Incredible Journeys with Mrs. Karcher’s Class at Barrington Elementary

Writing with Mrs. Karcher’s third-grade storytellers at Barrington Elementary meant cackling laughter, heads huddled together, plotting, wiggling out of seats excitement, and quite a lot of fun. Together, we worked tirelessly to harness that tremendous energy into narrative masterpieces. The result? Unique characters like Zezer the silver-back ape, Crystal the car charger, Painty the paint brush, and a mystery-solving girl with a baby dragon sidekick, who lives in wild settings—carefully described with juicy details—such as a big, gold mansion that smells of good (not dry) turkey, a caring dad that feeds his daughter beans and beef, and a whole candy planet of “blue and green stripes, and it smells like tropical pineapple and tastes like watermelon.” These characters have important wishes: wanting to get to the top of the wacky rainbow, getting back a best friend, becoming a gym coach or a rich boss or a princess with a pony. But in their way stand mighty obstacles, like slippery water, witches, monster crocks in the sewers, dragons, a mouse king, and a mysterious video game thief! How will it all end? Will the characters survive and get their wishes? Well, you’ll have to read our stories to find out!

Tricia Hassenfeld
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Raven’s Quest

Chapter 1: Raven’s Plan

Once upon a mysterious time, it was time to go back to school. Well, boarding school. Raven was very excited.

There was a girl running the school. The school was a high school boarding school.

Raven was curious. She was very, very curious about the school. She thought the principal was a liar. Raven made a plan to find clues. She went out and got some supplies: one new outfit, two flash lights, three bags of sandwiches, a backpack, a notebook, seventy pencils, and a tent. She put all her supplies in her backpack and left.

Raven was off to save the school. But first she had to find some clues.

Chapter 2: Tag-A-Long

On the way, Raven saw a cute little dragon baby. The dragon wanted to come with her, so Raven took the dragon with her.

Now Raven had a ride. It was getting dark, so she made a fire and a tent. She got out the sandwiches and gave half of them to her dragon. She named her dragon Tricia. Raven loved Tricia.

Chapter 3: Clues

Raven thought of clues. The first clue was that the principal, Miss Lilly, always went out into the woods during her break time, and she always wore feather scarves (the feathers always fell out) and high-heel shoes.

The girls went to sleep. In the morning they went looking.

Chapter 4: Tracks

Raven saw high-heel shoe tracks in the dirt. Tricia sniffed the dirt and pointed to the right.

To be continued…

Andrea Roberts, a.k.a. Raven


Justin Bieber is awesome and cool, and he wears purple every day. He lives in a mansion. The mansion is big and gold. The inside is gold, too. It smells good.

Justin Bieber cooks a turkey. The turkey tastes really good. The turkey is not dry.

You can hear tiny racecars driving. You can hear the TV. You can touch the shiny gold. You can touch all of his video games.

One day, Justin Bieber wished for some chocolate. He wanted to build a portal to get to the chocolate faster.

But then! Cyborg robots had a dance-off with him! So Justin Bieber took out the screws.



Luck’s Unicorn

On a normal day, Luck, a tiny Irish man, wanted to get to the top of the wacky rainbow that played his favorite music. His plan was to fly on his flying unicorn. But, unfortunately, his unicorn got the hiccups and fell asleep, so Luck woke up his unicorn.

Ariel Bustos, a.k.a. Tory

I Love It

I live in a castle with my dad. My dad feeds me when I’m hungry. My dad does whatever I say. My dad feeds me beans and beef.

One day, I wished I could own everything because I am a girl who is rich.

First, I decided to the store, but there was nothing there to buy, so I decided to make my own store!

Candace Johnson

Bill Goes to the Car Shop

Bill was running to get a car. He almost slipped in water, so he started to walk slow. When he got out of the water, he saw a witch! He started to run fast, fast, faster, and then he jumped, and then he saw a pole. He was ready to swing around the pole, and he swung high in the sky. He was almost to the car shop. He climbed over the fence, and he went to go get a car, and he was so happy because he didn’t have to walk back to his house.


Adventures of Ropeo and GB 2

GB lives in a far away land where everybody is big, and the best part is you can’t be mean to anybody because everybody’s happy. There are trees and water. It looks like a jungle and everyone is number one.

Ropeo was always mean to GB. GB was tired of it, so he went to a candy island with his friends, Woody and Buster.

Then Ropeo wanted to find GB, and GB never knew why Ropeo was mean to him. Then, GB met the Terminator, who captured him and wanted to torture him, but he escaped with his giant machine. Then he did a bunch of punches to destroy all the bad guys.

Gabriel Allen Olivas, a.k.a. Lil Wayne


The Twins

Once upon a time, a magic bee called Dave Bee made a two amazing twins. These boys were clever, amazing twins—Zach and Cody. “I am free,” said Zach.

“Dave Bee!” said Cody.

“Zack, Cody” he said, “I am very proud to see you. We are going to move to a magical, cheerful ship.”

When Zach and Cody looked at the place, it was glamorous. “Wow!” Cody said.

“Video Game 3000!” Zach said.

It was the bravest day ever.

Then, someone mysterious took away their Video Game 3000, and Zach and Cody went on an adventure. They went to Atlantis, but it wasn’t there. Then they went to Australia. It wasn’t there either, so they went to New York. It was there! Then they went back home.

So they played Video Game 3000.

“Cody, I have a smart phone Android 99,” said Dave Bee.

“Thank you,” said Cody.

“Zach, I have something for you.”

“A car,” said Zach.

And they lived amazingly ever after.

Henoc Gogo

Ducky the Beast

The Duckys are beasts. This has gone on for years. Humans have not figured it out.

My place is arctic, and the only person who can survive there is Ducky the Beast. He is always hungry. The place is dark at night. That’s when the hunting begins, and the only one that survived is Ducky the Beast. He grows as large as Pluto, and they need to rebuild the place as quick as they can, which is in a blink of an eye, and they hate the taste of humans, and they have hair-knives.

6 Weeks Later: Ducky the Beast has to use the restroom. When he sits down on the toilet, it eats him in a millisecond, not that Ducky the Beast isn’t able to take care of it. He goes into the sewers, and monster crocks try to fight, fight, but he fights back! He uses the QuackQuack, a legendary move, and the walls crack as rocks fall on him. Raaaa! Then he immediately throws the rock as the monster toilet falls and cracks. He jumps out and lands on on Superman.

Isaiah Franklin, a.k.a. Bouncy Bunny


Best Friend

Once upon a time, there was a big kid named JJ. He lived on an island, eating water and coconuts. I was with JJ, and so was Dez and Buster the bee.

One day, JJ found a lost cat outside. Buster loved that cat. JJ was jealous because Buster was JJ’s best friend. Then Buster and the cat became best friends.

The next day, JJ was sad and he left the island.

The day after that, Buster, Dez, and I were looking for JJ, but JJ was gone. Then the cat ran away, and the cat found JJ, so JJ decided to go back to the island. Buster was happy JJ came back, but JJ was still lonely. Buster, Dez, and me worried that JJ had no best friend.

Then Buster asked JJ what was wrong, and JJ said, “I don’t want to talk about it.” JJ got up and went to Buster, but the cat got in the way and it started to rain. JJ used an umbrella and walked to Buster, but it was storming, so JJ went inside. Then Buster was inside, too.

Then JJ went to Buster and asked him, “Why do you like that cat so much?” Buster said the cat was cute, and JJ said, “Oh, now I get it.”

Then Buster and JJ became best friends again, and me and Dez was happy. The End.

Jenny Dominguez, a.k.b. A.J.

AJ the Wishful DJ

My character’s name is AJ. He has a lot of cars to fix. His house is shiny. The color of his house is gold. One day, he got a lot faster at fixing cars. AJ is a human, but he can fly. And he has human friends. His wish is to become a DJ, so he plans to get a job.

He comes upon a dragon. He defeats the dragon.

Johnny Gibson IV

Michael’s Adventure

Michael loves animals. One day, he was at home watching TV. He got bored, so he went into the forest to play with his animal friends. He loved playing with his animals. Then he wanted to go home, and he hoped his animal friends would help him.

Suddenly, a brave police officer appeared! Michael told him that he was just trying to get home.

They heard lots of noisy traffic is on the road. The traffic stopped, and Michael and the officer quickly got through.

After that, they went through a big river. Then they go on the backs of two bears, and the bears swam through the river.

Finally, Michael got home, and he thanked his animal friends.

Jovanny Zuniga


One exciting day, Zezer, a sixteen-year-old silver-back ape who could talk, was in a rainforest. There were other apes there. Their names were Jovanny, Darren, Arieon, Isaiah, Johnny, Henoc, Gabriel, and Justin. There were two girls, whose names were Shy’ann and Latavia.

