Have you ever wondered how to make pickles dance? Well, it’s easy if you follow the steps provided by one of Ms. Barrett’s morning students. Just hire a DJ named Nolan, who plays “hip-hop, rap, or retro music.” And don’t forget the pool for pickle swimming. I love how this group of fourth-grade writers found inspiration in Sandra Cisneros’s “My Name” to imagine the sensory details of their own with colors of “dashing red or a deep blue” and “a fresh chocolate smell.” When we explored places in our writing, rooms emerged that were so clean “I can run as fast as a cheetah.” Other rooms were so outrageously messy, they “smelled like death and bad breath, overrun by ants, stinky cheese, and rotten peas.” I’m grateful for the invitation to write with Ms. Barrett’s fantastic, fun, and fearsome writers.
Badgerdog Teaching Artist
My Room Is So Clean
My room is so clean I can fit ten very large people in it. I can run as fast as a cheetah in there without stepping on anything. You won’t find noisy toys or LEGO—absolutely nothing is in my room! It is so neat, one billion people can squeeze in the space.
My spotless room smells like roses and tastes like a crisp apple. It is so quiet that you can hear the wind blowing through the trees. That’s my clean room!
How to Make My Dream House
Have you ever imagined creating your own dream house? Let’s plan and make one together with these materials:
- Chocolate Hershey kisses, the best on earth
- Sweet Tarts for the bedroom door, located on the fourth floor
- Pink bubble gum for a slide
- Blue bubble gum for the elevator
- Snickers and Milky Way bathroom—tub, sink, and even the tile
- Nerds are the windows
Maybe now you can make your own? I am going to build mine right now!
My Magical Name
My name is Preston.
Take away the “n” and it’s “Presto!”
I love my name.
It’s like the color red and the sound of the ocean.
My name is so magical with its fresh chocolate smell.
The Best Dream House
Let me tell you about the most amazing dream house ever! Once you have heard about it, you will want to live in it and probably build your own. It’s actually a humongous structure, called the Party Palace, in which a very petite person lives. You see, the story goes like this:
Little bitty Amy shopped for houses, but did not find any she liked. For example, she found a one-room with only one bed, and that was too small even for her. So she designed her own from granite and rhinestones. Inside there was a pool of green Jell-O and a chair made from a really large gummy bear. Amy’s bed squished when she climbed in, because the pillows and mattress were marshmallows. With the softest turquoise blanket, she slept so well!
In her dream house, Amy also had a flat screen TV, where she could watch “Jeopardy” all day long on her favorite spot—the cotton candy couch. There was a hot tub with warm, melted chocolate in her house, located behind Niagara Falls. Listening to the sounds of water tumbling down, it’s the best place in the whole wide world!
My Name is Maya
Do you know what my name means? Well, I will tell you. It’s like a vanilla donut, and it makes me feel as happy as sunshine cupcakes and rainbows. My name is Maya.
Maya is a nice name. It smells like a daisy and tastes like cookies and creamy ice cream. My name is a pink color and cute as a puppy doll. My name is mostly perfect. Maya means hope.
My Icky Room
My room is so dirty, I can’t see the floor.
It’s so dirty, I can’t find the door.
The toys are stacked up so high,
I think they already touch the sky.
My room is so messy, it looks like a maze.
Somebody help me—I’ve been in here for days!
The closet is so full, it’s going to blow.
What should I do? Where should I go?
It smells like old gym socks and stinky feet.
Plus, I lost my cousin Pete.
Please call for help!
There’s an avalanche of slimy kelp.
Oh, no! My closet exploded!
My shoes flew so far away; I think they are in France.
My room smells like death and bad breath, overrun by ants,
stinky cheese, and rotten peas.
Won’t someone just rescue me? Please!
My Enormously Neat Room
My room is so clean I can fit California in its space. Last week, I even held a football game in my room—the Dallas Cowboys won, of course! I once held a party in there and 1,000,000 people of all ages came and there was room left over for more.
When Queen Elizabeth visited for lunch, she complimented me on my room’s tidiness. It is so shiny, even the sun thinks it’s too bright. My room smells as if millions of roses lived in there. It tastes like a chocolate ice cream sundae. Hey, are you planning a superstars concert? Well, my bedroom is the place to rent! And, I promise, an event in my room will be an unforgettable evening.
