Lee Elementary’s 5th graders: A Light in a World of Darkness


It is apparent in the content of the following pages that Ms. Joshi’s students have been paying rapt attention to current events. They are well-informed, empathetic advocates for change, and they are calling for action. Their global concerns are evident in the powerful writing they’ve shared. Equally, you can witness their strong characters and personal convictions concerning the world in which they live. Xander encapsulates this sentiment perfectly in his poem, “Curious in Living Form.” “Curious is faced by a tremendous threat, but instead of using fire against fire –Curious uses investigation and interest to spark others into helping others.” At such a young age, he is aware of the most powerful force: community. Together, we can make changes for the better. Hana would like you to consider the plight of the African elephant in her poem, “The Decline.” Margaret asks us to remember the tragedy the citizens of the island of St. Vincent faced after the volcanic eruption of La Soufriere. “Covid was still there like your dark, lurking shadow you just can’t get away from.” These students incorporated powerful metaphors to express themselves succinctly. Hyun-Jin wrote, “Disappointment is a viscous snake. It is a chameleon that blends into your feelings.” Anais shared, “The horse’s mane was a flowing golden river of forgotten dreams.” We are called to open our eyes and truly see from the wise perspective of these authors. Molly invites you to “Cherry Blossom Days” in Wuhan, China where, “Doctors are attending the festivities, so this time they really won.” These students are also quite hilarious and optimistic. Reading their writing is an eye-opening adventure that offers hope in a time we need it most. Pepper eloquently reminds us, “There is a Warrior –Hidden beneath the Delicate lace of your wings. If you want to Fly –give up everything that has ever weighed you down. Fly.”

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Dear Car,

We have a problem. What is with the weird noise you make whenever you’re carrying me? I know it’s hard to go all that distance, but you don’t have to groan about it! And not to mention that you are always thirsty every time we go on a trip! You better shape up your act or the next stop will be the scrapyard.

Adam Kerrigan

The Golden Stallion

The horse’s mane was a flowing golden river of forgotten dreams. It was like a sign of well being, a light in a world of darkness. As the glistening steed galloped along the endless fields of flowers, the rainbow array of blossoms was a plea of hope, slowly fading as the glowing stallion grew farther and farther away.


The Fear of Being Alone

I’m always really scared of falling asleep with nobody in my house. I’m afraid of it because I’m scared that a stranger might come into my house. When I think about it, I always think about something happy and that a robber isn’t going to come into my house. One time I heard my fridge make really loud noises, and I thought it was a robber. When I’m alone I sometimes watch TV, because it distracts me from what’s happening. I always know that robbers are not going to come into my house. I have a really safe neighborhood, but there’s still a chance. Robbers are like bunnies you don’t see them often but there’s a chance of you seeing them anywhere.

Asa Grogan

Beautiful Creature

A creature that  roars loud like a siren in the distance will roar no more. 
A beautiful creature, part of earth’s history. 
What used to roam can roam no more for he has fallen for he is gone. 
The beautiful creature that used to be we can never see.


Business Dogs

Their fur done and ties ready,
they have fun and get sweaty,
they are cute when they sew,
and have little bows,
and visit their friend Freddy.


To The Displeased Tennis Ball

Dear Tennis Ball,

I’ve been meaning to check on you. My sincerest apologies about last Thursday. I did not intend for you to splash into that muddy puddle. Anyways, it has come to my attention that you do not appreciate the way I treat you. Tennis racket informed me that you are angered when I bounce you against the wall. Filled with pain when I slam you against a racket. Anguished when I throw you in frustration because you did not soar over the net.

I would like to address these complaints. For starters, I apologize for mistreating you. Surely you understand that I don’t purposely harm you. I was just simply playing a game, the game you were made for playing. Therefore I have a solution. If I let you rest for about a week or two, would you be satisfied? I would also consider not hitting the ball as hard or throwing it when not necessary. Please understand your complaints are giving me a bad reputation with the other equipment. Do let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Kind regards,


Bye, Bye, Boone!

Wolves. Wolves. Howling at the moon.
Wolves. Wolves. Howls in July, August and June.
Wolves. Wolves. They are so cute.
Wolves. Wolves. We’re so doomed.
Wolves. Wolves. They eat lots of tablespoons, of a guy, named Boone.

Harry Sloan

Disappointment is the Vicious Snake

Disappointment is a vicious snake.
It is a chameleon that blends into your feelings
hiding as quietly as a mouse.
It is an owl that silently follows you
wherever you go.

Disappointment is a spy that is always watching you.
Nobody will ever notice it—
the bright green snake in the bright green grass,
the camouflaging chameleon somewhere in the bushes,
the skulking owl in the dark, thick trees.

And when you least expect it
It will strike
The venom from a single bite
enough to poison your hopes and dreams.
And then the snake will slither away, never to be noticed
until it strikes again.


T-rex in Feet with Feet

If there were 7.billon dangerous Tyrannosaurus Rexes on the earth, that’s a lot of feet. But if they did not have any they would just scoot along on the dry plain ground, and that’s just sad. But if they had one foot that would be okay, I guess, but they would hop around like rabbits but with huge teeth. Thankfully they have two so they can walk around. However, if they had too small feet that’s just too much.

Isaac Rocha

My Couch

The cracks in middle of the cushions are like black holes
You cannot eat what ever you what.
It is comfortable to sit and lay on.
It’s black like a T.V.
It’s comfortable like my bed.


Earth’s Big Yelp

Climate change is taking over. If we don’t help, we’ll be gone by October. There is no planet b, and if there were where would it be? It’s the world against us, and unfortunately we are winning. The earth is is our home, our safe place, our panic room. The earth is in the panic room. It feels like everyone in the world is banging on the walls. The world is shriveling and the plants are dying. Too many animals are not surviving, and no one is helping. Yes there is Mars, but thats so far away. It hasn’t been proven, and I bet you the world it won’t be today. The world needs help. It needs to survive, and I think you want it too, or else you could die. We just need awareness, we just need help. Even the little things can prevent earths big yelp. Just recycle. Just compost. That is all we ask. Imagine you were being buried in a dumpster unable to get out, because that is how it feels and it’s not going to stop. Airplanes would crash into your chest. How clean you would be if no one dug down to crest. We are so sorry, and we hope you accept. We’re almost at your core, and I don’t know why we don’t help.

Kate Pallante

The Lurkers

What lurks in the dark? The invisible there at night, but not in the morning.

The fear of the unknown. What could jump out whenever not be noticed until the night?

When it lurks in the shadows lurks in the unknown.

Hiding till it disappears at dawn in the scorching burning sunlight that awakens me in the morning when the lurkers disappear, hiding under the bed and in the closet to jump for you at night when only the children can see them

Lila K. Linden

My Beloved Pencil

Dear Pencil,

Thank you for all you have done, you help me with homework and for fun. You help with making a list so I remember what to buy, but you are a little dangerous because you can poke someone in the eye. I get to have fun when I am with you, I get to draw, write stories and make lists. I don’t know what I would do without you, you are the best mechanical pencil and you being a mechanical pencil is so much easier for me, and it doesn’t hurt you when I sharpen you, because I don’t have to, I just have to press your head and led comes out of your feet and that doesn’t hurt you (hopefully) and gotta be honest you have super cool hair that you can erase with. When I have any mistakes, you fix it like its nothing. You are as colorful as a parrot. I love your colors like you fell in a rainbow, We are happy when we draw or work with each other. you will always find a way to entertain me, you write like no other.


Luisfer Bilbao

A Wild Beast of a Volcano

Everything was almost normal that day on April 9 on the island of Saint Vincent. 

                                Cheerful people chattering.
Lively music playing.


La Soufriere erupted. A monstrous, fiery cloud of ash and dust rose like a fluffy loaf of bread in the oven. The cloud went 32,000 feet into the sky as the volcano ruthlessly spit out more pieces of rock.

The Prime Minister ordered an evacuation for everyone as destruction made its way across the island. COVID was still there, like your dark, lurking shadow you just can’t get away from.

Signs of activity had been hinted at in December, but who would’ve known such a thing would happen? The volcano hadn’t been active for decades. 

Panicked citizens fled to other islands nearby, while some went to half-clean shelters that were only recently set up.

Margaret D.

The Royal Lion 

While hunting the lion is quiet. Creeping up behind the prey in the tree like grass. The lion jumps out of the grass and the prey escapes. The lion is a race car, he is catching up to the prey. It is a cat and dog fight. The lion won the fight and the gazelle’s body is a flowing red river. After the lion and his pack were done with the poor gazelle there was no trace that the gazelle even existed. The gazelle was an ancient story. What can I say? That is the circle of life. 

The lion colors are black, beige and white. The lion’s tail is black, their nose is too and some parts of its mane are black too. Beige is the main color of the lion, its body is beige and the parts of its mane. The lion has white around its mouth. 

Its teeth are two knives. Cutting through anything they get their mouth on. Their mouths are very destructive.

Their eyes are small but they fit their face. Their eyes might be small but they have excellent vision eight times better than humans. 

Their claws are swords splitting everything in their way. 

The lion’s mane is a majestic mythical furry creature.  

The mighty king of the savanna is the lion. 

The lion is empowered and the queen of England is too. 

The sound of a lion’s roar is a raging thunder storm.



Now we can be proud of our country again
We don’t have to be embarrassed 
That we have an American flag in the yard
Now we can tell people we live in the U.S.
Without embarrassment
We can let immigrants in
With open arms
Now we can walk down the street
Without being too scared
America will heal this year
So will the world and its citizens

Meredith T.

A Forest Wolf

A wolf stands in the forest. Big, bright, eyes of sunstone, staring, ready to pounce on his prey. Snow, cold, wet, white snow, falling onto the grey-brown fur, covering it with a shivering weighted blanket. Trees, surrounding the creature on all sides, like water to an island. The wolf, with his tall, mountain ears, listens to any noises, rustling of leaves, snapping of twigs, for any prey in the nearby flood of nature. The small, black nose, looking through the tall trees, smells lunch and aims for it. The wolf is outranked by a number of bears, and surrenders back toward his hiding place, waiting for a safer meal to suffice his hunger. 


Dear Sand

Oh sand how do you with my toes on your lush surface? Are you happy when you stick in my toes or when you find trash on your beach? I don’t think that would be nice. how is your relationship with the water as it covers you like a blanket. Are you the person that hides the shells for the children to find? What about the wind? Does it feel like you are shedding your old self to make room for a new one? Does it hurt as you slowly get washed away? How I love the lapping of your friend the water as you play patty cake.

Owen H.

Open Your Eyes Humans

Gray wolves, gray wolves, howling in the night. Unaware of their future fright. They try with all their might, but unfortunately their population goes almost out of sight. Forced to the midwest, their numbers could fit in a nest (not really). Finally after the Endangered Species Act, gray wolves’ population slowly grows back.

The panda cup was a great blue ocean. Every day was a stormy one. He was being brought to a new habitat every other week. The same construction workers were destroying countless habitats to keep up with the demand for resources.

The only highlight of each day was being able to enjoy the minimum amount of bamboo needed to survive. The rest were used for more useless goods humans wanted to possess.

The panda Cub was heartbroken, ready to pack his very few bags and head out to his new containment. But this time, he was shocked. His jaw could have touched the ground from a hundred feet up.

He had an actual habitat! Other pandas to play with! A bigger diet (well just more bamboo)! Finally he was loved!

