In Ms. Barrett’s fourth-grade class, we spent our time together digging for details that excavate stories from the images in our minds. Students explored their own expertise and backgrounds while learning the tools to research the unfamiliar and reach the endless possibilities of their imaginations. Folk music icon Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” inspired us to tell our truest stories—those of the people we know and what they do. The work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda roused stirring odes about people and pets we love, Twinkies, and even pasta. These young writers experimented with rhyme, similes, stanzas, and detailed descriptions to make their points. You will get a good laugh from Connor’s hilarious tale of “Gail the Snail.” You will find out what it’s like when future drivers are instructed to design their own dream cars. Most of all, I think you will truly enjoy reading and seeing these images written, and the magical pictures they cast in your mind’s eye.
Badgerdog Teaching Artist
The Car I Want
In my dream car, I want it to have the color red.
I want it to have all the food in the world.
I want it to have all the video game systems in the world.
I want it to have all the drinks in the world.
It has AutoDrive.
I want it to have protection all over it, so it doesn’t break.
I would travel all over the world.
If I don’t go all around the world,
I want to go with my friend, Austin, to half of the world.
We will play games and ride.
My Rainbow Colored Car
My dream car would be longer than a limo! My limo would be pink with gold sparkles because pink is my favorite color and because I love sparkles. Gold is another favorite color of mine, so the running boards on my limo would be gold with pink sparkles. And did you know my limo could turn into a truck? The color of my rims would be purple. Now let’s go inside the limo/truck. When you walk into my limo/truck there is a big, cute, fluffy, black rug covering up all of the floor. My limo would also be like a camper van, so you could live in it. The color of the seats would be rainbow, and one of the buttons in the front seat would make the limo/truck change colors to rainbow. My sister, Brynn, would live with me. Brynn and I would have bunk beds laid out across from each other. The bunk beds would be blue because that is Brynn’s favorite color. The bedspreads on the beds would have pink and purple zigzag lines on it. On the wall, next to both of the bunk beds, would be a TV. I love watching Full House, so I would have to have a TV. The thing that would be amazing is free Internet. On the walls, there would be black and white polka dots with sparkles. Did you know the bunk beds could turn in together to make a table, so you would have a place to eat? The table would be clear and it would have gold and silver sparkles on it.
My mom is kind.
She looks like a woman with blonde and brown hair.
Her job is hair stylist.
She works at a hair salon.
Her favorite food is brisket tacos.
Her favorite colors are fuchsia, pink, and purple.
She likes to go to IHOP, Pizza Hut, and Golden Corral.
Her favorite clothes are dresses, pants, shorts, and shirts.
Her favorite shoes are Converse, sandals, and Tom’s.
Her favorite animals are puppies, cats, and wolves.
I think she is pretty.
She loves me and I love her.
I love my mom!
My Dream Car
My dream car would have some really comfy seats.
They would feel like a cloud.
The car would have a bed in it.
The color would be purple.
The inside would have a lot of space.
If you ask the car, it will give you ice cream.
You can make up your own flavors,
add your own decorations
and any kind of sweets.
The lights would be the color of a rainbow.
The color of the car would change every minute.
The car would also have a dance party.
The Black Sheep
My mother is very loyal to me. She tries her hardest to do what’s best for me. She usually always wears an old Alabama Crimson Tide hat. Back in our old state, Oregon, she worked at this bar called The Black Sheep. She worked almost every day, so she barely ever got sleep. Other than that, she is very funny. She often makes a play on words. She is very entertaining; she’s like the house clown. At her work, she makes a lot of friends and I usually get along with them. The person I got along with the most was named Taylor. Sometimes, Taylor would pick me up from school. One day, The Black Sheep wanted to make a change. They got rid of two of the oldest people and one of them was my mom.