How to Make Pickles Dance
Have you noticed those big, fat green things in jars? Have you ever imagined the pickles dancing? Well, I have, and I have seen them come alive at night! So, now, I will share with you some pickle-dancing tips. Be sure you get the regular, big fat green kind.
- Play hip-hop, rap, or retro music.
- Turn the music up very loud!
- Create a disco room.
- Hire a DJ named Nolan.
- Make sure you have plenty of Coke and cherry soda.
- And don’t forget the Minecraft video game.
- Order ten Domino’s Pizzas with ranch on the side—enough for 100 people and pickles.
- Build a backyard pool for pickle swimming.
- Remember the pool table with colorful legs.
So, now you know how to make them dance. Have fun watching the pickles dance and join in!
Nolan Edward Espinosa
I am Stuck!
My room is so dirty that toys are everywhere, climbing the walls and hanging off the roof! If you dare to enter my room, you must be a doof. You will trip and fall on your face, then roll down the hill of toys, hit the wall of dirty clothes, and disappear for the rest of your life.
Don’t stand in one place in my room, or the monster with no face, which hides under my floor, will get you! My room is so sickening that if you want to sleep with a blanket, you will have to dive deep to find one. And don’t go into my closet. If you open the door, one billion toys will jump out at you, pushing you through the floor and into the underworld. Hey, maybe while you’re down there, you will find the other toys I have been missing!
Oh, no! There’s my old friend Logan hidden under my LEGOs. Well, I should say my enemy now, because he just knocked me out!
How to Ride and Handle a Unicorn
Have you heard the expression “somewhere over the rainbow?” Unlike this idiom, finding a unicorn is a real skill you can learn! Let me show you how to accomplish this with these simple steps:
- Find your unicorn, usually somewhere over the rainbow. (Now, I mean literally!)
- Tame it by feeding it a silver carrot, more than likely found in the same spot where you found your unicorn.
- Once the unicorn has finished its meal, hop on its back. I promise, it won’t throw you off because it is your friend now.
- But, remember, whatever you do, don’t put a saddle on it!
- Gently grasp its rainbow horn so you can communicate telepathically, steer, and accelerate extremely fast.
- If you need to break through a wall, unicorns provide many weapons to do this—explosive barf, laser eyes, laser horn, and the rainbow of death, to name a few example.
- Use your psychological connection with the magical creature to use any of these.
- Eat a mint and offer one to your smelly unicorn, too.
- When your unicorn gets hungry and runs out of silver carrots, just spray paint your baby brother.
That’s how you find, ride, and handle a unicorn. Go out and discover one for yourself. And good luck!
How to Build Your Dream House
Let me explain how to build your dream house. Personally, I would prefer one made out of vines so I could swing throughout the living room and kitchen with all the power in the world! But, let’s get back to how to build it.
First, gather vines from Madagascar and make sure they are stuck together with gummy worms for the maximum strength. Be sure and get enough for all ten stories of your house. Plan on not having a floor—only water—so you are forced to swing around your house. (Plus, by moving around this way, your mom can’t tell you to stop climbing all over the walls!)
Another thing, remember to put the correct type of crocodiles in the water, so you can swim with them. You know, the dark as night ones. Take care of them and feed them some chocolate milk and nothing else.
Don’t even think about adding an elevator. You will be carried up to the top by a roller coaster when you get tired of swinging on vines. The last thing I recommend when you are designing your own dream house is to flavor it with a rosy smell.
My Messy Room
My room is so messy that whenever I open my door, everything falls out like an avalanche of colorful fabrics. I have to clean up with a bulldozer before I can go in—it happens every time. Maybe I should get a tow truck to pull it all out. When I finally enter my room, it smells like wet socks and rotten eggs. Once, I was stuck in there for a month, I passed out twenty times!
My room is so disgusting, my friend Logan went in and never came out. His mom and dad called the cops, and luckily they found his body! But then we had his funeral in my room and it stunk even more like moldy cheese.
On to the next subject, when the zombie apocalypse hit, and they came into my room, the smell was so terrible, it killed them! I hid at the top of the house with a can of Febreze to save myself.
Life is My Name
My name is like the number five, one of the most beautiful numbers.
A dashing red or a deep blue color.
A bright star or a dull planet.
A light in the sky to lift you up.
Mikah, a name to be crowned.
It tastes like rich, dark chocolate
and smells like homemade chicken soup.
A beautiful flower sprouts my name.
It is so fascinating, like prehistoric dinosaur bones.