Zezer really wanted to be the leader of all of the apes. It was Zezer’s lucky day. He battled apes bigger than him, cobras longer than him, three gorillas, crocodiles heavier than nine cobras, but then the leader of the clan, One Eye, was as strong as a bull. Zezer thought he was toast. He saw One Eye had a wooden leg. If Zezer could break the leg, One Eye might fall and lose.

He had to battle him, but One Eye knew what Zezer was thinking, so it made things easier for One Eye to defeat Zezer. But Zezer had to punch One Eye in the face to weaken him.

The battle started. Zezer landed the first hit, but One Eye blocked the hit and punched Zezer in the leg and face. Zezer kicked the wooden leg. One Eye lost. He backed down.

One day later, Zezer got his wish. He became the leader and lived happily ever after.

Justin Almanza, a.k.a. Justin Bieber


Crystal the Car Charger: Lost in Brazil

One day, a normal day, there was a car charger named Crystal, sitting in a box at the iPhone store. She lived in Brazil. She was made in a factory. A girl named Shaley went into the phone shop. As Crystal looked at her, she said with a sign, “I wish she would buy me.” The girl asked a boy if there were any car chargers. She looked at Crystal, got the box, and walked out.

The next day Crystal wanted to get her family breakfast from McDonald’s. She rolled to McDonald’s with Shaley. While walking, the road got crowded because it was New Year’s Day in Brazil. Crystal rode on a skateboard with Shaley. Then the wheels popped off, and Crystal had a dance off with Diamond. She got tired, and Crystal put Diamond in bed in a mansion. Then they to went back, but McDonald’s was closed.

Suddenly a dancing ninja dog brought Crystal and Shaley breakfast.

They had… Well, Crystal had biscuits with sausage and apple juice. Shaley had coffee with pancakes. The rest had eggs, bacon, and potatoes. Diamond had goola. If you don’t know what goola is, it’s just some rice, dog food, ravioli, meat, and ham.

Now to the adventurous part: Today Shaley had to move back to New York. Crystal was sad. She said goodbye to her friends. Suddenly, Diamond grabbed Crystal, threw her off, and pushed Shaley. The door closed and they took off. Shaley was crying.

Okay, back to the story… Crystal had nobody to help her. She went to the beach until a dolphin came. Her name was Dolly. She knew Crystal was sad. “What is wrong?”

“My friend is gone to New York,” Crystal said.

“Well, I know where New York is.”

“Really? Yay!!!”

They went to New York. Before that, they visited the Amazon and Washington, D.C. Then they made it to New York.

Guess what! A million days later, she was not there. I’m not telling you.

Fine, I’ll tell you: Shaley went back to Brazil to get Crystal. They had to stay there until they went to Texas. Crystal gave Dolly a sea reed. Crystal found a factory and found her family. Shaley was there. They lived in Texas. Her wish came true. And Crystal and her family lived happily ever after.

Kylee Miller


There was a lady who wanted money because she would be rich if she got money. All she had was $900. She wanted $900 more so, in all, she would have $1800. She would also have a dancing job because she liked dancing. Since the age of one, she really liked to be the boss. That’s why she wanted to be the captain. That was her wish forever, but the rain got in her way, so she just went with an umbrella.

Latavia Renee Felder


The Princess’s Wish

There was a girl who lived in a bright house in California. Nobody knew that she was a princess. She came to America to go to a big school. She made four or five friends who were friendly. At a house, there was a big party, so the princess entered the house but her dad came and took her. Then everyone knew that she was a princess, and she went back to California. She was a lovely girl. The problem was that she wanted to buy a pony, so the next morning her dad bought a pony for her. She was a brilliant, lucky girl.

Nusrat Alam

Belle’s Dream

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Belle who saw a sign that read: “Gym Coach Academy.” She always wanted to be a gym coach. When she came home, she got healthy foods, she did more exercising, and she started to get stronger and stronger. Then she went to the audition and she got the job! She was so happy that she had to tell her friends, Janette and April. Her friends were happy that Belle got the job.

Then, she went to go to the gym (where she now worked). Janette and April came through the door. Belle was surprised. Belle said, “What are you doing here?!”

April said, “We wanted to go to the academy, so we signed up.”

“This is great,” Belle said. “Now we can spend the time to get to know each other.”

Janette said, “So let’s get this gym started.”

Belle, April, Janette, and the people exercised until the gym closed at 10:30. When the academy was closed, Belle was in bed eating, and she went to sleep.

On Monday morning, Belle got dressed and ate a healthy breakfast. Belle went to her job. She went at 7:00.

Olivia Ballard

The Adventure of Ropeo and GB

Once upon a time, there was cowboy named Ropeo who lived in space. The whole planet he lived on was purple with blue and green stripes, and it smelled like tropical pineapple and tasted like watermelon.

One day, the cowboy went to his garden for breakfast. He ate donuts and candy with watermelon juice. For lunch, he ate a Jello sandwich. For dinner he had green jellybeans with a candy cheeseburger. For dessert, he had a candy apple with strawberry sauce.
One day Ropeo met GB, and they became best friends. Then one day, GB went away on a mission that lasted thirty years. Ropeo started to worry. Then Ropeo started to pack his bags to go find GB. It took a very long time. Then he got to Candy Island.
Ropeo was using his fast car, but when he got there, the evil terminator tried to stop him. He used his secret powers and finally found GB. GB and Ropeo left and went back home where they lived happily ever after.

Serenity Williams, aka Niki Minaj

colorful paint splash

Painty’s Life Traveling

Painty was so lonely one day. He was black. He needed paint. He wanted to be so colorful, and he was so thirsty, and he just didn’t know what to do, so he traveled and traveled looking for water and paint. That day he went inside a store. He found a bowl and a bottle of water and a pack of paint. He bought it and went home and was so exhausted, and poured her water in that bowl and opened her paint and jumped in her bowl and jumped out and dipped herself in her paint and jumped in her water and felt better. She had never felt that good before then. She lived happily ever after.

Shy’ann Cathey


On one bright day, Crisaline went to the village to get some bread. She saw a sharp, charming new thing. She went to go take a look. Bam! The sharp, charming thing took her to a new, quiet world.
Her pet Buster went with her, and—bam!—he went into the gigantic portal with her to the glamorous kingdom.
Then she saw it: the beautiful other side of the garden. Since she was poor she had not been able to go to the rich side of the garden, but then Crisaline went there and loved the rich side.
She stayed there for a few days then she saw a girl. The girl was a princess. Now was her chance. Crisaline could finally know how to have a family again. The princess told her it was a dangerous trip, and Crisaline said, “I’ll take any dangerous trip.”
So the princess told her, “There is a mouse king, and he will get in the way of saving my father. If you save my father, you will get your wish. But I have to warn you—once you destroy the evil mouse king, they show you three mirrors. If you pick the right one, you will get one wish.”
“But what if I pick the wrong one?” Crisaline asked.
“Then the robot-battling king will fight you, and you will turn into humongous pile of ash.”
Crisaline stayed quiet. The princess told her, “Don’t worry. You look strong, courageous, and brave. So you should not have a problem.”
So, Crisaline went off. She turned back, but the princess disappeared, and she was on her own.

Teliza Trevino


The Quirky Characters of Mr. Dusing’s Class from Barrington Elementary

At first glance, Mr. Dusing’s third-grade storytellers at Barrington Elementary may seem quiet and polite. But don’t let those shy exteriors fool you! Inside those nodding heads are galaxies of original, hilarious, and gruesome ideas, which, when added together in just the right order, create the brilliant narratives that you find here today. You begin by crafting an original character, such as an escaped giraffe, a giraffe-bird, and her dog, Cotton Ball Plant, a magic-smelling key, clowns who live in castles, and Ms. Crazy, of course. Next, add juicy details to describe the setting—the cold of ice cream and the feel of the wind, a place that has plants and water and hunted people, un hombre quien siempre huele a sudor—and give that character a wish—wanting to sleep all day, to give ten animals a shower, to be a famous D.J., build buildings, or protect his sheep. Finally, mix in obstacles like dirty chores, falling off of roofs, mean dollar-stealing bullies, fear, snakes, tornados, and ghosts. When you mix it all together just right, the result is creative, intriguing, and just plain delicious.

Tricia Hassenfeld
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


The Famous D.J.

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Ms. Crazy and her friend Buster. They went to the park. Buster went to the slide and when he touched Ms. Crazy, it gave her a shock. Then, when Ms. Crazy went down the slide and then she touched Buster, he got a shock! Then a girl came. She was Belinda. She was a D.J. Belinda the D.J. told them to come to her house.

Belinda wished to be a famous D.J. in the world. I can tell you she read a book about being a D.J. She wanted Ms. Crazy and Buster to help her.

Ms. Crazy and Buster brought Belinda to a D.J. content, and Belinda won. Buster and Ms. Crazy were happy, and they lived happily ever after.