Ozzie Gerring

Bed, Thanks, But No Thanks

Dear Bed,

You are so high, you are a giant. You are so uncomfortable that I hate getting out of you. I love when you wrap your arms around me. Dear bed, I wish you were cotton candy. Hey bed, I wish you could just cooperate when I put the sheets on you instead of you fighting me. Dear bed, if you do not start cooperating with me then you are going to go to the landfill. 




There is a Warrior—hidden beneath the delicate lace of your wings.
A good omen of prosperity flies through the river of hope. It’s reflection shows light in powerful ways.
It brings a dream into reality—the message and wisdom and enlightenment from other realms.
You are a blessing of joy, wisdom, and maturity from up above.
If you want to fly—give up everything that has ever weighed you down. Fly. 
You’re the pilot of your own story—you control where it goes, and how it flies.
Eyes of sapphire—heart of gold—glistening on the free, cherished, delight of life…

Pepper Baker

Sorry For Everything I Did to You

Hello Hermet, my lovely eraser,

I got you at the beginning of the year, smelling as fresh as my mom’s new air freshener, and I snatched you straight out of the package ready to replace my old dirty tissue. I love how you keep my desk clean when I’m scribbling math problems and notes on it. You have a dark royal blue shell with a black furry bottom. I’m sorry about the time I scribbled on you but the teacher made us put my initials on you. because you are very dirty and grimy, you might need to take a shower at some point, you reek. Are you ignoring me because I accidentally jammed a pencil into your foam? And now there’s just a little black dark mark that is urging into a plumpy purple bruise (We might actually need to go check that out). Please talk to me because my desk is getting dusty and grimy and filled with black flakes of dirt. Why don’t I give you a little break once a month, would you like that? Please respond. 

Sincerely, Your favorite person in the world (and the only one you know, I guess),

P.S if you don’t take a shower in the next week I might have to get you replaced.

Reese Clinchard

Be Gone Sadness

Dear Sadness,

Hope you’re having fun at Disneyland. Don’t come back. We are not missing you. By the way, Happiness has taken over. Don’t worry your blue spiky dodgeball, Owie has not been touched. Oh and since renovations, we had to move your corner somewhere else. We don’t know where but the construction crew said then moved it somewhere where we will never see it again yay. If your wondering what we put in your corner, it is a pool table. Again hope we never see you again.

Samuel Meadows

The U.S. Has Hit the Big One

We all have been through some tough times during this pandemic, it has not been quick. It’s felt like five years, we had some tears. Some of us have lost family, all in all this year has been very very uncanny. From death to riots, from COVID to quarantine. During those awful times our beloved scientists were in the lab doing their calculations and figuring out how to make that amazing life saving vaccine. Earlier in 2020 they finally started delivering the vaccines to hospitals everywhere.

Since everyone wants this amazingly bad pandemic to end,they decided to get that vaccine shot, so as of April, 18, 2021. 180 million adults have chosen to have their first dose of the covid vaccine.

This great big Milestone is important to us Americans, because that is almost half of our country.


From Me To You, Gaming Mouse

Dear Gaming Mouse,

I apologize for grabbing you without asking first. You are my favorite. You are lighter than a feather, smaller than a mouse. Your LEDs shine better than any light…maybe. Your scroll wheel is satisfying to scroll. You jitter click like no other. I lov—wait hold on I just remembered that you’re an inanimate object. Then again, your optical censo—no, stop, I have to snap out of this!!! That stri—no, don’t say it!!! That stri—STOP!!! That fabric covered string tho—NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Beloved Gamer

P.S. where is your P.O. box. (;   


Curious In Living Form                               

Curious is shy yet bold
scared yet excited
hunted yet cared

Curious has fur the color of 
caramel mixed with strawberries
the same color of the rage burning
through the forest it lives in 

Curious is never fearless,
Curious just knows how to 
explore and have a fun time 

Curious has paws the color of night
when the stars and moon have ran away

Curious is faced by a tremendous threat but instead of using
fire against fire Curious uses investigation and interest
to spark others into helping all living things

Curious has a face streaked with white
like bleach whiting a stain

Curious an attitude that will put a smile on
the cruelest of human invaders not because
it’s perfect but because it’s thoughtful and 

Curious has a belly of a fish but instead of white
it is black like Curious fell in an ink bucket

Curious has taken the hearts of many and 
persuaded them to help it’s cause, but when 
something is loved unconditionally there will 
always be a force to combat it 

Curious has a tail which on it has rings that
go round and round the rings the color of sand

In the flesh Curious is the Red Panda they have 
always supported humans even though they destroy
their homes and poach them but Red Pandas always 
support and keep on exploring

I hope you do too



Lee Elementary’s 5th graders on Creativity, Imagined Creatures, and Hope


Dear reader, it has been a long year. Some students have been in the classroom and others have been dialing in from home. Everyone misses seeing their friends and we are all looking forward to a little more normalcy this summer. On the following pages, you will see for yourself what is on Ms. Joshi’s students’ minds.

Charlotte has beautifully expressed her feelings in “Solitude in Spring” and you can almost hear the exhale as you read her line, “Finally, the silence is broken.” Yes, we are ready to run free, have sleepovers, giggle and eat an ice cream cone while the melted parts drip down our arm. We’ve been patient and tolerant. We’ve had ample opportunity to explore our imaginations and be creative. As Eliza shared, “Creativity is always there with bright wisps of rainbow colors, it inspires you –an extravagant voice in the back of your mind.” Oh, please do listen, reader. You may hear the sounds of Daniel’s Giflermulf, ”In my imagination it’s an animal that you can see every time you walk into the dreams of my dreams –that are now your dreams.”

These students have shown great perseverance; they’ve grown and expanded their horizons. They’ve even written letters to inanimate objects. Jaiman penned a clever letter to the concept of time: “Dear clocks, I would especially like to learn quickly—how to become a better writer, summarizer, and quick main idea finder.”

These incredible students wrote about their favorite animals, breakfast, cookies (possibly for breakfast), football, love, happiness and progress. They wrote about clones, what should have been and baseball. Yes, dear reader, they even wrote about the bubbliest creature of all. Please scroll these pages to find out more. I just know that you will be inspired to follow your dreams and explore your own creative voice.

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

The Wolf

The wolf has yellow eyes and black and white fur. His eyes glowing in the dark and his fur giving a faint glow of white. He is looking for food for his cubs.

If he does not find food, he and his cubs would starve and die. He has to be fast and strong to catch his food. His cubs are waiting for him.

He catches two snow rabbits and when he gets home, he and his cubs will have a feast.

Aldin Wildes

Dear Shoes,

Why are you so double minded? I put you on with socks and you are so warm and comfortable.  When I put you in without socks, you are so uncomfortable. Do you have an attitude problem? It seems like when I wear you without socks then you revolt.  Sometimes you even stink. I’m not talking about just a stinky attitude. You actually stink.  Please cut this nonsense out!




progress, progress has been made
with millions being attended 
but millions still lie in wait
standing patiently for their turn

how much longer do we have
to be isolated from the world
in our own personal space station
even fresh air seems too far to grasp

the world has been flooded with despair
and we have only just started to dry it out
with towels and sponges
that can only do so much

progress, progress has been made
but is progress enough?
for whatever we do,
however hard we try,
progress isn’t perfect


Solitude in Spring

Solitude in spring,
New beginnings before November,
It’ll be okay by August.

Strike up conversation,
No, you go first
Finally the silence is broken.

It’ll be here soon enough,
River of leaves, now bare trees,
Gone as soon as it had appeared.

Blissful laughter, mindless banter,
we could be inseparable, I’ll be here forever,
Or I guess just for a while,

Even then, it’s enough.


Swooping Down

We were going so fast! It was like I was riding on the back of a hawk at 1000 MPH!
It was as if I was a cheetah sprinting through time
Or a falcon swooping down!
If only it was as real as that bunny it was swooping for—oh wait!
If it’s swooping for it is real—yay!

Connall McCain

The Giflermulf

My animal is not a real animal, but in my imagination it’s an animal that you can see every time you walk into the dreams of my dreams that are now your dreams but they are also my dreams. Never mind, never mind.

The animal is called Giflermulf, it’s pronounced giflermulf. It’s a kind animal with a good heart, a sweet tooth, and a taste for good watches—yes, watches.

He’s/she’s bubbly, kind, silly and is satisfied with one hug. He/she gets grouchy when you wake them up very early. It has a black coat, a tail, a long snout, and is sluggish sometimes. But over all he’s/she makes a fantastic pet.

Daniel Delehant Busch Armendariz

The Busy Rock Dog

The dog has a big tail,
a great big rock.
His big paws stomp on the trail.
He heads home to his dock.

Now the Rock Dog is fine!
He’s set up the sign.
Now not worrying at all.
But after that, soon,
Somewhere near noon,
his phone has a call.

He forgot to go shopping!
He’s worrying, hoping!
He doesn’t have any cash.
The bank is closed.
His money, in withhold.
He, bedaffled, only having ash.

He is now blue.
He ain’t got no clue
how he was wrong,
but now he’s good.
He’s still got food.
He was right all along.



Creativity is always there 
with bright wisps of rainbow colors, it inspires you.
An extravagant voice in the back of your mind 
taking over your thoughts.

Lost feathers glide through the wind,
ideas forgotten.
Words come back out of its gray beak,
giving you more things to think about. 

Sometimes, it can be loud and annoying,
repetitive at sometimes, too.
But the voice really makes you think on things
and it’s not leaving, at least not any time soon.

Eliza Gold

Walking of the Wolves

The wolves are being hunted
like the bucket being punted
soon they’ll be a myth,
or until there is a fifth.
The sound of a gun
that won’t be fun.
What a terrible sight,
nothing is alright.
The ground soaked with blood,
it will turn into a flood.
The endangered species act,
it’s bad that’s a fact.
The wolves are dying
and nobody is crying.

Evan Kim

Hi Mr. Football,

How come you don’t always let me catch you? Is it because I always kick you? Well, that is part of the life of a football!

Wait, is this about the time I kicked you over the school fence? Sorry I didn’t intend to do it. What?! You don’t ever want to pay again? Why? I didn’t do anything else!

You mean I did something to your friend? Oh, you mean the time I punted him the roof of a school during a chess tournament? Ok, how about I never try doing that again?

Oh you are scared you will suffer the same fate? Ok, I will never punt you near a roof.

Still not convinced huh? Wait you are worried someone will throw you over the fence while trying to throw you into the basketball hoop? And you don’t like being treated like a different ball? Well, that does make scene. Wait, if I tell them to stop and you will play?

Yay! Consider it done.

Gavin Dawson

The Wolf

The Wolf waits in silence 
The Wolf stalks its prey 
When the time comes 
The Wolf strikes  

The Wolf is a powerful tsunami 
The Wolf is a mighty mountain
The Wolf is a brave hero 

The Wolf is an angry crab 
The Wolf is an empowered bear 
The Wolf is an energized Peregrine Falcon

The Wolf is powerful

Hank Redmon

Getting My Bat

Crack, Bounce, Catch, Throw, Run, Slide, TagHe’s OUT!
At the plate I get my bat 
Throws the ball I make a crack
It’s like roaring thunder in the sky
Through the wind it makes me cry
Rumbling, tumbling, down the lane
Running the bases, I feel no pain
Nothing but happiness
Nothing but cheer
The big white disk is coming near
I slide, he tags
down low, up high
I’m jumping like a kangaroo
Lightly tapping the base
I fall on my face
Silence… He’s safe!