A name derived from the culture of Saudi Arabia, a land far away. My name—all because my grandfather’s company desired educated workers. So he came to the U.S. to attend college and stayed. His story lived on through my Aunt Sara and my father Jamil. Later, I was born and released into the world along with my name, Mikah.
My room is so messy, it’s like a monster is living in here, breathing out dog poop. There is chunky pizza on the ceiling. It smells like a thousand shards of old milk are hitting my nose. My eyes water as if lemon juice was squirted into them.
One time, my Shih Tzu entered my room, piled so high with soiled laundry, he disappeared. He was actually pulled into a black hole below my bed. When I step on the trains on my floor, it hurts my feet as if I were crunching on 1,000 pieces of glass. Slimy fish stick to my shirts and pants, and I discover 1,000,000 pieces of chewed gum all over my room, too. Whenever I say, “Fine, I will clean my room!” and tidy up, it is back to its filthy state within two seconds.
How to Build Your Dream House
Let me give you some tips on how to build your dream house. For me, I would start with gumball candy for the door and gingerbread for the base of the house. Add some delicious Hershey chocolate bars for the roof, which is eight feet into the air. Now that the outside is built, let’s go inside and see what we can create.
How about blue cotton candy for your bed? And silly string for the carpet, sugar cubes for stairs, and, best of all, slushies for the wallpaper?! The water flowing in the bathroom can be Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, or some other soft drink you prefer. And your bathtub is made out of Mentos, and it’s so large it looks like an elephant’s. Your house smells like hot popcorn and sounds like people crunching and munching on delicious food.
Pretty amazing dream house, right?
How to Train Your Tiger to Dance
Let me think. How would I train a tiger to dance, to spin around, even talk properly to humans? Here are some suggestions:
First, find the perfect tiger at your local zoo because they can be easily trained.
Next, gather together ribbons and spin them to show him how to twirl. Play a song by Michael Jackson—tigers just love him!
While you are training your tiger, be sure and give him some chores, such as mopping the floor and washing the dishes. Tigers eat a lot, and you want yours to contribute to the household expenses.
Okay, back to training. Always cheer him on by clapping your hands. Teach him how to move his hips by feeding him a hot taco. And, to instruct the tiger on how to talk, just say, “Hi!” and he will answer you back.
Final tip: Don’t ever distract your tiger while he is dancing. He can bite.
Jakenzie Murphy Vargas
How to Dig a Hole
Holes are crucial to life. You need them to build basements, to hide from tornadoes, and to hold water, among other things. Here is how to build one. First, make a list of what you will need:
- 1 long shovel
- 1 short shovel
- A backyard
- Sticks and leaves
- A poker face
Let’s get started! First, dig a shallow drop with the short shovel. It should be about one foot long and one foot deep. Second, go inside and eat lunch. Digging short, one-foot holes is so tiring! Third, go back outside and dig the hole about two feet deeper with the long shovel. Nice work. Now, you will need to clear out the hole with the short shovel—it’s more precise. (I hope you have a backyard because we are not throwing dirt into the street!) Toss your dirt all over your yard, but keep watch for the hornet’s nests. Remember I told you to get a poker face? Put that on now because you are going to need it soon. Next, take your sticks and cover the top of your hole. Finally, hide your sticks with grass and leaves.
Bring your brother or sister outside and have them stand close to your hole. Using your poker face, trick them by saying, “Hey, if you stand right here, you can see a bird’s nest on the top of that tree.” Guide them to the spot where your hole is. When they fall in, laugh as much as you want and walk away. Did this help you build a hole and also learn how to prank your siblings for the next time they do it to you? I hope so!
I am an arrow maker. Cold stone and wood. I get respect from warriors and myself. Arrows are speedy and agile—going with and against the wind. It feels powerful to make the weapon that shoots from a bow. A bow without arrows is useless, but arrows alone are still strong with an ability to kill ducks and deer.
Feathers for accuracy fall from the clouds. Added to the arrows, they help to make a straighter shot. Now, there are rifles, but I do not make bullets. I keep my culture and continue to make arrows to protect my tribe and to be the best Fletcher in this colony. If my name were Taylor, I would be a clothes-maker. But, true to my name, which means “arrow maker,” I have a passion for making them. Fighting the Europeans off on charging horses. Indian. American. European. Texan. Brave. Western. Southern. Fletcher.
My name is Fletcher Wilson.