Sin título

Un dia normal, hay un hombre quien esta haciendo ejercicio en el ginasio y se llama Justodo. Cuando esta haciendo ejercicio huele a sudor. El desea hacer ejercicio y comience a hacer ejercicios con una máquina con la caminadora.

Pero! El dinero para pagar. Entonces, el va a su casa para conseguir dinero.

Despues, no hay un dinero para Justodo. Se fue por que Terminador.

Finalmente, su carro no tiene gasolina. Entonces, el va a su casa.

Despues de todo, esta feliz.


It’s a normal day, and there is a man exercising in a gym, and his name is Justodo. When he is exercising, he smells like sweat. He wishes to exercise and plans to exercise with a treadmill machine.

But! He doesn’t have money to pay. So, he goes to his house to get money.

Then, Justodo doesn’t have any money. He left because of the Terminator.

Finally, his car didn’t have gas. So, he went to his house. After all, he was happy.

Anthony Juarez


My Wish

Chapter 1: On a very, very, very, very normal day, three girls were so bored. They wanted to do something cool but fun, but the girls were nice and normal. They went outside, and they saw trash. They could smell it, too. Then an ice cream guy came, and the girls bought ice cream. It tasted good, and they could feel the cold of the ice cream and they could hear and feel the wind. Then they picked up the trash from the sidewalk. This helped other people see that trash goes in the garbage can.

One girl wanted to be talented. She wanted to be a singer superstar. She went to a show so people would know that she had talent, and she planned to go up to the stage and sing. But the security guards wouldn’t let her go in. But she went anyway when they weren’t looking, and she went to the stage and she started singing a song that she made up, and audience liked the song. Then she came to be famous. And she was popular. Everyone was crazy about her music because even men and ladies were crazy about her music, and she was so famous. She was the first-place singer. Everybody liked very, very, very much, and her awesome and beautiful song!

Chapter 2: The singer was invited to a contest show, and she made a new song. And she won. And she was happy.


Trip to Buster’s House

My character is a giraffe-bird. My giraffe-bird can taste, feel, see, hear, and smell. My giraffe-bird can build a nest, eat, and sleep. It lives in a tree zoo.

My magic giraffe plans to run to Buster’s house. Buster’s house is next door.

But then, the magic giraffe’s dog wants food, so it gives it dog food. Then the dog wants to go for a walk. The magic giraffe takes the dog for a walk. Finally, the magic giraffe puts the dog back home and goes to Buster’s house and plays video games.

Belinda De la Cruz Valdez

Cotton Ball Plant Gets Her Wish!

Cotton Ball Plant lived in Dallas and looked like a rose. She wanted to get a magic plant, but a wolf was in the way, so she got meat and the wolf was gone. Snow was falling, so she got sunshine to melt the snow away. Her friends helped her. Then she saw her shadow, so she fell down, but her shadow got the magic plant and she got her wish. She became a popular and lucky girl, so she had lots of friends suddenly! She was so beautiful and nice, too. And Ms. Crazy was super proud of her!

Damaris Itzep


They Want to Take the Key

Once upon a time, there was a character whose name was Key, and he could smell things because he was magic. One day, the king was listening to music, and Key was listening too, and Key heard water because it was raining. They were in the kingdom, and the king used Key to open the door.

The character’s most important wish was to open doors. This wish was important to Key because if he couldn’t open doors, the king wouldn’t like him anymore. So Key’s plan to get the wish was to be a good at opening doors and to be a magic key. His wish came true when a fairy said, “Do you want to be a real magic key or not? Or you can tell me your wish.”

But then, the shadow was going to take Key because the shadow was behind the key. All of a sudden, the king got the key, and the king got away. A vampire bit the king and took Key away with him. And then the king was magic. Then the fairy came and made Key’s wish come true. Now he is a magic key.

Dani Gorostieta

Another New Bike

My character is funny, and he likes to dance. His name is Daniel (me!), and he likes to eat cereal in the morning. He likes playing video games. He also has a pet cat. (He likes playing with his friends, too.)

On a very, very normal day, Daniel was on the bus. When he got home, his bike’s tire was flat, and he couldn’t find another tire. So he told his mom, and she said he needed a new bike.

Daniel’s plan to get his new bike was to do his chores. On Monday, he cleaned his room. There were a lot of Ninja-go toys around the blue room.

Then, he washed the family’s two cars. They were red and brown. It was hard because there was a lot of trash. Both cars were dirty.

Then Daniel did the dishes. They were hard to do because the dishes were dirty, too.

When he got home from school, Daniel saw his mom and said: “You’re the best mom ever for buying me my bike!”

Daniel Curbera

David’s Famous Painting

On a very, very cold day, David was inside his house because it was cold. David didn’t have anything to do, so he went to paint in his kitchen. He was going to paint and copy what it looked like outside, so he just opened the blinds and started painting.

David really wanted to make a famous painting, so he decided to do a contest. But he had to find a contest.

David went walking. He walked until he saw his boss, who told him, “You need to go to work!”

When he was working, David went to the hospital because he fell off the roof and he broke his arm. But he was okay.

When he got out of the hospital, he saw a contest and went to sign up. Now, he was in the contest, and he won. He is now a famous painter.



Chasing Chupacabra King

One day, I saw my sheep was white blood. Then one night, I was awake and I saw a weird creature. I followed the creature to his leader, the Chupacabra King. His name was the Chupacabra Master.

I sneak-attacked him with a move from a video game. I wanted to get Chupacabra Master and kill him so he would stop taking the sheep. That way, I could cut the sheep’s fur and make money.

But then! The Lava Man brought out little volcanoes. I went to get a hose. Suddenly, King Kong went bananas! A Big Robot Crab came next. The robot had a giant claw. I turned super and got the crab’s giant claw. Finally, I went flying, and just in time, because the Chupacabra had set out bombs.

Emanuel Barrera

Chupacabra and the Hunter

Once upon a time, there was a place with plants and water and hunted people. Two people were going to the lake when they woke up the chupacabras. They saw them swim and attack, and the people ran away and the chupacabra went to sleep.

The chupacabra’s most important wish is to be a human. His plan is to visit a wizard and tell him his plan. But then, one hunter got his gun to kill the chupacabra. But the chupacabra saw the hunter.

Suddenly, the sun was going to set. The hunter saw the chupacabra and stared. Then came the chupacabra. It attacked the hunter, and the hunter shot. The hunter thought that the chupacabra died, but the chupacabra lived and returned.


Daniel’s Money Plan

On a brilliant day, Daniel went to eat breakfast so that he could build at a construction site. He wanted to build a home for people to buy. He wanted to get money to buy food and a nice house—not like his old, broken home. Daniel wanted to find out what to build, so he made a funny plan to get more money.



The Clown Who Lived in a Castle

Once there was a happy clown named Luis who lived in a castle. He wanted to be rich so he could buy things. He decided to become talented and be the funniest clown in the world. He would do this by practicing and practicing a lot of jokes.

But then there was a big King Cobra. Luis the Clown went to his house and got food for the cobra. Then Luis the Clown went to the library and found the funniest book in the world. Then Luis went to his castle. After he practiced his jokes, he went to perform for everybody in his vehicle. He was scared, but then he overcame his fear. He performed his joke, and it was amazing to the people.

Hector Hernandez

Ms. Tricia and Buster

Once there was a Ms. Tricia and her friend Buster. One day, she found a dollar on the ground. Then a bully came and pushed Ms. Tricia to the ground.

The bully said, “That is my dollar!”

Ms. Tricia said, “No, that’s my dollar. I found it on the ground.”

Then Buster got the dollar from the bully;s pocket and put it in the Ms. Tricia’s pocket. The bully left, and Ms. Tricia went home with Buster. Buster said, “I put the dollar in your pocket because I don’t want that bully to steal your money.”

Joshua G.

Jack’s Adventures

On a sunny day, there was a boy named Jack walking his dog. He liked to learn a lot and watch TV a lot and put ice in winter. He liked to eat ice cream and smell clean air in the morning and hear music when he was bored on fall days. He also liked October because he went trick-or-treating with his friends and Mom. He liked Christmas, too, because he got presents.

Jack’s greatest wish was to be smarter. He wanted to learn more at school. But then! A snake came. Jack gave some brains to the snake for food.

Then came a tornado. Jack ran to school. Then Jack wanted to play with his friends. He saw a shadow and tried to punch it, but then he knew how to stop them.

Joshua Z.


The Pretty Art Teacher and Her Friends

There once was a pretty, pretty, beautiful teacher. She had a wish. Her wish was to be the very best art teacher in the whole galaxy. But she didn’t know how to draw, so her best friends told her where she could go to learn how to paint pictures. Her friends’ names were Keiry, Ariana, and Anna.

The teacher worked hard to learn. She had to work a lot. She took her time and was a great student. But then, on her home, all of a sudden she saw a tornado, and she ran to her home. While she was at home, she saw a ghost. The ghost just ran away.

Finally, she was the prettiest, best art teacher.