Henry Roselle

If I Were an Object

If I were an object
I would be a stuffed elephant stuffed animal
with big brown eyes,
soft gray fur,
long trunk,
long tail with soft hair at the end
and I would belong to a little girl.



Cats and dogs, equal
Girls and boys, equal
Blacks and whites, equal
Predators and prey, equal
Lions and tigers, equal
Wolves, and foxes, equal
Animals and plants, equal
Everyone is equal


The Lion and the Savannah

The Lion stalks his prey like an owl, waiting patiently. 
His stomach rumbles, yelling for the taste of meat. 
When the moment comes, he pounces, happily devouring its prey. 

With a full stomach, the beast happily walks home with the rest of his pack. 
His eyes whisper with sleepiness, telling him to rest for a while, with the waves of
calmness falling over his old bones. 
Slowly they close, and drift into a wave of calmness. 

In the morning, he wakes, eager as a child in front of candy. 
His children arise, wrestling each other for a bone. 
The troop moves, letting their appetites and their stomachs lead them to food and
dominance of the savanna. 

The Savannah eventually became a giant civilization. 
Soon, a new animal species takes over. 
They are the Elephants, as intelligent as a robot.

Leo Presti-Long

Letter to My Grey Laptop

Why do you always hop off my desk? Why do you try to escape? Is it because I put that grey leash on you? For the last time, that’s the plug! Why are you always taking naps when I need you to work! Please stop sleeping on the job!

I don’t want to replace you, but your sleeping problem has become too bad! I know I accidentally set you on the black couch and my dog sat on you, but you need to get over that! I am giving you one last chance. I really need you to help me out, okay?




Does it annoy you that kids climb you as they poke and twist your branches? Does it make you mad as they climb you and fall only to climb back up and do it over and over? Does it hurt when you watch as they chop you down only to leave you as a stump and use you as firewood, but only to wake again as smoke floating out the chimney?

But after all that do, you still love them. Or do you watch green with envy at how they move? And you don’t (or do) you respect them for how brave they are? Do you know as much as or do you know less then the wind? Do you ever visit your stump?



Lift your spirits high as you can, listen to what hope is,
when you bring a life of wonders
hidden in the dark all the small voices can sing,
so soft, so quiet, so beautiful.

I can see a life of music in the air
as it brings kindness to your heart,
to your life as a human,
as a unique, one-of-a-kind person.
No one is the same, and no one is better than everyone
or of one thing or single person 

Feeling the beat, as I see,
oh a life of someone’s smile
through the road of worry and doubt,
through happiness and success



They say you will make history,
but what are you if not a copy of another creature?

What are you if not fake life?

Why do you deserve all this fame,
when so many animals die everyday?

Why are they so happy you were created,
when so many had to perish to get you here?

Why do so many people hate you for no reason?

Why do some people think you are the future?

You may look like another creature,
but you are not.

You have your own personality,
which is unique in every way.

For something so beautiful,
can never be recreated.

Maylinn Woiwode


I love pandas.
They are cute,
chubby, bubbly animals.
What’s not to love?

Their black and white fur,
their shining dark eyes
and cute faces
are the most adorable features of an animal.



The T-Rex is the biggest dinosaur. 
And I want to learn more.

You lived 70 million years ago.
You’re no longer here , I know.

You can’t be hunted down, because you were at the top.
All of the other animals had to stop.

You were as tall as a tree. 
2.5 billion of you roamed free.

Your big sharp teeth scare me.
I wish I could think of something funny.

I’m glad you’re not here.
If you were, I would have a tear.

Miles Bloom

Love is a Thing with Puppy Breath

Love is a thing with puppy breath; 
filled with fur 
love is a thing with puppy breath; 
never once being a burr.

It waits for you when you get home; 
then it’s a lion that sees a gazelle, 
about to go on the hunt. 
Covering you with slobber and drool; 
never once trying to be cruel. 

They are devoted and kind; 
only with protection and loyalty in mind, 
like a loyal soldier ready to go to an impossible war; 
not thinking of it once as a chore. 

They never wind down; 
even when bound 
to a chair. 

Love is a thing with puppy breath, 
with you until your last sigh. 
Love is a thing with puppy breath, 
always right next to your left thigh. 
Love is a thing with puppy breath. 
Not ready, yet, for you to die. 

Love is a thing with puppy breath.



Your eyes are a sea of moonshine, soft and singing,
made of ghosts and stars.
Your eyes are full of sadness and pain,
memories of death and blood still flash in your pupils.

Your life, your rarity 
is as precious as time,
your time, your time here.

Your pawsteps stir the snow, 
lifting seeds and grass to the pale winter sky
rise up, your eyes say.

You take one last look at this earth,
this terrible, poisoned, dying earth,

with your blue-gray-white ghostly eyes,
those sunshine-filled, moonlight-spun eyes
then you turn away

and run away
far, far away
away from all that will hurt you.
These people
do not understand.
You are life, you are love, you are our test.

Maybe someday, somehow,
we can live together, in harmony.
For now,

See you later, Star Wolf.

Olive Fountain

Dear Happiness,

It has been a little over a year since your departure and since then boredom and tiredness have moved in your old place in my mind. I guess you probably left after the pandemic hit, but the number of cases have decreased greatly and doctors have almost perfected a vaccine for ages 12 and up, so I hope you will move back in soon.

In case you didn’t hear me the first couple of times, I’ve missed you so much, but you probably know that since I’ve written 2,672 letters while you were out. I think it might’ve been because my dear friend and great protector facemask moved in. Or maybe these letters aren’t getting there, but if you get this, please write me back to let me know you are okay. 



What It Should Have Been

The elephant calf roamed the savanna with three of the original forty-seven elephants in her herd. Her herd had once been populous, moving confidently from one watering hole to another, sometimes skirting the lush, emerald and chocolate-colored forests. There used to be so much joy, as though nothing could go wrong. But now, it was a hard search for water in some places. The forests that they had once skirted had been almost completely cut down. Where there had once been beautiful oceans of leaves and trunks and branches, there were now only countless graves for thousands of trees and animals. Monkeys and birds, lizards, snakes, all buried in what had once been called home. She knew that there were other places that were still lush and full of life, but not here. 

Somewhere else, there would be huge watering holes swarming with flamingos and zebras and wildebeests. There would be lions, prowling the undergrowth, pouncing at a large gazelle that had wandered away from the herd. Then, the lion would drag it home to feed the pride. There would be a plump leopard sitting in a tree in a grove and vultures would scavenge what it could not finish of its meal. And there would be enormous forests, softly vibrating with the chitters of monkeys, the sweet chirps and warbles of birds, the small squeaks of lizards, and the rhythmic hiss of the snakes. 

But not here. Oh, no. Not here. Here, you will see dried up watering holes. You will see no flamingos splashing in the fantasy of the deep blue water. You would see unnaturally small herds of zebras and wildebeests, their bony legs stumbling over rocks, bleached by the merciless sun beating down on them. A starved lion would weakly drag itself through the dry and dead savannah grass, trying desperately to find anything for its nearly diminished pride of fellow lions. A skeletal leopard would cling to the bark of a burnt tree, a small island in an ocean of stumps. A lone vulture would fly in circles, very near the possibility of plummeting out of the sky as it waited for any carcass to scavenge. 

Here, you can no longer see the grand forests that once stood. You could no longer hear the chitters of monkeys, the sweet chirps and warbles of birds, the small squeaks of lizards, and the rhythmic hiss of the snakes. You could only hear echoes of their shrieks of terror as their homes crashed to the ground.

Back there, in the perfect world, huge herds of elephants would travel, their lovely lives continuing. But here, in this terrestrial wasteland, the elephants are barely hanging on. They had lost twenty-nine herd members to poachers and thirteen more to heat, lack of water, starvation, and disease. They had only lost one to old age. Everything around them was losing life. And there were two worlds for them. What it was… and what it should have been.

Pilar Dettmer

The Bubbliest Creature of All

Warm and fuzzy, sweet and 
soft, guinea pigs are all these things
and even, even more.

Their squeaks are little 
gummies you enjoy with 
every bite

Their chubby selves might as 
well be the reason I

Guinea pigs deserve more love.
They live like lower class
to rodent such as hamsters. 

Guinea pigs are delicious chocolates
you find at the candy store,
but if you don’t like chocolate,

Guinea pigs are the 
grandest of all
I hope you think so too!!!

Ridley Jackson

The Last Cookie

Mike and Mary heard my mom say from downstairs, “We have one more cookie.”

They ran so fast that I wondered if people could become cars. But then Mike and Mary stopped fighting and running and ran faster to Mary’s bedroom because the cookie was oatmeal and raisin. Mary and Mike don’t like oatmeal and raisin cookies, because they don’t like oatmeal or raisin at all. And they only like snickerdoodles. My mom usually makes snickerdoodles, but today she made oatmeal and raisins.

Mom walked to Mary’s bedroom to talk about why they only eat snickerdoodles. They said, “We love the sweet taste of the cinnamon in our mouth.”

Mom understood and will not make more oatmeal and raisins. Mom said, “I will teach you to make snickerdoodles.” Then Mike and Mary ran to the kitchen to make snickerdoodles.


Summer Time

What I’m gonna do for summer vacation is that I will go to summer camp, and I’m gonna have playdates with my friends. I will play outside with my friends, and I will have pool parties at one of the volunteer’s house. And when I go outside, I will play football.


Inside the Strange Folder

This writing folder is a little strange,
Since you need to write in a different range,
You need to write a different story,
To keep up your writing glory,
They can be long or maybe short,
And you might need a bit of support,
But remember, when you are feeling down,
And looking around,
There is something to start a story.



Wolf breaks the silence,
sprinting through the forest faster and faster,
jumping over fallen logs,
seeing through the fog,
suddenly spotting dinner,
he crouches,
he squints,
hazel eyes,
white fur,


My Dreams Are Hopes

You’ll absolutely love the poems and stories authored by the fourth-graders in Ms. Maag’s class at Boone Elementary School!

Stuck on You

I am a piece of tape.
I don’t feel important because
I don’t have many jobs.
One of my jobs is to stick
things back together.
How boring—all year long I stay
in the same place holding a poster.
I hear students arguing about friendships.
I wish I could stick them back together!

Donna Pierce

If the Earth Was a Moon

If the Earth were a moon, what would we do?
We’d float in the sky—oh, how high we’ll go!
We would go so high in the sky, we’d see aliens.
Oh, how we’d go, we’d go really high, but maybe it’s best to stay down low.
Low, low, low. Oh, how we’d go.
Yes, maybe it’s best to stay down low.

Lillian Vasquez

Little Monster

I sneak through your walls
And have little claws
No, I’m not a dog
But tiny as a frog
And smelly as a log
I have a tail
I make noises: wale, wale
I’m in your trash
I move in a flash
I’m hairy and furry
I have little ears
Yes, I’m a fear
What can I be?

Ihsan Suarez

Clean Environment

Clean up the ocean.
Clean up pollution.
Buy products that are less harmful to the environment.
Clean up trash.