My dream car would be mainly black with a blue streak coming across the middle. It would also have a pole to catch electricity. It would be powered by electricity with white parts that look like stars and glow in the dark. It’d be small, but big enough for six people. It’d have two black motorcycles with white, glow-in-the-dark stripes on the sides that people can ride. They can also split off the car with the push of a button, but they can’t go that far away because they are magnetically connected. It would also be able to have part of the front turn into a set of turntables. They are mainly black with a rainbow streak that continually changes color. They have cool speakers and a computer that has headphones. Also, it would have a microphone that’s connected to said features. It would have cool party lights that I could use any time I want. I would rarely let anyone in, and if I did, they’d usually be there to help me with the party settings that I forgot to mention. I’d use it 99 percent of the time for party-like/party/cool events that I am invited to (if you couldn’t tell already). Said parties would mainly be at night. Because. Reasons. Now I want to play Mario Cart for some odd reason… huh?
The Mega Car
It’s bad and black
And can go ten times faster than a Ferrari
It has a built-in robot to drive it
It has twenty-four seats and a hot tub on the roof
My car has a 3D printer that can print one thing
With the snap of my finger, it will activate disco lights
It has 5×5 foot TVs and one ten-foot one
It has tires that are thicker than a dog that spent one year in a hotdog factory
With the press of a box, the Mega Car will start to bounce
It can go anywhere, from the Earth’s core to another galaxy
It even has a toilet in the back
The seats are fluffy as a cloud and softer than velvet
The seats are also as bouncy as a trampoline
The fuel is nuclear waste
It’s waterproof and if you say fish
It will turn into a submarine
The Energy Car
My car is fifty feet tall and a street wide. It is jet black with fire red seats and everything important is water blue. The cool thing is that it comes with portable gas in a flameproof closet (actually, the whole car is flameproof and bulletproof). The inside has two really important buttons and a lot of other random buttons. The two important buttons are self-drive and auto-drive. See, the important thing is that… let’s say you tell your friend you will go this specific route for any reason with self-drive. You go that route, but auto-drive will take the main route, and that’s boring. The cool parts are: the rockets that can take you up to exactly 132,586,794 light years into space, a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, a fully operating weapons system (for anything strange), a fully operating “camp-mode,” a fully operating transforming system, an elevator that can take you to Mars somehow. And the exhaust is cheese and (I saved the best for last)… a cup holder… with a voice lock… No!… ”Aw, man. K.” You can fit thirty-six people in the car and take them almost everywhere in the world. I was driving down a road with dead trees around it and suddenly… a Stegosaurus appeared! It destroyed everything around it, saying, “I am a Stegosaurus!” Then, I suddenly felt dizzy and saw a flash of light. I felt heat and I saw the car vaporizing.
My dad’s name is Jerry.
His height is five-foot-three.
His name is my middle name.
He is a builder.
He made a hotel by IH-35.
He is also a bike builder.
He also has a lot of tattoos.
He has three kinds of tattoos on his head.
He has one in the middle of his head.
It is a Virgin Mary with roses on the sides.
New York Car
My dream car has spikey wheels.
My car is bright pink.
My rims are silver with glitter.
The seats are made out of fluffy, rainbow fabric.
In my car, there will be a caramel Frappuccino maker.
With the push of a button, it will make me the best drink ever!
I will go shopping with Esther and Daniela.
We will go to New York City.
It will give us more than one thousand phones.
I woke up in an abandoned hospital.
I looked both ways.
The date was 2082.
Since the hospital was blown up, I climbed a wall.
I saw the future, but there was a portal.
I forgot Stacey came with me.
I saw her and I ran to her and said,
“Stacey! You saw the portal, right?”
“You’re strange,” Stacey said.
“So, let’s go into it,” I said.
“Okay,” Stacey said.
We looked and saw the date 1825.
It was a back-in-time portal.
We had to go back.
My dream car is a double-decker bus without a roof on the top part and no seats on the roof, just grass. The color of the bus is yellow. The inside is bright orange. The bus is called the Llama Bus. On the Llama Bus there are stripes. The stripes are brown, but the llama is white. It does not use gas for fuel. It uses cheese. There is a button that changes the cheese kind. It can disguise itself as a giant llama. When it goes into disguise, corn comes out of the llama’s mouth. The coolest thing about it is that no one drives it. It also goes up to five light years a second. I would bring Connor and Christian and go into a black hole and see what’s inside. Inside the black hole are alpacas, mostly brown alpacas and the rest are white. There is no gravity and it also makes you feel weird because you are getting stretched out. When we come back, we will have a Stegosaurus, which will say, “I am Stegosaurus.”