The Giraffe that Escaped from the Zoo

On a very, very, very, very normal day, there was a giraffe in the zoo. He was eating leaves. Then he was full, and in the night, the giraffe escaped from the zoo. When morning came, the zookeeper brought the giraffes leaves, but the cage was open. The zookeeper called the police to help him find the giraffe, but the giraffe was far away, and the police couldn’t find him because the giraffe didn’t like the zoo, and the giraffe wanted to be with his family. Then the giraffe had his wish, and he was with his family. The giraffe lived happily ever after.



Limonada’s Silly Day

On a silly day, Limonada the lemon was on a farm. Limonada really wanted to sleep all day because sleeping is important. You must sleep in order to get more energy. Limonada’s plan was to only get tired and then sleep.

But suddenly! Her bed turned to fire, so she slept on the sofa. Suddenly, she heard a noise. She went to her friend’s home to sleep. Now she couldn’t sleep.

Finally, she was tired at night, and she slept. She felt excited because she was sleeping.



On a very, very, very, very normal day, Grandma Meary was just waking up from her one-hour nap. She went to go drink some coffee, and she went to go feel if the meat was defrosted to eat for dinner. Then, when she went to go watch TV, her two dogs were barking and her eight cats were meowing at the back porch. They were barking and meowing because she did not hear them when she was getting her coffee, and they were hungry and thirsty.

That day, Grandma Meary wished that she could play a trick on her cats and dogs to get them in the shower. Her messy plan was to get a box, a toy, a stick, a bell, and a string. She would use those materials to trap them!

She set the materials up, and then she waited. She had to wait a long time. Then she heard the bell ring when two of the dogs got in the box, so she pulled the string. The stick fell. The trap had worked, and she was so excited. She was even more excited because the two dogs and eight cats liked to take showers now because she had put toys in the shower. She loved it.

Nevaeh Lemus

Going Places

Some people would argue that it’s not about the destination, but the people you encounter along the way; others may say that a journey’s not worth taking unless you have a sweet ride. Ms. Munoz’s class at Barrington Elementary explores both sides of this question. To some, the people they encounter, cousin Jesus, Mom, Purple Stinking Fish, or Dad, are the most important parts of the journey. Others would rather have a black and pink car that goes 1000,000,000 miles per hour to get them where they’re going. Both sides seem to have their point; maybe one day Mom or Dad can time travel after they’ve stepped off into the lake from their floating Lamborghini.

One Time

my cousin Jesus
he doesn’t talk
he’s that good
he writes tiny
and one day I sent him to the moon
he played boxing with a monkey
and it was a tie
the monkey flew in an airplane to his house
one time he turned into an Autobot
and kicked Megatron’s butt
he was the Autobot Optimus Prime
one time
he went to Mars and fought aliens
he killed the aliens
with a blaster that shot a laser
one time
he rode a T-Rex
and the T-Rex couldn’t get him off him
at the end of the day
he ate a frightened chicken
he went back to his house to play with his monkey
when they were done
they got inside the house
and he played video games with his monkey


Best Mom

My mom works at cleaning houses.
My mom takes my brother with her
because she doesn’t have a
babysitter to take care of him.
My mom likes children.
My mom has four sons and me.
My mom lives in Dallas.
My mom goes with my two brothers to school.
My mom is the best mom I’ve ever known.


Playing with My Cousin

When my mom lets me, my cousins and I bake a cake. When we are finished we put it in the oven. Then we go swim. Then we get to eat cake when we go to the park. We play catch like if a person touches you, you need to touch another person. Then we go on vacation to Dallas because we have family over there. We play with my other cousins because they’re fun and that’s the most fun of all the parts. We play with my uncle and it’s so fun. We play the egg game because we like to play that game so much. It’s about that you may need to crack the person. We go to Six Flags; it’s cool.


My Dad&#39s Work

My dad works and he has the hard thing to do. My dad works on houses he builds. My dad is so tall. My dad wears long pants and white shirts. When he comes back he says he loves his job. He is so funny. When he goes to work and uses his materials it sounds like hammers and machines, like a tractor picking up wood. When he comes back he takes a shower, eats and takes us to the store. He buys me stuff. My dad is fun and also he is a talker. He tells jokes like this, “What does the frog tell the fly?” Then he tells the answer and my mom, me and my little brother Junior laughed and we couldn’t stop laughing. He wears boots when he’s at work. He wears boots because there are some people that let down a window and a screw and he could cut himself. He’s cool. He makes tricks. He took me to San Francisco.



The person that I like is my brother.
I like his job because he writes music.
I like music and he likes music too.
He shows us what kind of music he is writing.
When he was in high school every morning
he’d take his iPod to hear his music.
I like English music.
My brother went to college.
My brother was so happy because
he told some boy to help him on his music.


Black Line

my car is gold
is cool
goes 90,000
never stops
when I stop
I make a black line
I go far away like Mexico
I race and I win
I take my dad to work
he said it’s cool
my cousin has one
and it goes fast
one time he came with me
my car will take you
rush before for the end
watch my car is hot
it has buttons
one to like my car
and one for food

Jesus H.

My Car

I pick that car because you can travel in time.
You can relax by pushing a button so it can drive by itself.
My car has a pool inside.
My car can transform into anything you say.
You can play video games.
My car’s color is red, white and black stripes.
It can go 100,000,000 miles per hour.
It has ice cream in it.
You can do billions and billions of stuff.



The color of my car is orange.
I wish my car could go 900 miles each day.
My car is a racing one.
It has white light.
It has Firestone tires.
My car has 4 seats.
It has an engine of blue and yellow colors.
Its maximum speed is 680.
The car has turbo.
When it starts a race gas comes out.
I want to go to Canada because there is tons of snow.
My dad is going with me.
It has cool tires.
My car can fly.

Jesus M.

Speed of Light

The color of my car is light green.
I wish my car could go 1 billion miles per second.
It has white lights. My car has 3 nitrous.
It has the speed of 300 cars. One rim is golden.
It starts with a big roar.
When it goes full speed, fire comes out of the wheels.
If I were taking someone with me,
I would go with my family to China.
I would drive through anything, faster than the speed of light.


To The Moon

there was a car
it was black and pink
I was going to space
to the moon
the noise was rrwwrrm
it was a spaceship
I went with Ellen Ochoa
when it landed
it said, “We land”
it tells you where we are
it was like a robot
it can change the color of the spaceship
if you wanted a party it will make one
I can change the shape of the car
it goes fast, fast


A Purple Fish That&#39s Stinking

One day I went to the river and something hopped and it was a purple fish. It smelled like smelly feet when you don’t take a shower. That’s how it smelled. He had big, ugly teeth. It was kind of like the ugly duckling. Then the purple fish said, “Do you want to look at my feet?” I said, “Yes.” Then he showed me his feet. he had big, big nails and they had big cracks like SpongeBob’s nails. When they came closer I almost wanted to vomit. It smelled like old trash with food and bugs.


Hot Rod

I have a car that goes 40 miles per hour. The color is blue. My car is also like a submarine. It can swim in the water. My car’s seats are colored green. My car’s wheels are green. I would like to go to all the stores. My car works in sand. It doesn’t get stuck. I would go by myself. My car’s lights are red and white and yellow. My car has 5 seats. My car has 2 doors. I would go to Wal-Mart and it would take like 3 minutes to get there. My car had nitrous.


Saber Car

My car is pink, purple and black. Jennifer is going to go with me to the mall because she is my friend. She likes to go to the mall. My car can fly and it can turn into a limousine and different cars. I like my car. It is so cool to have a car like Mira’s. My car goes, “Room, Room, Room!” I like going to the mall. I built that car and I painted it pink, purple and black. I like being outside with my car. My car goes 5,000 miles per hour. It is so cool because you go fast, super fast. I did many things with my car and I called it Saber Car.


Flying on the Sky

One day my dad gave me a Lamborghini that could float on the water. Then I asked my dad if we could go to a lake to drive the car on the lake. The car was black and the rims were grey. One day I pushed a red button on the car and then wings came out of the car. I was flying on the sky and then I picked up my dad from the floor. Then everybody was staring at me in the sky.


999 Speed

My car is going to be red.
It will go under water like it was swimming.
It can go to space.
The car has food and television.
It can turn into a house.
The fastest speed it can go is 999.
I am going to go with my friends.


The Magic in Every Day

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life – getting to school on time, feeding the pets, making dinner, and watering the plants – we tend to forget the intricacies of the things around us. What normally doesn’t get a second glance (a dog, a cartoon, or a plane) would never go unnoticed by Ms. Karcher’s 3rd grade and Ms. Garza’s 2nd grade students. For these imaginative observers, a job in an ice cream shop is divine and a safe box becomes a treasure chest. Holes in the ground reveal ancient tools and weathered bones, and fathers who work hard all day come home fresh like apples. Like Pablo Neruda’s Odes to Common Things, these poems help us remember that there is magic in the every day, and that we should slow down to see it and celebrate it whenever we can.

