?” 

“You can try, he’ll probably say no.”

“He said YES!”


“I am getting Tosty back! I can not wait to feel his shiny toast color fur. He said he’ll be here in 5 days! What should I do? I can’t wait!”

“Go make some friends.”

“What no! Not until I get Tosty back.”

“Don’t you ever yell at me young lady!”

“Sorry. Alright what are we going to do while we wait?”

“How about the shopping?”

“Or we could go get ice cream?”


“Sounds good, let’s do it.”

Five days later, Tosty arrives.

“Oh my gosh! Hi, Tosty! Tosty looked like he was hurt! It looks like Spurs had dug into the side of him. Someone hit him with a whip. Mom, do you think Tosty will be okay?”

“Yes I think tosty will be just fine okay sweetheart.”



Life Is A Bouncing Ball

Be loud like a singing nightingale
Live Life like it’s not so small and frail
When You touch we will shatter
But we bounce back and get put back together
The waves tower and swallow us whole
The trees give shade to a weak baby foal
The sands blow and tuck us in tight
But through it all the world gives us light 
We run we hide but problems sneak up
Yet good can follow and bring us some luck
We send in our courage to get nothing back
Yet we do in return we get pride on a plaque

Leah Drory

A Letter to Water Colors

Dear Water Colors,

Hey how have you been? Yea I know I have not used you in a while but I can explain.

When I bought you I was so excited! You see your colors are so vibrant and shining But it takes a while for them to dry.

Maybe you could try to speed up the process?

Also don’t tell Watercolor Paper but he is all used up, 

Don’t worry I will try to get more.

And I would not want to put you and copy paper together.

If I’m correct you two have a bad history.

And I know that Watercolor Paper is your one best friend.

You to were made for eachother, literally.

Anyway could you also try to stop staining my brushes?

I know its fun to leave a mark, but on the paper ok.

And for my end of the deal I’ll use you more. Don’t worry, I did not forget about you. 

Thanks a lot, Water Colors.

Leola Considine

The Best Bros

There were two brothers Miguel and Jack. They are best friends, but before they were like heaven and hell.It all started when Jack wanted to join the soccer team but also did Miguel, the thing is they did not want to see each other at their games.

Miguel was walking home from school, then before you knew it a car was coming for Miguel, but Jake heard his scream and came running to save him! He went to save Miguel just in time but he did not have time to save himself.

Once they got to the hospital the doctor said that Jack had shattered his knee. Miguel was so thankful that Jack had pushed him to the sidewalk.One week later Miguel had helped Jack so much that Miguel started doing everything with Jack and would help him around the house.Then the next month goes by and Jack teaches a lot of skills in soccer then the big day comes, when Miguel goes to him first game of the season!



Fruit is the candy of nature
That hangs down from the trees
And perches in the bushes that sway in the evening breeze
And when you take that first bite your heart begins to plead
For more of that delicious fruit that hangs down from the trees


The Drive to McKinney 

My brothers and I were in the car heading to my grandparents house,
It was a long drive.
I saw fields of grass, trees, cows, and  planes when I looked up,
my younger brothers were a little bit crazy in the car because we got to play video games and ate candy, 
(Lots of yelling),
Chick-fil-a nuggets with ketchup please and a rootbeer,
Stopped at a gas station, 
restroom break,
snack time again.
Back in the car again with my yelling brothers. 
It was like music to my ears.

Webb L.


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