Edison Sadler

Earth Day

I can pick up trash
Leave a bowl of water outside for the animals
So they can have water
And leave a berry outside so they can eat food
I love animals and I love when I see them
They are so cute
I would love to take care of a bunny, a guinea pig, a dog
I have a hamster
My mom has a dog
We have a cat
Animals are the best

Bella G. Hernandez

The Life of a Jacket

I am a jacket. I am grey with a blue zipper and blue pockets. My life is quite the racket. On a cold winter day, I feel a cold rush of air. My person’s hair falls in my face. We step inside the door of a place called school. It’s actually quite cool. My normal day starts here. We walk to the cafeteria, a loud BEEEEEP rings out and something is placed on my shoulder. It felt like a boulder. ZZZiiiiippp! We go outside, she takes me off, and I’m left alone again.

The years pass and it’s spring, summer, fall, then winter and spring again. But wait, I am being lifted up into the air! I’m being carried to a box with the words “Lost and Found” on it. I wait in the darkness again. A light peeks out of the roof of this prison. A hand reaches in and grabs me. It’s her! My human! But wait, she looks different. She’s taller, older.

A child walks up behind her and asks, “Is that my new jacket, bwig swissy?”

She answers, “Yes, Marigold. Yes it is.” The child jumps up and grabs me, unzips me, and puts me on. We walk out and it’s hotter. Oh, no! It’s summer, that’s a bummer. I’ll never be worn! I might be torn by Moren, their dog.

Willow Fischer

What am I?

Hi, I’m Ranira. I love swamps, lily pads, and flies and mosquitoes too. They’re so delicious and nutritious for me. I love the rain and humid and rainy nights. My friend and I joined a choir, and we sing our hearts out. I get lots of exercise hopping where I please and, as I said, my name is… RANIRA! By any chance, do you know who I am? If you want, I’ll give you more clues. I’m green and want to jump to the moon! During the day, I drink, eat, and hop! Oh, did I mention I love flies?!

Grace Phipps


Hello, I am white with red
I die every day or just get whapped in the face
I get hit once, but that’s not enough
My friend is a bat
But not a cap
I wish I were used every day
Or possibly for a game
I have bigger dreams than to be left in a yard to die
What am I?
It’s obvious
(A baseball)

Chris Mota

I Am a Leader

I am a leader
I am a civil-rights giver
People judge me by my skin
I am treated badly
I can’t eat at many restaurants
What am I?

Bella Brewer

Life as a Christmas Tree

I’m a Christmas tree
I stand tall out of my box
Oh, yes, I’m here
Year by year
I go in, I come out
Oh yes, you’ll see ornaments and presents
Oh yes, they are good
I bring people joy
Oh yes, I do
Every year, I smell those good, tasty cookies and milk
Oh yes, these kids are happy and joyful
I hope and dream to come again
Oh, yes, another joyful day will come again

Bella Bocanegra


I am something that hops away
Sometimes I like to play
I like to be in my mod
Or is it a pod?

I can hop higher than anything
Do I really have to rhyme with a thing?
I do not like my fears
They really hurt my ears

I have milk in my pouch
What are you doing? Ouch!
I like my prey
But not my predators

I love my boots
But I could be in de ja vu
Could you please tell me
What am I?

I gave you all my clues
Even though I like my shoes
Do you want me to tell more?
Oh my, oh Lord

I will tell you I jump high
Just high in the sky
And one more clue
What am I?
Thank you

Tilley Wooten

Life as Snow

I am white and cold.
I am solid, but liquid.
I am designed and small,
and when I have friends I am powder.
I can even make an angel.
I like wars with small, white balls.
I can be made into a man with a carrot for a nose.
Also, don’t taste me when I am yellow.
I come in the winter.
I go in the spring.
What am I?

Richard Hudson

What Am I?

I am a tiny
TINY thing
That makes that stuff
That humans inhale to survive

Some weirdoes think I don’t exist
Because they can’t see me
Well, the truth is
I’m not tiny
I’m microscopic
Can you guess what I am?

Ryan James Hamer


If I were a frog, I would be a green frog so I could walk up to Shrek and pretend to be his swamp. If he notices me, I will scream in his ear and then run off to a puddle. I see a duck, oh, I’ll jump on his eye. Oh, he was a pretty nice guy. Oh, what is this? I seem to be stuck. I must have been the duck. But I thought I was the frog. Look again, it was the log. I see something huge. Oh, what could it be? Is it you or is it me? Well, let’s see. I’ve finally found a stick. The stick is very thick. As I walk to the pond, I carry my wand and cast some magical spells. I turn around and hear a familiar sound. Oh boy, that sounds like me. I look in the lake. Oh, this was a mistake. What shall I do? Is that Shrek? No, it can’t be. He just got shreked, but I thought he made that up. I go back home on my big stone and I wonder what’s on TV? Well, I don’t have a TV, so it doesn’t matter. I’ll just go grab my ladder and climb up to my bed hoping this is all in my head. I dreamed about a bird, or is that kind of weird? Nope, not for me. I woke up in a cup, yep, a cup, and then I woke up in a tree. How could this be? I soon woke up in my real home. Excited to be back in my own place. I really needed the space. Is that a rat? Nope, that’s a cat. Looks like I have to go. See ya, Shrek. Oh wait, that was a donkey. Oof!

Lilian Mamaril

I’m Gael, I am Blank

I am fuzzy and furry
Probably have holes
My day is great
I’m warm and snuggly on my owner’s head
I see what they see, smell, touch, and taste
Wear when it’s cold, please, or I am a waste
My dreams are hopes
My hopes are dreams
I just wish to be worn on the head
My fears are frightening and also very scary
My fears are summertime
The worst time of all
Nobody wears me, but one… me!

Gael Rawlings


I am soft and I go everywhere
I get slept with and I feel warm every day
I sit on a bed every day and sometimes on the floor
In the morning, my owner wakes up, goes downstairs, and leaves me behind
I am scared of the dog and the cat because they could chew or rip me
I hate being on the floor
I hope to get buddies or more friends and not get chewed by the cat or dog
I hope to not get stuck in the car on the floor

Davian Jack Frost

Maybe You Can Spin the World

Check out the amazing poems and stories written by Ms. Maag’s fourth-grade students at Boone Elementary School.

Flying No More

I was flying,
Out there in the jungle, I sang
Forever Free,
That was what I thought then,
I thought I was free,
I thought I was happy.
There he was,
Sweaty as an ocean,
Copper bullets,
Ready to kill,
I already saw the lives he took,
Too slow to run from the lead-filled terminators,
I flew away,
Farther and farther,
Thinking I was safe,
I heard a BANG.
The bullets pierced my wing,
Pierced my soul.

I fell,
Lower and lower,
I woke up,
Clutching my wing like it was gold,
I couldn’t run,
I couldn’t breathe.
Why me?
I was never free,
What I thought was home,
Was just a hiding place from evil,
Life is just a big game of hide and seek,
But the seeker has to find you sometimes.

For me,
It was now.
My body was lying there,
I am at rest,
I will be,
Flying no more.

Atlas Castro

The Egg That Never Flew

Close your eyes and imagine this: A man was walking. He saw an eagle’s egg. He looked at it for two seconds, put it in a chicken’s nest, and walked off. A few months later, it hatched and acted just like a chicken.

One day, the eagle looked up and saw another eagle. He asked, “What is that?” The chicken answered, “Oh, it’s an eagle, but you’re never going to be like him.” So, he died a chicken when he was meant to fly.

Nobody is in charge of you. You are you, and you have to shape your life. Nobody else can. It’s just you, because you are meant to fly!

Jasmine Aung

Death Desert

As I walk along the steaming hot,
crystal clear sand,
I get blisters on my feet.

I watched the day turn to night.
I found a cave for shelter.
As the moon rose, it got colder.
I was finally able to sleep.

I suddenly woke up with a start.
I jumped!
But it was only the screeching of a bats’
cry of hunger.

Morning came and the day grew hotter
and hotter, but I was still in the cave.
Then I heard something,
something big coming for me.
I got up and ran.
I could hear it coming faster and faster.

Its feet were like thunder pounding the ground.
I look back, and it’s just a big, giant fox!
I run as fast as I can.
Only then I didn’t know
that nothing survives here.

Then everything went blank.
I could hear nothing.
I saw nothing.

And in a second,
I was gone from the world.

Sophie Owensby

Ocean Dying

Once was beauty
Now so black
Once was living
Now so dead
Once was new and blue
Now so polluted and grey
I give you waves, I give you paradise
But all you give me is trash and ice
I give you fun
You give me hate
But you turned that all around
You did not make me frown
With all your help, we could make me new and cool
Just pick up your trash and try not to pollute

Jazzlyn Hepburn

All About Clown Fish

I want to be a fish.
I want to be a fish because
they can breathe underwater
for a very long time.
I would want to be a clown fish
because they look cool and
I like their colors.
They’re orange and white.

Nathan Jackson


I went to sleep and dreamt about the new Fortnite.
Then I heard  knock at my window.
I looked out, and this time the bunny yoga class
was learning the floss.
In the morning, a bee was in my room playing,
swarming around my Baby Alives.
I climbed down from my bunk bed and watched
the toy heroes, but then I heard a crunch.
I looked out the window.
There was the Flex Seal Man dancing.

Clarey Warstler

The Water

I think people should get in boats
and pull out all of the trash they see out of the ocean.
They should make a law about not polluting the ocean.
I also think it should be illegal to hunt for fish
in the seas, rivers, oceans, and lakes.
I also wish that fish would have more babies,
so there would be more fish in the ocean.

Xavier Aleto

I Guess

never felt the feel of her
like the rest and rest do see
never met who gave life
even though it was to me
never knew why they made
what they knew they couldn’t keep
why oh why did they save me just to plunge
me down in the deep
I guess that I must look like her
so maybe she looks like me
or maybe she looked ‘cause time will tell
but for now a guess is all I can be

Asa Wilson

The Real World

Imagine one day
You woke up
To see the small world in front of you
With no idea about what troubles
You might experience next
Maybe you can spin the world
Travel to a country filled with amazing wonders
Make your own city
Make relationships
Start a war
Trouble your land
Defend it
Try to fix it
Oh no…
You’re drifting into the real world
You’ve woken up
You want to go back
To fix your mess
But it was just a dream

Jake Napolillo

Did You Know?

(Truth or Not?)
Aliens, oooh,
were found on Mars.
I bought the new dirt in Fortnite from Target.
Baptise is a color.
I am a person.
Ali-A is not click bait.
Yellow is actually green.
Gnomes live!
This guy lives.
Guardians of the Galaxy is real.
Wow Guy is actually Freddie Mercury.
Queen = Beatles (just to anger Asa).
Teletubbies is my favorite show.
Roblox won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Times-Up Guy is an astronaut.

Tommy O’Leary

The Beginning

A squirrel runs along a pine branch in a lush, green forest.
An acorn falls to the ground.
After days of rain and shine, a small sapling shoots up.
Its tiny leaves reach for the sun.

Liam Thomas

He is the High

God is my shield
God is my rock
God is the roof that keeps me on top
I am brave
I am bold
I will love Him ‘til I’m old
Love you, God
R.I.P. Jesus

Anthony Joseph Basden Jr.

It’s the Hard Shark Life for Us

Sharks, like me, are very endangered.
Hunters catch us and make us feel sun-hot anger.

We live our lives in peace and fun.
But when they take us away, it’s like we’re in
a Sharpie-black room looking for a key to freedom.

It sucks, it’s sad, it’s the tip of the marker.
There’s nowhere to go as the light gets darker.