Ms. Karcher&#39s Class:


My hair looks like a blackberry.
My eyes look like a black bear.
My nose looks like a black dog nose.
My voice is like a dog.
I feel mad, happy, nice, not happy and lazy.
My personality is to read and do math.
I like to play basketball, soccer, football and baseball.



My dad and I went to work at my tia’s house.
When we are done we eat for lunchtime.
When we are done we put our money in treasure.
He has a lock on the treasure box!


Cartoon Voice

My hair color is black.
My eyes are brown.
My nose is small.
My friends say I have a cartoon voice.
My personality is writing, playing and sometimes loud.
I’m strong and I’m smart.
My favorite things to do are play video games, swimming and sports.
I like dogs and birds.
I like the beach and I like, “Eh, what’s up doc?”
I feel happy, mad, fun, nice and friendly.


No Problems

My eyes are brown, black hair, loud voice,
my nose is brown and I have long legs.
I have long arms and I’m tall.
I like drawing, playing and reading.
My favorite place to go is Austin Park & Pizza.
I feel happy when I have no problems.
I feel sad if we don’t get to go where I want to.



planes are big
they are fast
they take people from
here to there
and everywhere
they go high
they go low
they are fantastic
just like me


I Mean Dirty

My dad makes houses and I think he works on buildings. My dad works in Round Rock, Bastrop and I think San Antonio. My dad goes to work in the morning when me and my twin brother wake up. He has like ten people working with him. I think it takes him about ten or twenty minutes to get to work. He comes home all dirty. When I say dirty, I mean dirty. He comes home with dirt on him. He dusts himself off when he comes home and he’s sweaty. When I say sweaty, I mean sweaty.



My dad and I were thinking we should build a dollhouse. So we decided we should make a dollhouse. The next thing we did was go and buy wood. I helped him with it. I told him how I wanted it and he did it. It was beautiful and then we painted it! I painted it with my mom. The colors were pink, blue, green, red and yellow. She put some decorations on and it was perfect. I play and play and play. I had so much fun I could not stop playing!


My Grandmother&#39s Job

I imagine about my grandmother’s job.
She can let me help her.
What she can give me for lunch is free ice cream all day!
Then all the money we made, I can get half of it.
I can keep all of the ice cream and snacks she has.
When I grow older she can give me an ice cream job.
I get to start my job anytime I want.
I can even do it at 12:00 at night.
I get to pass out free ice cream to everybody.
If I don’t know them they have to give me a dime.


Fresh Like an Apple

My dad works at Pitney Bowes.
He wears a blue shirt and shorts.
He smells fresh like an apple.
He acts pretty.
He goes to work from 7:00 am- 5:30 pm.
He works ten hours.
My mom works at Family Dollar.
She wears red.
She smells fresh too.
She works different times.
My brother works at a painting job.
He always gets paint everywhere.
He smells funny.



My grandpa is an archaeologist. He has a long trip everyday from my house to Houston. He took me there one day and all I saw was a bunch of holes in the ground. One of his work friends found a bone from a dinosaur! He said that I could start digging and he gave me a pick and I stayed for hours. I finally found an arrowhead and my grandpa said to keep it. He said that he has always wanted to find one like that and he told all of his friends about how I found it. He works 8 hours a day and he is ALWAYS tired when he comes home from work. Every month he gets a giant paycheck. He gets $45 for every fossil he finds. One time he got $727 for all the fossils he found that month! He got extra money for the one that I found and he gave me $45!


Ms. Garza&#39s Class:

Tacky and the Costumes

Tacky was wondering what they were doing at a food store. His friends were wondering that too. Then tacky said to his friends, “To tacky,” and so they worked together. They put what they needed to do for the food. They found the food so the customers came and ate. Then Tacky and his friends were surprised because the king was coming. The king sat on a table and he was hungry. Tacky and his friend said, “What do you want your majesty?” The king said, “I want a bowl of fish.” So he ate and ate and ate and he went back to his house.



One day I found a turtle shell on the beach and it had bones in it.
I got home and said to my mom, “I found a turtle shell!”
I showed her where the bones were.
I said, “The bones are inside the shell.”
So I put the turtle shell on top of the closet,
so my little brother wouldn’t get it.
That turtle shell, I will keep it for many long years.


Portraits of Things We Have Never Seen

People have always looked at portraits; and the painters and photographers who create them are praised when the images they create are recognizable as close replicas of real people. In a frozen moment in time, their images are made immobile on canvas or film. Like their visual counterparts, a poem can be a portrait as well. And Ms. Ortiz’s third graders at Barrington Elementary will make you check your definition of what makes a good portrait. Their poems are all movement: building image upon image into a burst of imagination that becomes a poem that then becomes portrait. Their poems are portraits of things we’ve never seen: talking sour tattoos, creepy tornadoes, and romantic banana splits. Their poems are self-portraits— “I’m a sound hearing another sound”— where it’s clear that the poet is “creating” a self (not trying to arrange words in an exact likeness). Or at least, not in a likeness we might expect.

I&#39m a Pickle with Underpants

I’m a bird with the head of a dog.
I’m a zombie with the eyes of a duck.
I’m a monkey with the head of a tomato.
I’m a fish flying in the sea.
I’m a monster eating a cookie.
I’m an armadillo with the ears of a bunny.
I’m a zombie with a broken hand.


The Creepy Watermelon

The creepy watermelon was creepy because it walked and talked but had no face. It talked by shooting seeds and walked with a green sock and one shoe. It was also creepy because it had one mouth and one eye.


The Sour Tattoo

There was a sour tattoo that said “You too” all the time. He said what you said to him. He said “You too” and some people didn’t understand why he said it all the time. One day, a creepy gorilla said, “Hi,” and when the gorilla said, “Hi,” the tattoo said, “Shy.” The gorilla didn’t understand. Then there was a romantic lipstick. She said, “I am shy,” so the sour tattoo said, “The sky too,” but the lipstick didn’t understand. Then a lazy taco said, “Hi my friend,” and the tattoo said, “Hi my send,” and the taco didn’t understand . . . until a scientist came and all the people were saying they didn’t understand the sour tattoo, he said a lot of things that were weird. The tattoo said he loved rhymes—that’s why everything he said was a rhyme. After that, all the people said rhymes.


The Lonely Watermelon (an excerpt)

A lonely watermelon was in a refrigerator. The watermelon was so sad because she wanted people (like a family) to eat her, but no one wanted to eat her because days had passed and she tasted bad. She cried all day.

The watermelon escaped from the refrigerator and went walking to the supermarket and found the watermelon section and climbed in and stayed there until someone got her and took her to his house. The man smelled the watermelon and said, “This smells bad, I’m not eating this watermelon.”


El gorila peludo

Había un gorila que vivía en la selva. Tenía mucho pelo. Era un problema. Un día, fue con su amigo a que lo ayude, y su amigo le dijo que no se avergüence de su pelo porque el pelo sirve para calentarse.

“Todos tenemos pelo,” le dijo su amigo. “Somos diferentes en el tamaño y en la voz.”

El gorila peludo ya no se avergonzó de su pelo, y se salió y volvió a su casa.

The Hairy Gorilla

There was a gorilla who lived in the jungle. He had a lot of hair. It was a problem. One day, he went out with his friend so his friend could help him, and his friend told him to not be embarrassed of his hair because hair keeps us warm.

“We all have hair,” said the hairy gorilla’s friend. “We’re all different sizes and have different voices.”

The hairy gorilla wasn’t ashamed of his hair anymore, and he left and went back home.


The Slimy Tacos

I was so hungry. I wanted to eat, so I went to buy some tacos. I ordered them. In a couple minutes, they gave me the tacos and they were slimy, but I said, “I need to eat them,” and I ate them. The next day, I went back and told them about my slimy tacos. I said they hadn’t made them good like they do a lot of the time. They told me the tacos were slimy because they’d put jelly on them.


The Creepy Tornado

Here comes the creepy tornado! When it comes, it doesn’t do any damage. Everyone’s happy except the creepy tornado because he wants to destroy things.

(When he comes, the creepy tornado wants to destroy things and make people not be happy about him.)

But for people, the tornado’s not-destroying power makes him unique. Now the tornado feels unique, too.


I&#39m a Pizza Pig

I’m a dog coloring.
I’m a monster walking in a little house.
I’m a paper eating a jellybean.
I’m a ship that eats fish.
I’m a car flying in the sky.
I’m a pencil crying because a person broke me.
I’m a fireman taking a shower in the bathtub.
I’m a ball with black hair.
I’m a monkey eating ice cream.
I’m a funny folder that talks too much.
I’m a sock talking to people—I say I’m a caterpillar.