My Ode to My Dog Harley
My dog, Harley, is funny.
When he plays with his bone, he grows very funny.
Harley is softer than a bunny.
Harley loves to sleep.
He never makes a peep.
Harley likes to go to the park slide.
We also like to play seek and hide.
He is tan and black.
He likes to run the track.
His favorite people are my uncle and me.
Ode to Pasta
Oh, pasta! How can you be so delicious?
With those spices and sauces, you are a god of food, you know?
You are ancient. You came from China and transferred to Italy.
“Where Lambos are,” and transformed into paradise.
You fill me with joy and tranquility.
My tongue always wonders where you are and never stops thinking about you.
My Sweet Dobie
Oh, how I love my dog Dobie!
How he stares in your eyes
The way he licks your face
I love Dobie like cotton candy
He is the light of my day like the sun in the sky
How he curls with you when he can give no more
Sweet brown of his fur
He gives you a kiss when you’re down
Like a puppy saving a duck in town
My dog is small and lazy
He sits on the couch like a tomato
He’s only six years old
But to me he’s a baby
Sometimes he goes too far
It’s like a piece of paper hitting you
But he is mostly nice and cute like a lion
My dog is my world
He is my sun in my day
He’s cute and could act like a good dog
But he won’t even listen sometimes
Dobie loves wearing a shirt
I make him hot when he’s cold
He is like a body lying in bed
I love Dobie like a god
He has fur like a bear
I can go home and give him a kiss
Ode to Twinkies
The sweet, pillowy cream
The spongy, light outside
To me, it is more valuable
All the different flavors
Your golden color
Your plastic wrapper is so crinkly
For you I would give anything
I would give shoes for you
In my heart there is a place for you
I could swim in an ocean of Twinkies
You come in all those shapes and sizes
Deep fried, ice cream, packaged fresh
I could binge eat you for a lifetime
Gail the Snail
Once there was a snail
His name was Gail
He was male
He swallowed a nail
And he gave Dale the mail
He wanted to sail
But he was a fail
That’s why he was a giver of the mail
He lost his tail
When it started to hail
He went to his house and hid in a pail
But forgot to eat his kale
So he went to jail
And when he got home he found his tail
My Unicorn Car
I would love my car to be a unicorn car. It will be white with painted rainbow hairs on it and it will have a golden unicorn horn. My dream car will have lots of buttons. One will be for a chocolate fountain with a bowl of strawberries next to it. It will also have a cake-maker button where you can pick a flavor, frosting, and topping. My Unicorn Car will also have a unicorn Frappuccino button. There will also be a small stand of hot Cheetos. The hot Cheetos will be flaming hot Cheetos puffs, Takis, and flaming hot rings. My dream car’s light will be rainbow. My car will also have wings and be able to fly. My dream car’s seats will have unicorns. It will have a unicorn horn on the top of the seat. My dream car will be powered by my hand. My dream car will have a microwave and a touch screen. My dream car will also have rainbow wheels; it will have a freezer with ice cream, caramel apples, Hot Pockets, pizza rolls, and popsicles. I will take my family to a beautiful beach.
Daniela Villegas Garcia
My dream car would be light, bright blue with windows the color of the ocean on the left, bright red on the right and bright purple in the middle. The inside seats would be red. The headlights would change color in rainbow order. On the inside there would be a large rainbow button with a capital “C” on it. It would spill out candy. Mostly Twix, Hershey’s and gum. There would be a blue button with a “P” that releases a pool with a diving board, water slide, and pads that you can swim on included. As well as an orange button with a “W” that releases a climbing wall and a cave. There would be a board touch screen that has all the other water controls. This car could fly, swim, climb, slide, drive. and go to outer space (as far as six million light years). There would be an autopilot and another touch screen that would change the shape of the car. The background of the touch screens would be blue and the words and pictures would be white. The touch screens would be floating, half hologram and half transparent. The last touch screen would paint murals on the car, depending on what I tell it to paint. It can even show moving pictures, films, and movies!