The light fades away like a blowing dust.
So it’s time for God to take me, it’s upsetting,
but He must.

This is it. It’s time to say goodbye
to all our friends and family,
but why, just why?

Gabriel Chavez

Pizza Party

I scored 85 million points in football.
I got to the champion league.
My team won.
We went to Pizza Hut and I ate 85 pizzas.
I was so fat.
My team was fat too.
So when other teams tried to stop us,
we ran over them and won.

Marlon Quinn Hardeman Jr. M2


A coral reef lives long.
I am one hundred years old.

In my life, I have watched baby fish
and their mothers get caught and suffocate.

I watch people illegally kill whales of all kinds.
I watch them suffer and slowly float to the bottom of the reef.

A tiger shark got killed going up to a boat out of curiosity.
I watch sea turtles get ripped from the sea with other fish
and the fishermen just take it all!

And now because of the consumer,
I went away too.

Sadie Schaeffer

True or False

I play Pub-G
I have H 1Z1
I have Minecraft on PS4
I have Star Wars battlefield
I won Fortnite twice
I watch Teletubbies on cable
I have been gnomed
I have eaten cheesecake
I have real throwing stars

Lucas Hardy

The Pickle

Once I was eating a pickle, and out of nowhere it came to life.
I screamed and dropped the pickle and it summoned more pickles.
They turned me into a pickle.
Now I am a pickle brother for life!

Jack Beck

Is My Brain Rotting Yet?

My parents say I have to have
a limited amount of screen time.
But I don’t care if my brain rots!
It’s fun, and parents always say:
just try to have fun.

Mae Rooni

The Squirrels Nuke

Today… is a great day for a dog!
Look outside!
The big oak tree!!
I’m pretty sure there are 100 squirrels.
Let’s go get some squirrels!
What is this?
An invisible wall?
Well, I guess I’ll just watch cartoons.
*Nuke launches.*

Finnley Bridges

I Have a Dream That Is to Be Read

Welcome to incredible poems and stories created by the fourth-grade writers in Ms. Barrett’s class at Boone Elementary!

The Pizza Rolls

I am pepperoni pizza rolls.
When I bake, all the cheesy stuff gets in the pan.
I hope to get eaten.
I love the sauce and bread on top of me and I like it next to me.
My archenemy is pizza.

Tristan Buford

The Soccer Game

I am a soccer ball.
I am white and black.
It is fun to get kicked around.
It is fun because you go high in the sky.
As I go in the sky, I can see the crowd cheering loudly.
They want to see if I’m going to make the goal.
I make it.

Nathan Anderson

What Protects Me

My grandma protects me
As you can see
She passed away a long time ago
I try to go through it alone
But I can’t and I break down in tears
It sounds clear, but it’s not
And now my fear is to die
But die in my sleep like my grandma did
So, yeah, that’s my fear and what protects me
Now you know how I feel when I’m crying
And you know why I’m crying

Victoria Berron

Oatmeal Tale

I am oatmeal.
I am steamy, hot, and moist.
I am sitting in a pot.
I am apple and cinnamon flavor.
You put me in a bowl and eat me with a spoon.
I don’t want to get eaten by people.
I have a bully in my pot.
His name is organic oatmeal.
He has a nasty little taste.
Soon I will fall in the trashcan.

David Aguilar

Fun Time Freddy

I’m Fun Time Freddy.
I’m white and pink, and I have a bonnie hand.
My face is in fourths.
I have a bunch of teeth.
I trick people and scare people.
I am scared of the puppet master.

Daniel Perez

Save Our Turtles

Save the turtles every day and night.
Save the turtles and be sweet and nice.
Save the turtles so they can lay their eggs at night.
Save the turtles so they can be alive.
They live on the beach.
Then you will see sea turtles in the breeze.
Give them shade.
So they can go to the waves.

Amira Castilleja

Black Cat

I’m a cat and I’m a black cat.
I give bad luck and I like cat food.
I’m not nice and I love my day.
I don’t get a lot of owners, but I scare people.
I hope that I get a lot of owners and get more food.
I like and dislike dogs, bad people, and pet school.

C.J. Barberena

Lonely Dumb Daisy

I am a lonely, dumb daisy
In a dungeon of King Weed
No escape with no friends and family
If only I could reach the golden key
If only I could feel refreshed by rain
Even if I could, it is still not enough for me
I am the lonely, dumb daisy
I only hear other prisoners clinging the prison bars
If only I had a car
I am the lonely, dumb daisy
Please hope for me to escape

Carcyn Reever

What I’m Scared Of

I feel like my family is going to pass away quickly.
My family and my dog protect me.
My dad is going to teach me self-defense.
My family is not always going to be there.
Poisonous stuff scares me.
Do not eat it or drink it.
I’m scared of being taken away from my family.
I know my family will be there to protect me.

Joshua Taylor

Hi, I’m a Candy Cane

I’m like a coral reef
Sometimes red and sweet
As a honey bee and little insects fly on me
Because of the sweetness
I’m so straight with a hook on my top like an elephant’s trunk
I’m so colorful like a colorful flower
Before someone gets me
I have a plastic wrap around me like a toy wrap

Delilah Granados


I am a book
I can open and close
I can be read
I can be any color
I have a title
I am square shaped

I see people
I smell other books
I hear people talking about me
I taste people’s hands when they touch me

I have a dream that is to be read
I have a hope to not be thrown away

I have a dislike, which is to not be thrown around
I have a like that is to be taken somewhere

Caitlyn Marie Barberena

I am a Lemur

I am a lemur
I jump from tree to tree
To and fro
Back and forth
I am fuzzy and grey
But I’m also white, orange, and black
I taste fruit and feel the tree branches on my feet
I want to eat all the fruit ever
I am a lemur

William Elliott

I Have No Fear or Talisman

Nothing to fear
No way for protection
I have no real fear
Some things are creepy
But that’s just it
There’s nothing I can feel
Some things may make me feel warm inside
And that’s not really protection
But that’s just it
There’s nothing I can feel
There’s nothing more
Nothing less
I have no fear or talisman

Sadie Higgins

Math and Mass

Today is Earth Day.
Our theme is saving animals.
I picked the giraffe because he knows a lot of math.
He doesn’t like reading, but he likes eating.
He loves eating leaves that have a lot of mass and are green as grass.
He hates eating red meat.
When he eats meat, his feet stink.
He’s really happy when he doesn’t have stinky feet.
He does math and knows about mass.

Alfonso Rodriguez


Giraffes, their necks are long as a pole.
Their population is like a big hole.
Their colors are so bright and delightful.
They’re almost as bright as a light cool.
The yellow and brown pleases the eye.
Why are they going extinct, just why?

Jordan Freeman

Baby Shark

In the water you can see my leathery fin coming towards you
Sharp teeth chewing fiercely like a cheetah
You decide to swim away, but I am faster
I swim to the surface of the water that is bright as blueberries
I am just a baby hammerhead shark
You feel relieved that I am a baby shark
So you feel my warm fin and say
You’re not as cold-hearted as I thought

Savannah Haenning

The Life of a Bee

I’m nothing much, just a honey bee
I work as hard as a factory worker
My honey is sweet like sugar
I feel as happy as a bunny playing in the forest
When I go back into the hive, the queen is proud of me
I hear all the bees working like construction workers building a skyscraper
I dream of becoming the next queen
I’ll bee the best bee queen this hive has ever seen!

Isabella Marie Fagan

My Little Blossom Tree

The little blossoms are as pink as bubble gum
The trunk is as strong as Hulk
The leaves are free in the wind like a bird flying high
It soaks up all the water in its roots
Then the snow falls
As cold as the Arctic Ocean
And my little blossom tree’s blossoms fall to the ground
My little blossom tree’s blossoms are grey like my grandpa’s hair
But my little blossom tree will be back in the spring

Annika McCloskey

Badgerdog Book Crush: Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe

In this year’s delightful Book Crush novel, Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly, the point of view alternates between four young protagonists (Virgil, Valencia, Kaori, and Chet) to tell a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant story of harrowing adventure involving astrology, bullying, a snake bite, a lost (and found) guinea pig, a boy trapped in a well, and a triumphant coming-together of three kids whose friendship is “meant to be.”

Our twelve Badgerdog Book Crushers were keen to share their observations and ideas about Kelly’s novel. Throughout our week of reading, discussing, writing, and art-making, we explored the book through several lenses. We read:


  • as detectives, following the characters’ movements through their neighborhoods, then making maps of those journeys
  • as artist-poets, using scissors and glue or markers to create art and poetry from the author’s words
  • as illustrator-designers, examining how the book cover advertised the themes of the novel and intrigued readers without giving too much away, then designing our own
  • as astrologers, assigning character names as new “signs” with a list of their characteristics and even creating new constellations
  • as writers, penning the next chapter of the book, text messages between characters, or persona pieces from a pet’s perspective
  • as teacher-students, creating study aids in the guise of fun guessing games that reiterate the relationships between characters, their traits, and actions
  • as observers of our own lives, taking charge of our destinies by noting how “It doesn’t take many words to turn your life around”
  • and we read for fun, with our eyes closed, just listening, on the floor or under a table, just because we could

All in all, it has been an inspired week of creativity, crafting, self-direction, and exploration that transformed reading from what is a traditionally solitary and passive activity into one that was social, creative, and dynamic—a lesson that should stay with the members of this group for years to come. These projects reflect that feeling—that a book can be more than words on paper, that, in its pages, we can find lessons and friendship and our own way through the world.

Tracey Lander-Garrett
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


Daniel’s Matching Game


Daniel Alpatov


Universe Entry # 3879

Protection Against Chet

When approaching a feral Chet, you want to make sure to bring a big dog. Big dogs scare Chet—tiny dogs will not suffice! Chet fears big, slobbery, beastly dogs. If you do not own a dog, a snake might work. After a bad encounter with snakes, we suspect that he fears them.

Ideal Locations

A great location to find Chet is his house. You may spy him shooting hoops in his driveway. He mainly stays on Elm Street, his habitat. He roams the street sometimes, and if you are really, really quiet, you can hear his dribbling. If you hear dribbling behind you, it’s probably Chet “The Bull” Bullens. He might be force to leave his territory and venture to purloin freely at the… supermarket! If found at the Super Saver, he might be in the chip aisle scouring for his father’s favorite chips, Doritos.

Weapons Against Chet

If Chet approaches in a fowl mood, your best weapons are your words. You could shame him about his irrational fear of dogs or that he never made a sports team. This will either anger him or make him go away.

Sylvestre Molina


Choose Your Own Character Adventure

Nancy Lu


When They Are at Virgil’s House
—an erasure poem

A spy-going

Knock on
the door.

Giggles behind her hand,

“I’m serious
he’s one of us—

Adele LeFlore


Study Guide for Hello, Universe

Lincoln Evans


Symbol Search & Erasure Poem


Katherine Cui


Falling Down the Well & Other Adventures

Cynthia Cui

Cynthia Cui


Mapping the Story


James Zeng


Valencia’s iPhone Messages


Zachary May


Going Underground
—an illuminated text


Linda Liu


The Hello, Universe Board Game


Marcelo Molina


Hello, Characters!