I&#39m a Sound Hearing Another Sound

I’m Spiderman swimming in lava.
I’m Superman eating a big chicken.
I’m a penguin falling on Austin.
I’m a superdog eating a big pancake.
I’m a pizza eating another pizza with pickles.
I’m a flower smelling another flower.
I’m a cat eating a big lion-headed tomato.
I’m a chicken eating my mommy.
I’m a soda drinking my own soda.


El gorila desaparecido

Un día, un gorila quería cazar animales, y fue muy lejos y se perdió por algún lado. Estaba triste porque no sabía a donde salir, y habían muchos árboles, y plantas también.

The Missing Gorilla

One day, a gorilla wanted to hunt, and he went very far and got lost somewhere. He was sad because he didn’t know where to go and there were many trees, and plants, too.


The Creepy Hurricane

He’s creepy because he destroys everything.

People hate the creepy hurricane because he creeps them out. He’d be scarier if he had a taco with salsa on it, but he doesn’t.

The creepy hurricane gets confused. After he scares people at the factory, he eats a taco, and he turns scarier and scarier.

In the end, he isn’t scary anymore because there are no more tacos.


I&#39m a Chair Sitting on Another Chair

I’m a flower kicking another flower.
I’m a pizza dancing.
I’m a pencil writing.
I’m a monkey going to swim.
I’m a bee eating cake.
I’m gelatin fighting with another gelatin.
I’m a boat dancing.
I’m a ladybug playing with rowboats.
I’m a leaf eating cake.
I’m a chupacabra, so so happy.
I’m a shoe with a sock in my mouth.
I’m a backpack with water inside.


Soy gelatina corriendo en la calle

Soy un conejito buscando mis zanahorias.
Soy un pajarito volando por el cielo.
Soy un duende escondiéndome en los pastizales.
Soy un caballo corriendo por el campo.
Soy una persona ordeñando la vaca para tomarnos la leche.
Soy un dragón nadando en un volcán.
Soy una culebra buscando ratones en las casas.
Soy un conejo porque me encanta saltar.
Soy un tiburón porque me encanta comer personas y animales y otras cosas.

I&#39m Jell-O Running in the Street

I’m a bunny looking for my carrots.
I’m a little bird flying through the sky.
I’m an elf hiding in the pasture.
I’m a horse running through the country.
I’m a person milking a cow so we can drink milk.
I’m a dragon swimming in a volcano.
I’m a snake searching for mice in the houses.
I’m a rabbit because I love to hop.
I’m a shark because I love to eat people and animals and other things.


The Lost Taco

One day a taco was walking down the street. He walked a lot, and he got lost. The lost taco was so busy walking he didn’t know he was lost. Then he noticed a danger sign with a dog on it. That’s when he realized he was lost.

“Uh-oh,” said the taco, “my tasty tortilla is burning.”

He just wanted to be found.

The lost taco was finally found, and he didn’t get eaten because of his burned tortilla. And because the meat, lettuce, tomato, and lemon inside his tortilla was burned, too. He was happy he didn’t get eaten.

He said, “I’m lucky the tortilla burned and all the stuff inside me burned, too.”

After that, he went to the yard and drank a cold cup of tasty lemonade. And he lived so happily—burned, but never eaten.


La sirena boca abajo

En la escuela, le llamaban La Sirena Boca Abajo. Nadie le quería porque era una sirena curiosa. Ella tenía una amiga, pero su amiga tenía la cabeza muy grande y un cuello largo, y le llamaban Cabeza Arrugada. Tenía las manos como aletas.

The Upside-Down Mermaid

At school, they called her Upside-Down Mermaid. No one loved her because she was a strange mermaid. She had a friend, but her friend had a really big head and a long neck, and they called her Wrinkly Head. She had hands like fins.


I&#39m a Butterfly in a Lollypop

I’m a bear sleeping in Africa.
I’m a piece of gum swimming in a swimming pool.
I’m a little chicken in Antarctica.
I’m a crazy singing flower.
I’m a broken crayon in a teacher.
I’m an empty box in a window.
I’m a swimming pool inside a dog.
I’m a carnival inside a carnival.


The Confused Dancer

The confused dancer didn’t know what to dance. Did that stop him? No! He went on stage and danced everything—salsa, hip-hop, tango! He won the silver medal and broke the record for most dances danced in two hours—forty dances!


The Romantic Banana Split

There was a romantic banana split. He went to find a true love. She (his true love) went to the disco to eat. One day, she found her true love (the romantic banana split). They married each other.


The Hairy Hurricane

The hairy hurricane didn’t want to be hairy. Every time he made wind, he only made his hair fly. He couldn’t make anything else fly. He wanted to cut his hair because it always flew everywhere and destroyed everything. He asked his mom and she said he couldn’t.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because I don’t have scissors,” she said.


I&#39m a Whale Who Goes on a Field Trip to the Alamo

I’m a chocolate monster who eats a lot of chocolate.
I’m a famous soccer player who doesn’t like to play soccer.
I’m a giant in a tiny school.


A Certain Kind of Sustenance

You are what you eat. Everyone know this healthy living maxim, especially in our current times, so defined by diet crazes and increasing, organic-fueled awareness. However, another, similar mantra exists, one that has been left by the side of the road, forgotten by its bigger, hungrier brother. You are what you love. Is this not a superior turn of phrase? Healthy living is one part body, a million times love! During a three-week mini creative writing workshop at Barrington Elementary, Mr. Olivas’ second grade class got to work: they went to PE class, they practiced their arithmetic, but they also exercised their hearts! This is the resulting concoction: a series of poems that examine the caring relationships (with people, animals, and even objects!) that make us who we are. Loving life tastes pretty good, even better than organic peanut butter!

Things in My Heart

Flautas, shoes
Sometimes school, milk
Nature, Mexico
My family


Things in My Heart

Ice cream
Swimming pool
Video games
Butterflies flying
My favorite animal is the dog


Things in My Heart

Blue, toys
Poom, Poom, Poom
Uncle, honey
Swimming at the pool


My Hand Is Good

My hand smells good like apples.
My hand has a little bump.
My hand has some ones.
My hand is big.


Things in My Heart

Ice cream
Video game
Berries are delicious


Things in My Heart

Video games
Six Flags and pizza


Things in My Heart




Wow! Wow! Let me ride on that big white bike with two big comfortable pedals with trick sticks! Wow! Fun! Funn! Fuuunnnnn! Better than a roller coaster! Wee! Wee! Weeeeee!


Things in My Heart

Adventures and fun


Things in My Heart

Pokémon cards
Rabbits, swimming
Soccer, games, my cat


Things in My Heart

Baby birds, stuffed animals


Dining on Daydreams

W. H. Auden wrote that “A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten.” The quality of this meal depends on what we notice in our every day, although we can’t predict which eaten images from our dreams will send our pens across the page. The daydreams of the writers in Ms. Castillo’s and Ms. Froelich’s third-grade classes at Barrington Elementary last spring are like gourmet meals: there are black holes and unanswered wishes and men like tornadoes. Yet, however these writers are daydreaming on the page, whether they’re considering what it means to be grown-up, or addressing their fears, it’s clear from their words that these now-fourth-graders see the world in sophisticated, complicated ways. They notice everything. Prepare yourself for the excellent meal of your next daydream: read these poems and let the students’ images and words drift you into surprises delicious, serious, vivid, and intelligent.

Poetry from Ms. Castillo’s Class:


I am in an airplane to Dallas with my mom. The man is behaving like a tornado. My, like a gray tornado. I wish I was in my Home.



I am at the store with my sister. She is taking a lot of time trying clothes on. My life is like a black hole. I wish I was in the pool instead of being in the store. I wish I was at home so I could ride my bike. I am bored.



I am at the House of Torment because the HOT is so BORING. I am at the (scared house) of Torment. But I AM NOT SCARED! All that is here are people moving with make-up on and fake plastic effects and objects (saw). I had to do all of that because my sister wanted to scare me, but it didn’t work! My life is like a black and white movie. I wish I was at my house reading!


Time to Be a Grown-Up

—adapted from a newspaper

I shared money,
money feeling last week.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“I just happened to be looking.”
“You are crazy,” I said.
Joe shut the drawer. He got


Time to Be a Grown-Up

looked pale
about bills.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Joe got sweaty.
I told him,
“pay them.”


Time to Be a Grown-Up

I have shared
left me feeling monitored.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Joe quickly looked
pale, sweaty.
I told him.



I’m at the hospital with my dad because my head hurts. I am scared because they put a shot in your hand. I was so so so scared. My life is like a scary roller coaster. I wish I was in the mall with my family.

Lizbeth R.


I am in the room of the hospital, and I am sitting on the chair. I felt scared. I am at the hospital. My mom is here, and my stepfather. The doctor put a hot towel on my eye because I am a ball made out of my own meat and blood. When we were driving, it was bumpy. I was in the hospital, and I was daydreaming about if they let me watch TV. And when I was done, they did let me watch TV. And my mom brought me a snack. My life is like fun.