Laura Xue


Presentation Slideshow

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hornsby Elementary

These enthusiastic writers met every Tuesday after school at Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary. We spent the first part of every workshop discussing their days. Our conversations sparked ideas and uncontrollable laughter. We quickly became a team of investigators, a close-knit group of friends, and we relied on each other for positive feedback to the stories we shared. These kids wanted to write; many times, they began writing before the lesson. While they wrote, I read them children’s poems from various anthologies. They were completely intrigued and never stopped asking questions. They were silly and serious. May their brilliant work inspire you to pick up a pen and write your own story!

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

At Nighttime


I have two big wings that are purple and clean. When it is nighttime, I come. I touch white, shiny things that everybody has. I sneak inside little cracks so I can go inside the room. I bring a pouch of magical dust, just in case they wake up. I bring gloves and shrinking dust, so I can fit under a big, fluffy thing. I smell drool dripping from the person’s mouth. I see a room full of toys and other things. I hear snoring louder than a wolf howling, and it woke up the whole neighborhood. I taste toothpaste that is bubble-gum scented. I hope I will get through the night with nothing happening. I dream that my wings have glitter on them. I love how I collect shiny, white things, and when they fall out, you get money. When I fly back to work at 6:00am, I fly high in the sky. But when I fly high, bird poop falls on my black, glittery hair. Now I have to put on extra conditioner.

Can you guess what I am?

Ta’ Naeja Shontae Bradshaw



Family is annoying
Like a cat wanting food
Stupid like a goldfish going into a wall
Hungry like a dog fierce for food
Loud like a screaming goat
But… we still love them no matter what
My sister is like a yelling goat, but I still love her
My brother is like a wailing whale
And my baby brother, like a little monkey jumping everywhere
But I still love them
Mom and Dad are intelligent like dolphins

Legacy Davis

The Hurt


It was when I got to the hospital; but first, let’s rewind four hours.

I was on a plane back to my state, and when we were going to our Uber I fell and my tongue was split in the middle. When we were on our way to the hospital, I was saying my lucky number: three. Then we got to the hospital, and I forgot most of it, but all I remember is that they removed my tongue from my mouth. To get it out, they had to remove most of my teeth. There were things I couldn’t do: I couldn’t taste, I couldn’t bite, and I couldn’t eat. Most of the things we had in our house were bad for me.

This year, they are making a fake tongue just for me. I will get it next week. After this, I was so freaked out to get in an Uber. From now on, we are going to have one of our family members come pick us up. It doesn’t matter if it’s five hours away or if they live far away. They will come to pick us up, all because of me. I never want to get on a plane or in an Uber ever, ever again. I don’t know when I’m going to overcome my fear of Ubers and airplanes. So now, when I want to travel, I am going to drive unless I don’t feel like driving anymore.

Allizon Estrada

The Best Day of My Life


I went to the casino and played, but I had one more coin, so I kept it. Then I went to a farm in Austin and bought a pig. I went to bed.

The next day I took a shower and cleaned my ears with a Q-tip and went to the beach. I swam and played. I saw a clam and took it to my house.

Those two days were the best days of my life.

Joseph Martinez

Mystery Animal


I fly at night, so mysterious,
sometimes with fright.
I spread my wings
and I’m ready to take flight!
I go only in the night,
it’s better than light.
I only sleep in the day,
not night.
I’m blind all day,
but can see clearly in the dark.
With my sharp teeth to eat,
now is the time I hate.
I have to go to sleep.
Now I hope I’m not late!

Debra Onsurez



silence all the laughter
everyone has gone
leave me here
let life roll along
shut out the light
I don’t wish you to see
this empty existence
now en-capturing me
close all the doors
let no one in
the person you knew
is no longer me
lock all the windows
make this my cell
the dark is my prison
my living cell
block out these sounds
let life roll along
I can still hear
but it’s not my song

Kallia Rogers

Bad Things


What if people were flat?
What if horses could fly?
What if Woody was a horse?
What if your teeth were peanuts?
What if teeth took over the whole world?
What if your face was a spider?
What if you rode a rat across the state?
What if you did not brush your teeth in 1,000 years?
What if your tongue fell off?
All of these things would affect your life…
What would you do if you had one of these problems?

Caydence Scott



I am the violet fox
I help animals
And stop pollution
I got bit by a fox and
I’ve never been the same since
I have purple hair and a fox costume, but
Shhh! No one can know
I have a sidekick
Her name is Crimson Cat
(Don’t ask)

Dax Young

Brain Bending Wild Stories

Ms. Barrett’s class was a crazy group of writers who valued spontaneity, collaboration, and working together to come up with the most creative and brain-bendingly wild stories possible. Together, we practiced adding details with accordion sentences, wrote about conflict, characterization, and motivation, discovered the secret universes of our own fiction, and just generally had a blast! I know you’ll have a blast reading their work!

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

My Dance Recital

One day, it was my dance recital, and I had done so many graceful dances. Right before my funky dance, I got called out onto the stage. I felt nervous but happy. They said, “Greta Braafladt, come get your spotlight award!” on the mic. I felt like I was going to fly out of the room!

Greta Braafladt

The Silly Bakery

Bob wanted to play with Billy, so they did.

After a while, Stewart, Bob’s brother, asked, “Do you want to go to the bakery?”

So they did, two minutes later.

“Hi,” said Bob, “Can we get three Valentine’s Day cookies?”

But the evil worker said, “No, no, no, no. You cannot have anything, so get out, or else I will hit you with my spatula!”

Bob, Billy, and Stewart GOT HIT BY THE WORKER!

They lived happily after, but not the worker, though.

Noah Jade Castillesa

Dash’s Adventures

There was a cat named Dash, and he wanted an apple. But the people on the bus said, “No, no, no! We are not going to stop off to get some apples, okay?” the people said.

So the cat had a sad feeling. Then he went to the park so he could try to get an apple there. A little boy came up to him and said, “You are so cute, cat. Can I have you, please please?” And the little boy’s mom said, “No! You can’t take care of a cat. You are only eight years old.”

So the cat still did not get an apple, and he was so sad. He slept on the bench in the park, and when he woke up he found an apple there! And he lived happily ever after, the end.

Davianna Henry

The Adventures of Ice Cream Dog

My dog wants ice cream, but I said no. So my dog jumped on me, and my ice cream cone fell on his head. Splat! But then an alien started to chase him, and Amos saw him running. The alien is at his side, and they’re running together.


The Hungry Alien

Once, there was a weird and ugly alien that was just flying around in space when he realized that he wanted to go to earth so he could get an epic full gold crown. But the alien loved to eat space food. Of course, there wasn’t any on earth. So he had to decide if he should go or not!


Pennywise Goes to the Store

Pennywise was just walking in the sewer and he looked out the sewage drain and saw the licking eyeball store, but he saw a sign saying, “Store is closed for good!”

“NOOOOOO!” said Pennywise. He really wanted some licking eyeballs.

He angrily climbed out of the sewer and tried to run into the glass and break it, but it wouldn’t break. He tried over and over, until he saw the owner of the store.

Pennywise asked the owner to open up the store for Pennywise, but the owner said, “No.”

So Pennywise ate him. And he wasn’t even hungry!


The Fancy Croissant

Bob wanted a croissant, but he had no money! So he went to his job at the movie theater where he sold popcorn. He liked his job. He got his money and took it to the bank. Two days later he had about $300,000.50 in money, so he got the golden croissant for $300,000.50 and was happy.

Jett Katz

Trump’s Terrible Day

One day, Donald Trump was at Freddy’s Pizza as a night guard. He had to stay up to until 6:00 AM, but he fell asleep. One of the animatronics named Golden Frodo grabbed up. When Donald Trump woke up, he tried to get out of its grasp, but it did not work. The next day, Donald Trump was walking around town when he spotted Slendy Tubbie, then an animatronic. He ran up into his room and stayed in there until the door broke open. He got scared and hid in his bed, but they caught him and he never came back. Then a McDonald’s restaurant opened up—that was their next target. I might make this an animation, thanks for reading!

David Ezekiel Fuentes

A Creepy Mystery

Once someone saw someone. He said, “Eh, that’s weird!” Then he saw an ant that was big. It looked like it had a bomb. Then he noticed the bomb was ticking! But the person at the beginning was a Derp. The Derp wanted a pizza, but the pizza stores had a policy of no Derps. So the Derp robbed all the pizza stores.

Cayden Hernandez

Rover’s Revenge

Once, there was a puppy that liked ice cream. That is why he wore an ice cream cone on his head. His name was Rover. Rover had a very big sweet tooth, and all Rover wanted was a bone covered in icing. But the problem was the evil baker would smack him in his head with a spatula and break his ice cream cone, and poor little Rover couldn’t risk that. Then one day, Rover decided to try it out, so he went to the bakery and instead of the baker smacking him on the head, Rover ripped the spatula out of the baker’s hand and started smacking the baker in the head. And then he got the bone and he lived happily ever after.

Lyla Batha-Tipton

Marshmallow’s Mission

Once there was a cat named Marshmallow. He wanted to get a fishing rod, but he couldn’t because he didn’t have enough money. So he tried to steal it from a store but he got caught and he went to prison and he had to stay there for a hundred trillion years. He regretted his decision from that day on because it was horrible.

Bryce McManus

The Oval Head

One day, a guy was in the shower, and he saw a man with a head that looked like a sideways oval. The man had a long beard and a nose that looked like Squidward’s, and giant boots. Apparently, the guy, who was named Juan, had a disease, and when he saw a turkey, he would want to eat the whole thing. So, Juan saw the oval man and said, “I would never want to live with him…” But the man had turkey. So Juan chased the man into a secret room filled with turkey, and the man said, “You can have all of the turkey you want!” Juan wanted to escape, but he ended up living there forever!


My Amazing Day

I went to Universal. I saw a slide, and I went on it. It was amazing! It felt like a waterland. You see fake dinosaurs, and you are on a raft. It was fun. Suddenly, the raft stops! You go down a hole really fast, around two hundred miles an hour, and land in the water, and you see sky.


The Adventures of AJ

One day, a boy named AJ found a magical stone—if he touched it, he could turn into a giant. He wanted to save the world. He touched the stone, but someone started attacking him. So then he turned into a dragon and tried to burn the person who was attacking, but it didn’t work. So, AJ ran away, far away. But he still wanted to save the world. Then robots came to Planet Earth and started attacking and destroying everything. So, AJ flew down from the sky and lit all of the robots on fire. He destroyed all the robots, and soon everyone was safe and he was known as the dragon that saved the world.


The Kid Fights Back

So, there was this guy who always goes down a dark alleyway to get to school. But one day, a mean guy with a hook as a hand started chasing the kid. The kid lost the mean man, fortunately. Then the kid had an idea. He decided to get a monster fish. The problem was that one hundred was the kid’s most unluckiest number. So he got ninety-nine fish instead. The next day, the kid hid behind a bush with his big bag of monster fish he caught. After a while, he saw the mean man and… splat! The fish started biting the man. In the end, the mean dude apologized and never hurt the kid again.

Carly Maxwell

Kit the Cat

One day, there was a cat named Kit. She was a small cat. All she wanted was a bed, a fish on a plate, and catnip. They were going to be so good in her mouth. So she went to the store, and she was going into the store, but then the evil dog named Eagle Eye was scratching Kit, and Kit was getting a million baby tears. But then Eagle Eye said sorry, and Kit got what she wanted in the end. She did it back to the dog and ran away! “Victory is mine!” she said.