I’m at the hospital with my brother. It is so boring because all you do is stay in a room and wait. I was in the hospital because my brother was sick. My life is like going to a hospital. I wish I was playing a video game in my house instead of waiting and watching TV in the hospital.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

quickly ripping of his arm.
Bills, when you don’t pay.
I paid.

Lizbeth D.

Time to Be a Grown-Up

Last week
on the phone
Joe purchased
“Excuse me?”
he said.


Poetry from Ms. Froelich’s Class:


I am afraid that a hurricane is
going to knock me down.

I am fearful that a shark is going
to drown me.

I fear a tornado is going to suck me in.

I am afraid that hell is going to hit me.

I fear death because it is scary and
I don’t want to be in a deep hole.



I fear that Jeepers Creepers is real and
that he’ll come to hurt me.

I am afraid that a bridge will
collapse on me.

I am afraid that my boat will tip.

I fear sky diving.

I am fearful of the ocean because I
don’t want to be attacked.

I fear that a wolf will eat me.

I am afraid that a tornado will hurt
my whole family.

I fear that the beautiful world is ending.

I am fearful that I will get robbed. I have
valuable stuff.



One day I went fishing with GranPo at a pond. We went back and forever we were in the truck. We finally started and checked it out. It was OK. We stopped and fish were in the water. When I got a fish, I was daydreaming of swimming at Schlitterbahn and going on the slides, getting wet, having fun, and winning prizes and stuff.


Ready to Get Out of School, Cheese, a Boy, Getting Out of Work

One day I went to my dad’s house, and I was bored and lonely. I felt like I was by myself in a dark room. But when I was on the couch, I woke up. I was daydreaming. I wanted to be in Italy eating French bread. Then I told my dad I wanted to be in Italy, but he said, “No, the tickets cost a lot!”


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Last week,
on the phone
I had purchased online
A $20 pair of pajamas for
my niece. “Excuse me?”
I replied, looking at our statement.


The Presence We Need to Sing

Like Walt Whitman and so many others, a number of our Barrington Elementary writers this week have taken to the open road. The Earth was sufficient for Whitman, and so too for Mr. Chapa’s third-graders, many of whom have buckled into their dream rides: cars whose roofs keep them “fresh,” cars that parachute into California. Like Whitman, our writers don’t need “the constellations any closer”; on the open road, sitting next to someone they care about, in the embrace of a few doors, and the concrete speeding beneath, they’ve found everything they need. But there’s more than one way to head for that open road the poet sings of; Whitman writes that we—we writers, we human beingsdo not convince with our arguments or our rhymes, so much as with our presence. And this is the key to the engine of each poem this week: the presence of a mother in a fast car on the way to the park, of a caring teacher who might grow a long beard, of a father who moves slowly in the morning. Whether we sing for the open road or the next math test, we want to sing in the presence of someone else.

The Best Car in History

When I get a car, I’m going to let everyone ride in my car.
I’m going to test the car and see what it can do.
I am going to ride in the desert so I can ride freely.
I will ride it on December 1, 2029, because I want to have some fun.
Some people ask me, “How many years did it take to make it?”
I say, “Five years!”
The car has 999,999-horse power.
It’s as fast as five sonic booms.
It has hemi engines and a limo/low-rider/Lamborghini/Mustang/helicopter
It has eighteen gallons of fuel and plenty of nitro to last for a year!
It drives like a king car.
Also, I can drive on water as well as on land.
It’s waterproof.
It is going to be black and white with red flames.



my car is a Jetta and is 1.8
and has turbo and go fast go
we went shopping
and rode in that car
with my dad
it is standard
we go too fast
because we have turbo

Jose G.

My Car

I have a car I ride in; it’s color is blue. It goes fast like a motorcycle. I went to Mexico with my own car. I went October 2006. I went to Mexico to see my grandma and grandpa. It went really fast like a motorcycle or more, maybe or maybe not. My car wheels are snake wheels. The name of the car is Mustang; it opens up and it closes whenever you want. It goes almost as fast as a motorcycle. It’s fun riding Mustang cars. The wheels were baby blue. I went with Kimberly, Stephanie, Ericka, and Marlin. And I forgot that Mr. Chapa rode in it because it’s open.


The Best Teachers!!!!

—Mr. Chapa

Mr. Chapa is a teacher.
I imagine he likes sandwiches.
He works like a teacher.
He helps students, and he works so hard.
I imagine next time when he has more third graders,
he is gonna blow out their heads.
Now he is tall, and he is such a good teacher.
For every special student, he always comes with energy
and tells sometimes silly jokes.

—Ms. Irene
Ms. Irene loves us, but she also sometimes
gets angry with some of the walkers because they are not following rules.
I think every time she will be going with us on field trips.
Ms. Irene works like an assistant to also help kids who are stuck.
I imagine she likes healthy things and treats.
She likes to help kids.
I think next year she will blow out like Mr. Chapa.


Fun Day

One day when my mom had a whole free-time day, we got an amazing car. The car is green and would go really fast; it has a roof to keep us fresh. My mom said, “Go to a playground so we can have a really fun day.” When my mom went really fast, the fresh air came to me. When my mom went a little bit fast, she was using her feet. We had a really fantastic time! We bought food not to be hungry, like cheese pizza. When we finished eating, we got in the car and drove the car. When I saw the speed my mom was going, it was 25 mph.



I have a low-rider. It has rims.
The color is blue and black.
It is the fastest car.
It carries up to six people in it.
It jumps over a hundred buses.
I do it for fun.
I race with other cars.
They’re all low-riders, but mine
has the fastest engine.
My car has nitrous.
The nitrous stays up to ten minutes.
I win a trophy and go home.
I show my trophy to my family.
Then I will go to Hollywood
and live there for five weeks.
I go to races somewhere to get trophies.


Lightening Fast

I would ride a Superbird
that would go 199,999 miles per hour
hear my engine 543
a sunroof
a whale tail
colored blue stripes and all red
fast wipers
a parachute
it could take 35 gasoline with turbo
with wings to make big jumps
three exhausts on each side
three inches in the middle
I would go to California
A hundred sonic booms
would be slower


My Dad

My dad has black hair, and he works to build houses. My dad built a big house with a pool in the back of the house. My dad works with my uncles. My dad likes to work building houses. When my dad comes to the houses, he comes with a big smile on his face. My dad works every day. When my dad comes to my house every day, we watch a movie. The movie we watch is called Pirates of the Caribbean. My dad likes to see the movie every day. My dad, sometimes when I don’t go to school, takes me to his work, and we live happy all day.

Jose M.

My Fastest Car

my fastest car
my favorite car
is a Lamborghini
they go really fast
faster than a jaguar
maroon and black
they are classic cars
my favorite car is the Diablo
they go fast
my car color is green
and I would go to Houston
to buy TNT for my motor
to make fire
I would go with my mom


Good Person

I know
Mr. Chapa is a good person
he gets us to play nicely
practice multiplication with each other
he gets us to do pictures for Mother’s Day
he gets us paint and paper
he gets us a popcorn party
to see the planet
he gets us to see the fish
he gets us to give food to the fish
he gets us to see the newspaper
when it is time to read
he gets us such nice books
we get to go to the real library
play soccer in the park
when it is time
he gets nice
gives us a star on Fridays
for those who gets lots on the practice tests


Little Bay in Holabay

the car I like is a Superbird
it has speed
me and my mom and dad drive away
to the little bay in Holabay
the color of it is red
like we always liked
we have fun when we drive
to the little bay in Holabay
we are going as fast as we can go
when we went to the little bay in Holabay
at night we went there because of fun
we went there with fast speed


Lamborghini Fun

My uncle has a Lamborghini, and the car is blue like the sky is blue.
He has it in New York where there are many people and buildings.
He rides very fast, 900 miles per hour, and that’s really fast.
He does it to have fun. He has fun at the racetrack.
He warms up the car about twenty minutes.
Then he steps on the gear and it roars very hard.
In twenty seconds he was already far.
My uncle goes with my brother-in-law to the racing track.
It was dark, the moon was rising, and then it goes.


Long Beard

Mr. Chapa is a teacher. He teaches math and reading. He is so funny, and he tells funny jokes about a classmate and us. He is so similar to other teachers. He likes teaching with students. He has a dog too. Mr. Chapa plays the guitar. He always brings a sandwich. Mr. Chapa is nice and happy. He likes to wear jeans every day. He goes to the park with his dog so he can run and have fun. He has a beard. I think he wants a long beard when he is an old man. His attitude is nice. Mr. Chapa is late sometimes when he goes to school. He is my favorite teacher.


Dr. Doffer Day

school is almost over
ready to get out
let’s have fun
let’s give a shout
ready to jump
ready to play
let’s have fun
with our Dr. Doffer Day
let’s make friends
let’s all play
let’s all shout
with our Dr. Doffer Day
can we remember our friends
or can we not
when we get to fourth grade
we will not
some will
and some will not
we’re going to be sad
but have the best summer
and the Dr. Doffer Day



When my dad wakes up to go to work, he is quiet. He brushes his teeth and washes his face and makes food. He wakes us up, and then we eat and go to school. He gets his food, turns on the truck, and he starts to drive.
When he gets to work, he has to first go pick up some of his helpers. The he gets to work and has many different kinds of jobs.

One kind of work he does is landscaping. He also trims trees, and he plants plants. Then it’s lunchtime. He eats his sabas and whatever he wants.

I like to play with him games.


Penguins Are Fishing

Today I saw something,
I see a trillion penguins diving and swimming.
They are finding food.
They are like fish and squid.
So that’s why penguins are diving and swimming,
They are very hungry
And they need to feed the babies.
A sea leopard is trying to eat them.
The penguins are not afraid.
The sea leopard didn’t catch any penguins,
One by one
A penguin gets squid and fish.
Penguins have a fishing day!
How cute are they?


My Car

My car is a black car.
It has two seats in the front and three seats in the back.
It can run 110 mph and that’s fast.
My mom’s car is a girl car.
It has little tiny blue lights.
My three sisters went to the car.
Dad and Mom and I went to Dallas.
We went to Dallas to visit my family.
It takes a long time to get to Dallas from here.
It takes three hours.
I went to Dallas all Saturday and Friday.



My car is the color of red.
I go to the park with the car.
The speed is number 120.
It goes so fast.
If you go too fast, the police can come.
I go with my mom and dad.
What I do in the car is see out the window.
The park has a river, mad dogs, insects, and trees.



Mr. Chapa is happy with his job.
He loves teaching and loves
teaching us about math.
He has examples
of what he learns about things.
He is teaching us about math.
Teaching us many things like science.
Mr. Chapa likes teaching many things.


Poetry Is Discovery

Robert Frost said that to write poetry is to discover, and the Barrington Elementary Mustang poets from Ms. Rodriguez’s second-grade class have discovered facts, hopes, ponies, and the lessons of karate.  Their poems investigate the absence of harm that love requires and the vital truths of animals who bring gifts of fire and barks.  But there’s something missing in Frost’s quote, because it’s not just in writing poems that we discover: it’s in reading them as well. And to read these poems is to discover a sophisticated, hopeful perception of a world where a good person is difficult to pick out of a crowd; where we should love each other for what we are, not what we might have become; a world where there are things our hearts should “never ever” do.

My Heart Is Not a Give Upper

I wish I had all the things I wanted, but I’m never going to give up on my dreams. Never ever, my heart is not a give upper. I listen to my heart. I’m not a give upper like nobody else I love. My dream is to become an artist. I love my dream like my life. My Christmas presents, I’m never going to let them out of my heart. I wish for everything good in my life. I love my family. If they’re in danger I will help them because I love them so much like I love my whole life. I’m never going to give up on being an artist like when I was four I drew a truck and it came out perfect and now in my house I have like thirty or twenty drawings of eagles.



Once upon a time Ashe, Rock, and Misty were good guys.
They fought a team named Rocket.
But Ashe used Pokémons.
He used Pikachu.
He is a thunder Pokémon.



I love my mom because she never ever hit me
and my dad never ever hit me
and my sisters and my brother
they never hit me
and I would not hit them



Once there was a kid who always wanted to learn karate.
He always trained.
When he saw a kid that was already trained.
He was always following him.
A man stood up and the kid fought with the man.
The man won and the kid learned a lesson.



I like the dragons
because they can swim in the water
and they can bring fire.



My family is so nice.
When I do not follow instructions,
they let me play.


Little Puppy

I want a little puppy with brown and white curls and very little. Its name is Mily Lupita and Sparkles. It sleeps with me and it loves to lick and it sleeps on your shoulder. She makes a puppy face so you can give her a treat and take her a bath. She’s one year old, and she will give you her paws and will give you a little bark.


Untitled (in Spanish)

an sasa
cerni an she
tu mi setas
an she


Never Ever

my family doesn’t hit me
but I don’t hit my brother
or my father
or my mother
never ever


I Said Stop

my sister is mean because she always hits me
I told my dad and my mom
my mom closed the door
my sister hit me on the hand
and I said stop hurting me
because I am going to tell my mom
because you are hurting me on my hand
then when my brother came
my sister hit my brother with the hand on the feet
I told my mom to take my sister away from my bed
and I was happy because my mom took my sister away



I want a horse
I have it in Mexico
but it is a pony
then I painted it pink
then I put some pink stars
like a pony in the cartoons
and then I got my pony
I told my dad that my dream came true
I told him my grandfather brought me a horse
and my dream came true


Good and Bad

One day there was a man called bad man and the other person called good person. The bad man always shouts. The good person, he is sad. The bad man, he always tells all the things, and he always cleans his feet. The good man, he smells like a pig and he smells bad and he smells like cheese. The bad man always smells good. He smells like a flower or a rose. The good person found a person and gave him power. He smells like a rose. He doesn’t smell stinky like a pig. He escaped the castle, and he lived happily ever after.



I think my family is very nice.
We went to the river, and my father found a turtle.
My sister found another turtle in the river.
Then I found many turtles.
Then my father got six turtles.


Horse and Dog

my favorite animal is a horse
and my dog
but they never buy me a horse
but my dad and my mom
think that horse and the dogs
they think that the dog
gonna eat the horse



my mom
and dad
are nice



duck-billed platypus
is the only mammal that lays eggs
a duck billed platypus
Have six senses in his nose that has two holes
the six senses do like smells
but the duck-billed platypus
doesn’t smell
he does another thing
he eats crayfish


A Hamster

I want a hamster.
A hamster is cute.
Hamsters can be any color you like.
I really want a hamster.
I don’t know why. It can be little.
It can be huge. It can be shy.
But it is always for you.
You can out it almost anywhere.
In a box. On your head.
But be careful, it may fall.
Put it on your bicycle. In your truck.
On a pony. In your hand.
A hamster is great.
It can be anything out of your imagination.
But the special thing about a hamster is…
He will be there when you need him.


Surrounded by Happiness

When I’m in college, I want to be a doctor. I want to be a doctor because I can help people and I want to get money to be rich. My brother wants to be a policeman. He likes to fight and use guns. I’m scared, and my mom is too, if my brother dies if somebody shoots him. My mom wants to be a singer. But she is a cooker. She makes some burritos and some tacos. I love, love, love when she makes them. My dad works with my mom because he’s on vacation. I love so much my family. My dog already died the last Friday. My family was so sad, even I, I wish he never died. On Saturday I did a performance. It was ballet dancing. I was shy that day. I thought I was surrounded by happiness. I thought I was so popular. My favorite thing is to sing and draw.


Puma Shoes

In Christmas I wanted Puma shoes, but I didn’t get them. I just got a Play Station 3. The Puma shoes that I wanted were black on the side and were silver and I really wanted them, but they cost $40. My mom and my dad told me they were gonna buy me those shoes for the next year in Christmas, but I think they won’t because those Puma shoes that I wanted cost too much. Besides, I will choose another thing besides that. So I am still waiting for the next year. I am still waiting.


True to Heart

During the final three weeks of the previous school year, Barrington Elementary was writing. The rigor of tests and homework began to fade, and something else took its place. In the case of Ms. Andreeva’s delightful second-grade class, that “something else” was poetry. In this collection of their work, we can see inside the hearts of these young writers—the people, places, and things that fill them with wonder and admiration. Ms. Andreeva’s class produced a wonderful collection of ideas. In no small way, they bared their souls.

Things in My Heart

My baby brother


Things in My Heart

Being an author

Things in My Heart

Dad, Mom
Yellow and blue
School homework packets

Things in My Heart

And brother
Reading and writing

Things in My Heart

Great grandpa
My friend Axel
Texas, birds, sunlight


Things in My Heart

Valentine’s Day
Ice cream and pizza


Things in My Heart

Blue, bike
Pokemon cards
Soccer is cool
Nintendo 3D’s


Things in My Heart

Coffee, rain
Ice cream, rainbows, snow
Shows, candy, teddy bears, stars


Things in My Heart

Mi familia


Things in My Heart

Mi mamá
Mi perro
Me gusta soccer
Mi cara paloma
Mi papa


Things in My Heart

Valentine’s Day


Things in My Heart


Things in My Heart

Family, friends

Things in My Heart

Hot dog
Father’s Day
Summer, Easter
New Years’ Day, Christmas


Things in My Heart

Hector, Jorge
TV, Xbox, snow


Things in My Heart

Best friends
Purple, pizza
Tacos and football


Things in My Heart

Butterflies, dog
Rainbows and ice cream


Things in My Heart

Space, pizza, and stars


Things in My Heart

Dad, sister, brother