Shyla Trevino

The Deadly Breakfast

There was a man named Lil Mike, and he had a sidekick, Long Bob. They wanted to get a bone and eat it for dinner, but they couldn’t because they were trapped in a bowl that had lazers, and if you touched it you would explode and be eaten. During breakfast, they found some rocks and threw them at every later, and they escaped! They tried to eat the bone for dinner, but unfortunately they died choking on the moist bone.

Drake Farris

Bob Toy’s Terrible Day

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Bob Toy. He was walking with his phone and fell and turned into a monster and the spell lasted a month. So he ran home and now he never goes outside without getting a drink of anti-monster potion first.


The Week That Went From Sad to Great!

One day I fell off my bunk bed, and I almost fractured my arm! I fell flat on my face, and the next thing I knew was that I was lying on my mom’s bed with a cast. The next day, I went to my dad’s house and found out that he had a new puppy named Keco.


Excavating Stories from Our Minds

In Ms. Barrett’s fourth-grade class, we spent our time together digging for details that excavate stories from the images in our minds. Students explored their own expertise and backgrounds while learning the tools to research the unfamiliar and reach the endless possibilities of their imaginations. Folk music icon Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” inspired us to tell our truest stories—those of the people we know and what they do. The work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda roused stirring odes about people and pets we love, Twinkies, and even pasta. These young writers experimented with rhyme, similes, stanzas, and detailed descriptions to make their points. You will get a good laugh from Connor’s hilarious tale of “Gail the Snail.” You will find out what it’s like when future drivers are instructed to design their own dream cars. Most of all, I think you will truly enjoy reading and seeing these images written, and the magical pictures they cast in your mind’s eye.

Jena Kirkpatrick
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

The Car I Want

In my dream car, I want it to have the color red.
I want it to have all the food in the world.
I want it to have all the video game systems in the world.
I want it to have all the drinks in the world.
It has AutoDrive.
I want it to have protection all over it, so it doesn’t break.
I would travel all over the world.
If I don’t go all around the world,
I want to go with my friend, Austin, to half of the world.
We will play games and ride.

Cade Alderete

My Rainbow Colored Car

My dream car would be longer than a limo! My limo would be pink with gold sparkles because pink is my favorite color and because I love sparkles. Gold is another favorite color of mine, so the running boards on my limo would be gold with pink sparkles. And did you know my limo could turn into a truck? The color of my rims would be purple. Now let’s go inside the limo/truck. When you walk into my limo/truck there is a big, cute, fluffy, black rug covering up all of the floor. My limo would also be like a camper van, so you could live in it. The color of the seats would be rainbow, and one of the buttons in the front seat would make the limo/truck change colors to rainbow. My sister, Brynn, would live with me. Brynn and I would have bunk beds laid out across from each other. The bunk beds would be blue because that is Brynn’s favorite color. The bedspreads on the beds would have pink and purple zigzag lines on it. On the wall, next to both of the bunk beds, would be a TV. I love watching Full House, so I would have to have a TV. The thing that would be amazing is free Internet. On the walls, there would be black and white polka dots with sparkles. Did you know the bunk beds could turn in together to make a table, so you would have a place to eat? The table would be clear and it would have gold and silver sparkles on it.

Addison Bolen

My Mom

My mom is kind.
She looks like a woman with blonde and brown hair.
Her job is hair stylist.
She works at a hair salon.
Her favorite food is brisket tacos.
Her favorite colors are fuchsia, pink, and purple.
She likes to go to IHOP, Pizza Hut, and Golden Corral.
Her favorite clothes are dresses, pants, shorts, and shirts.
Her favorite shoes are Converse, sandals, and Tom’s.
Her favorite animals are puppies, cats, and wolves.
I think she is pretty.
She loves me and I love her.
I love my mom!

Evelyn C.

My Dream Car

My dream car would have some really comfy seats.
They would feel like a cloud.
The car would have a bed in it.
The color would be purple.
The inside would have a lot of space.
If you ask the car, it will give you ice cream.
You can make up your own flavors,
add your own decorations
and any kind of sweets.
The lights would be the color of a rainbow.
The color of the car would change every minute.
The car would also have a dance party.

Esther Garcia

The Black Sheep

My mother is very loyal to me. She tries her hardest to do what’s best for me. She usually always wears an old Alabama Crimson Tide hat. Back in our old state, Oregon, she worked at this bar called The Black Sheep. She worked almost every day, so she barely ever got sleep. Other than that, she is very funny. She often makes a play on words. She is very entertaining; she’s like the house clown. At her work, she makes a lot of friends and I usually get along with them. The person I got along with the most was named Taylor. Sometimes, Taylor would pick me up from school. One day, The Black Sheep wanted to make a change. They got rid of two of the oldest people and one of them was my mom.

Zach Halliday

Carty Party

My dream car would be mainly black with a blue streak coming across the middle. It would also have a pole to catch electricity. It would be powered by electricity with white parts that look like stars and glow in the dark. It’d be small, but big enough for six people. It’d have two black motorcycles with white, glow-in-the-dark stripes on the sides that people can ride. They can also split off the car with the push of a button, but they can’t go that far away because they are magnetically connected. It would also be able to have part of the front turn into a set of turntables. They are mainly black with a rainbow streak that continually changes color. They have cool speakers and a computer that has headphones. Also, it would have a microphone that’s connected to said features. It would have cool party lights that I could use any time I want. I would rarely let anyone in, and if I did, they’d usually be there to help me with the party settings that I forgot to mention. I’d use it 99 percent of the time for party-like/party/cool events that I am invited to (if you couldn’t tell already). Said parties would mainly be at night. Because. Reasons. Now I want to play Mario Cart for some odd reason… huh?

Abigail Hughes

The Mega Car

Vroom, vroom!
My car—pow!
It’s bad and black
And can go ten times faster than a Ferrari
It has a built-in robot to drive it
It has twenty-four seats and a hot tub on the roof
My car has a 3D printer that can print one thing
With the snap of my finger, it will activate disco lights
It has 5×5 foot TVs and one ten-foot one
It has tires that are thicker than a dog that spent one year in a hotdog factory
With the press of a box, the Mega Car will start to bounce
It can go anywhere, from the Earth’s core to another galaxy
It even has a toilet in the back
The seats are fluffy as a cloud and softer than velvet
The seats are also as bouncy as a trampoline
The fuel is nuclear waste
It’s waterproof and if you say fish
It will turn into a submarine

Alex J.

The Energy Car

My car is fifty feet tall and a street wide. It is jet black with fire red seats and everything important is water blue. The cool thing is that it comes with portable gas in a flameproof closet (actually, the whole car is flameproof and bulletproof). The inside has two really important buttons and a lot of other random buttons. The two important buttons are self-drive and auto-drive. See, the important thing is that… let’s say you tell your friend you will go this specific route for any reason with self-drive. You go that route, but auto-drive will take the main route, and that’s boring. The cool parts are: the rockets that can take you up to exactly 132,586,794 light years into space, a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, a fully operating weapons system (for anything strange), a fully operating “camp-mode,” a fully operating transforming system, an elevator that can take you to Mars somehow. And the exhaust is cheese and (I saved the best for last)… a cup holder… with a voice lock… No!… ”Aw, man. K.” You can fit thirty-six people in the car and take them almost everywhere in the world. I was driving down a road with dead trees around it and suddenly… a Stegosaurus appeared! It destroyed everything around it, saying, “I am a Stegosaurus!” Then, I suddenly felt dizzy and saw a flash of light. I felt heat and I saw the car vaporizing.

Christian Lopez


My dad’s name is Jerry.
His height is five-foot-three.
His name is my middle name.
He is a builder.
He made a hotel by IH-35.
He is also a bike builder.
He also has a lot of tattoos.
He has three kinds of tattoos on his head.
He has one in the middle of his head.
It is a Virgin Mary with roses on the sides.

Texas L.

New York Car

My dream car has spikey wheels.
My car is bright pink.
My rims are silver with glitter.
The seats are made out of fluffy, rainbow fabric.
In my car, there will be a caramel Frappuccino maker.
With the push of a button, it will make me the best drink ever!
I will go shopping with Esther and Daniela.
We will go to New York City.
It will give us more than one thousand phones.

Christiana M.


I woke up in an abandoned hospital.
I looked both ways.
The date was 2082.
Since the hospital was blown up, I climbed a wall.
I saw the future, but there was a portal.
I forgot Stacey came with me.
I saw her and I ran to her and said,
“Stacey! You saw the portal, right?”
“You’re strange,” Stacey said.
“So, let’s go into it,” I said.
“Okay,” Stacey said.
We looked and saw the date 1825.
It was a back-in-time portal.
We had to go back.

Drake M.

Llama Bus

My dream car is a double-decker bus without a roof on the top part and no seats on the roof, just grass. The color of the bus is yellow. The inside is bright orange. The bus is called the Llama Bus. On the Llama Bus there are stripes. The stripes are brown, but the llama is white. It does not use gas for fuel. It uses cheese. There is a button that changes the cheese kind. It can disguise itself as a giant llama. When it goes into disguise, corn comes out of the llama’s mouth. The coolest thing about it is that no one drives it. It also goes up to five light years a second. I would bring Connor and Christian and go into a black hole and see what’s inside. Inside the black hole are alpacas, mostly brown alpacas and the rest are white. There is no gravity and it also makes you feel weird because you are getting stretched out. When we come back, we will have a Stegosaurus, which will say, “I am Stegosaurus.”

Nevan Montgomery

My Ode to My Dog Harley

My dog, Harley, is funny.
When he plays with his bone, he grows very funny.
Harley is softer than a bunny.
Harley loves to sleep.
He never makes a peep.
Harley likes to go to the park slide.
We also like to play seek and hide.
He is tan and black.
He likes to run the track.
His favorite people are my uncle and me.

Camilla M.

Ode to Pasta

Oh, pasta! How can you be so delicious?
With those spices and sauces, you are a god of food, you know?
You are ancient. You came from China and transferred to Italy.
“Where Lambos are,” and transformed into paradise.
You fill me with joy and tranquility.
My tongue always wonders where you are and never stops thinking about you.

Sebastian Stevanon

My Sweet Dobie

Oh, how I love my dog Dobie!
How he stares in your eyes
The way he licks your face
I love Dobie like cotton candy
He is the light of my day like the sun in the sky
How he curls with you when he can give no more
Sweet brown of his fur
He gives you a kiss when you’re down
Like a puppy saving a duck in town

My dog is small and lazy
He sits on the couch like a tomato
He’s only six years old
But to me he’s a baby
Sometimes he goes too far
It’s like a piece of paper hitting you
But he is mostly nice and cute like a lion
My dog is my world
He is my sun in my day
He’s cute and could act like a good dog
But he won’t even listen sometimes
Dobie loves wearing a shirt
I make him hot when he’s cold
He is like a body lying in bed
I love Dobie like a god
He has fur like a bear
I can go home and give him a kiss

Essie Taylor

Ode to Twinkies

The sweet, pillowy cream
The spongy, light outside
To me, it is more valuable
Than gold

All the different flavors
Your golden color
Your plastic wrapper is so crinkly
For you I would give anything
I would give shoes for you
In my heart there is a place for you
I could swim in an ocean of Twinkies
You come in all those shapes and sizes
Deep fried, ice cream, packaged fresh
I could binge eat you for a lifetime

Jake Texeira

Gail the Snail

Once there was a snail
His name was Gail
He was male
He swallowed a nail
And he gave Dale the mail
He wanted to sail
But he was a fail
That’s why he was a giver of the mail
He lost his tail
When it started to hail
He went to his house and hid in a pail
But forgot to eat his kale
So he went to jail
And when he got home he found his tail

Connor Tipps

My Unicorn Car

I would love my car to be a unicorn car. It will be white with painted rainbow hairs on it and it will have a golden unicorn horn. My dream car will have lots of buttons. One will be for a chocolate fountain with a bowl of strawberries next to it. It will also have a cake-maker button where you can pick a flavor, frosting, and topping. My Unicorn Car will also have a unicorn Frappuccino button. There will also be a small stand of hot Cheetos. The hot Cheetos will be flaming hot Cheetos puffs, Takis, and flaming hot rings. My dream car’s light will be rainbow. My car will also have wings and be able to fly. My dream car’s seats will have unicorns. It will have a unicorn horn on the top of the seat. My dream car will be powered by my hand. My dream car will have a microwave and a touch screen. My dream car will also have rainbow wheels; it will have a freezer with ice cream, caramel apples, Hot Pockets, pizza rolls, and popsicles. I will take my family to a beautiful beach.

Daniela Villegas Garcia


My dream car would be light, bright blue with windows the color of the ocean on the left, bright red on the right and bright purple in the middle. The inside seats would be red. The headlights would change color in rainbow order. On the inside there would be a large rainbow button with a capital “C” on it. It would spill out candy. Mostly Twix, Hershey’s and gum. There would be a blue button with a “P” that releases a pool with a diving board, water slide, and pads that you can swim on included. As well as an orange button with a “W” that releases a climbing wall and a cave. There would be a board touch screen that has all the other water controls. This car could fly, swim, climb, slide, drive. and go to outer space (as far as six million light years). There would be an autopilot and another touch screen that would change the shape of the car. The background of the touch screens would be blue and the words and pictures would be white. The touch screens would be floating, half hologram and half transparent. The last touch screen would paint murals on the car, depending on what I tell it to paint. It can even show moving pictures, films, and movies!

Alice Weber

Homework, Skateboards, Turtles and Elephants

The young writers in Ms. Williamson’s morning class always greeted the day with a smile. They were unfailingly generous of spirit, both when it came to sharing snacks and sharing stories. Over the course of our month together, we worked as a group to create wild fictional universes (full of animals doing surprising things), wacky people going on silly adventures, and even a few talking objects! These writers used their empathy to explore the world through their creative writing, and their stories reveal their kind-heartedness!

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist 

The Story of Homework

I am homework,
I’m not second-grade homework
I’m not third-grade homework
We’re talking fourth-grade homework, people!

I’m supposed to be on your desk with a big, red A+
Stamped on my face like a big, beautiful bow!
But now I feel ignored and neglected because
Emma forgot me in her dirty backpack! Do you
Know what’s in there?!

A moldy sandwich from last week!
Stale crackers from a month ago!
A water bottle that’s been in there since
Who knows when!

And now, thanks to Emma, my best friends Pencil
And Eraser are avoiding me because they think
Emma thought I was so lame, she didn’t even have
A thought about looking at me!

That is why I am not on your desk with a
Bright, red A+

Yours truly,
Emma’s Homework

Emma Read

Zombie Takeover

Once a fish wanted to go underground to find a hidden shower, so he traveled in a robot dinosaur with water in it. When the fish got out, he dug. The robot dinosaur went with the fish. But when they found the hidden shower, the robot dinosaur ate the fish! Then the robot dinosaur turned on the shower, and his power went down forever.

Ten years later, the fish came back to life as a zombie and started a zombie war. So we turned the robot back on, but the fish bit the robot so he could turn into a zombie robot. Together, they ruled the world. Then the SWAT team came and hit them with sledgehammers and all their other weapons. The SWAT team won the war against the zombie robot, the fish, and all the other zombies.


The Most Dangerous Game

Once there was a girl who skated. One day, she wanted to take a break from skating and play a video game about a fish eating people. She went to GameStop to buy the game, but it was closed. She was so depressed. She did not know what to do, but then she had an idea. She would break in!

She got all the supplies and broke in. She looked for the game, but it was out of stock. She heard sirens and saw a cop car. The cop came in and arrested her. But… this cop was nice, and he let the girl play the game in jail.


Basketball Man Meets the Special Elephant

Once there was a man whose dad had a special elephant. He was a strong man and a basketball player. But sadly his dad died that Friday, and someone took the elephant away from him. The basketball player went to get the elephant, but there was a shark guarding it. So he jumped in the tank and killed the shark with his bare hands and rescued his dad’s elephant.


The Burn Bird

Once there was a little birdy who wanted an iPhone he could use to call the cool birds and ask them out for dates. But the Joker wanted the iPhone too, so he could use it to call his girlfriend Harley Quinn and ask her to rob a bank with him. The bird tried to get the phone, but he failed. Then the Joker roasted the birdy, and the birdy said, “No, you’re ugly!” and the Joker cried and ran away. The bird grabbed the iPhone and asked the cool birds out on a date. They said yes. The Joker never messed with birds ever again, and he is scared of birds for life now.


The Ghost Mission

Once there was a weird person who wanted to see a ghost. So he set off on his journey to find a ghost. The old haunted house was where he went first. Then he saw a SWAT team member who said, “Stop doing crazy, stupid things!”

“Bah, who needs SWAT!” said the weird guy. With that, he ran away.

Just then, the SWAT team circled around him. “Freeze!” they said.

“Okay,” said the weird guy.

They put him in jail.

One night, when he was sleeping in jail, he saw a ghost. “Can you break me out of jail?” asked the weird guy.

The ghost frowned, and called his friend Pennywise. “You’ll float, too, you’ll float, too,” said Pennywise. With that, Pennywise slaughtered the weird guy and ate him for breakfast.

Eli Patel

The Ninja Dog

One day, there was a ninja who was part dog, part ninja. He wanted dog food because he was part dog, but there was a dangerous obstacle: a magic skateboard that kept him from the dog food. So he put a sticky bomb on it and exploded the magic skateboard and ate the dog food!

Jayden Martinez

The Adventures of Spider Boy

There was once a Spider Boy and two criminals, Mr. Bear and Cat Boy, who wanted to fight him. Spider Boy wanted to kill Mr. Bear and Cat Boy. But a turtle came, and he owned an Apple store. Spider Boy was distracted and went into the store to buy some apples. The turtle asked why he was getting so many apples. He told the turtle he was on a mission.

Erika Lopez


It makes you cry
It brings you tears
Your chest feels heavy
Whenever it’s near

You don’t feel right
You think you’re sick
But you realize
It’s only a trick

You may feel down
And your heart will pound
But it’s your pain
Coming from your veins.

Piper Pombrio

The Crazy Skateboard

My character is a skateboard. The skateboard loved to go rolling around everywhere. So, one day, the skateboard got really sick from rolling around and he threw up (yuck!). After the skateboard threw up, he got really, really fat! The skateboard’s friends were skinny, so they all rolled around together, and he got skinny again after a month.

Amelia Ponce

My Soggy Day

In the morning, no one told me they’d made me cereal, so I had to eat soggy old cereal. Then I went to turn on my Xbox to play with Waylon, and we almost won a hundred-person match. We came in second place! We got mad, so we wanted to go skate, but it was raining so I couldn’t skate outside.


The Alien’s Skateboard Adventure

Once upon a time, there was a weird alien thing that wanted to skateboard. Its obstacle was that it was in jail, where skateboarding was not allowed. All it had was a hairpin and a screwdriver, and the alien used them both to unlock the lock and run to the spaceship, where it got its skateboard, ran to a skatepark, and skated for days.


Rocket League

A guy named Blocks was playing Rocket League with his friend Michael. They were playing Rocket League for eight hours. They were not tired, but then it was one a.m. and Blocks’s mom came to his room. Blocks ran to his bed and pretended that he was sleeping until his mom left. Blocks went back to his game and flipped over a ramp. Boom! The other team scored—game over. He was at level seven, and had won twenty-one games. Rocket League is like a race car soccer game. He had to get goals and get upgrades, and that was what it was.


Bonkbob’s Troubles

Bonkbob is stuck and he wants to break out so that he can get 500 dollars. He runs to people and fights them. He wins because he is powerful, and he flops down and sees that he is lost. But he finds a jetpack, and uses it to fly where he needs to go.


The Ninja’s Quest

One day, there was a boy who was a foot high. He was really small. He wanted to become like the ninja he’d seen once. To do it, he had to climb a tree that had the legendary ninja suit in it, but guards were working to guard it. So he had to sneak in undetected. He went through the facility and got through. Then he saw the guards. So he took out the guards and climbed the tree and got the suit. He then became the best ninja in the land and saved people from bad guys.


Batman vs. the Trampoline

Batman wanted a chest full of gold coins, gold bars, fancy jewels, and a king’s crown, but to get it he had to go down to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, deep down to the freezing cold water. He had to go through a couple of obstacles. The obstacles were a trampoline, a skating area, and a Zumiez. Those were Batman’s favorite games! He couldn’t stop looking at them, so he went and played.

He played on the trampoline for seven hours, and went skating for eight hours, and after eight hours of skating he went to the Zumiez and bought lots and lots of clothes and went back on the trampoline for two hours and skating for one hour and forgot about the treasure chest and went home.

The next day, he remembered the chest and went back to search for it. This time, there was no obstacle, so he got the chest he wanted. But the chest had a big lock! So he could not get the treasure inside. So he brought the chest home with him.

Haylee Senior

The Deadly Seat

Bob the turtle wanted to go on the chair, but a bird swooped down and picked him up when Bob tried to sit on it. The turtle was never seen again.


The Soccer Game

An elephant who was very fat had an obstacle—that was a banana fish eating another fish with big eyes. The elephant wanted to play soccer with two people and wanted another person to ride around on a rocket and be the referee. He wanted one of the people playing soccer with him to get taken away by the rocket. But the banana fish got in his way!

Waylon Jeter

 Three Trips

  1. I went to Florida and went to Sea World. There was a big roller coaster, but my dad does not like roller coasters, so it was just me, my sister, and my mom.
  2. I went to Puerto Rico, changing from a car to a boat along the way. It was awesome. I got to go to the beach.
  3. I went to Alaska. It was freezing, but there were amazing things to see. It was incredible. My whole family was there but we got sick.


The Secret Life of Lemon

Once there was a dog named Lemon. He was the best dog you could have, but he had secrets. He wanted to get to his secret lab and create something no one had seen before, but he had a problem.

His big dog house blocked his way, and every time he found a new way the yummy smell from his food brought him back to his house. But once, he threw his food in the trash and took a new secret way to his lab. He made something no one had ever seen before. He named it Frankenstein.

Ryan Moore

Billy Meets the Bird

Once there was a man named Billy, who was an astronaut. He was in space having fun until he met a girl who he thought was pretty. She had a pet bird that was huge. Billy had two cats who would fight over a chair. Billy accidentally bumped into the girl, and her bird thought Billy was trying to kill her, so the bird ate Billy! After that, the bird barfed and licked his lips.


Beck Bites Back

Once there was a dog named Beck. He loved to play with his Xbox. One day, the dog was going to play with his Xbox, but in the middle of the night, a shark came and ate the Xbox. The dog knew this because the shark left a note just to make sure the dog knew. Beck was so sad about his Xbox, so he sent a letter to the shark, but the shark was so mean he didn’t write back.

Isabelle Baldwin