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


It came as no surprise to me to discover that several students in Ms. Beck’s class had parents who were published authors. Ms. Beck’s passion for writing became evident from day one and I witnessed that enthusiasm pouring from her fifth graders’ works. She joined in when I gave the prompts and produced a magical poem about a cat and her students jumped right into the exercises, as well. They delivered creative nonfiction with letters to objects around the house and developed unique descriptions for their fictional best friends. Ms. Beck’s writers also welcomed the opportunity to privately record their emotions in hand-made journals. I am immensely proud of the published results you see before you. Congrats to all the Brentwood writers!

Terri Schexnayder
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

Why Gaming Is Good for You 

My 1st reason is you get to play over 2,000 games also I know over 100 games not that much to 2,000. People think gaming is bad for you, but it really isn’t bad for you.

Let’s say you finished your homework (your boring homework) you can turn on an amazing xbox that has over 200-100 games. You can get for free or buy for money and every now and then they have a discount that let you save money on games that cost money.

It is the same for PS4 and a PS. A PC is way better than a Xbox and PS4 because a pc has stuff like a graphic card and a very good memory card, like on a pc you could get a lot more games than a Xbox and a lot of game companies release some games on PC and don’t release the same game on Xbox and Playstation because they don’t want to do the extra work to do the same for console.

Gaming isn’t bad for you. It is good in some ways and bad in some ways, you should play for only up to four hours at max. You shouldn’t be playing ten hours per day, because that is when gaming is bad. People say that videos are always, bad but it isn’t at all (Most of them are Karens that say it is bad). Matter of fact, not all games are a shooter games. Some games are building like for example Fornite is a shooter game and Minecraft isn’t. 

 Thanks for reading why gaming is good for you. I hope you learned a lot about gaming.


Running Majestically in the Field

Running majestically in the field
While everyone else takes a kneel
Their beautiful colors shine bright in the sun
As they walk on the leaves and drink from the pond…
I am who I am from what I can see
And some people call me the horse of many mysteries…

Ashtyn Gunning

Letter to Fence Gate

March 31, 2021

Dear Fence Gate,

Why do you hurt me? Do you not like me? I mean I didn’t slam you that many times. Just a few moments when I was in a rush but it wasn’t like thaaaaaaaat hard. Why did you slash me on my side so hard? I’m still in pain from when you were so cruel. Don’t you understand the conditions you have put me in? I am considering suing you for all you have … I mean you don’t really have anything but that’s off topic. You aren’t very nice you know, you almost made me *sniff sniff* cry *sniff sniff*.  WAAHHHHH!!!!!

Bye*sniff* for now, 

Avan *sniff*

Avan Bollich

My New Friend

We fell into the portal to fiery depths of hell. Then I met my new friend in the fire depths of hell. His name is Hacker. He always carries a laptop around so he can make things fly off his laptop. He is 15 and does not know what college he is going to. He loves computer science and he thinks he will get into M.I.T.

Me being a strong person with Thor’s hammer. They are both good physically  but I have a mental disability and A.D.H.D. so it is harder to learn. I am 14. We are 12 days apart. In 2 days it is going to be 15. But they make a great team together. But they have a motion to get the top of the rock wall. Will they get to the top? Yes or no? Next time.

But they have a motion to get the top of the rock wall.Will they get to the top? Yes or no? Next time.

The challenge is a mental and physical challenge. It is hard to choose what hand and foot to hold. It is blue, yellow, green, white, and purple. I got yellow and blue. The hacker did white and green. they try to do it over and over. but then the hacker got on top and he showed me how to get on top too. WE GOT ON TO!!!!!! We will see you next time on the wonderful journey.

We found the next journey in the fiery depths of hell to the gold mines. When I got to the gold mines there were monsters on the way to get to the gold mines. There were too many goblins hacker threw knives at one guy and I sumined linting on the other to see we do make a great team. we will see you on the next adventure.

We have entered the place and it is creepy. But they still marched on their way then they encountered 5 ghosts. How can they know how to kill them? They can do anything because ghosts when you throw at them it goes right through them. so then you have to come up with a solution to the problem. The hacker said that we can… make a copy of the thing and do your own way to kill the ghosts have fun. If you don’t know how to just search up a video because  I can’t put one on the GoogleDoc. Bye.

Eli Braman-Ray

Cunning Is the Red Fox

Cunning is like me, my paws are air making not a sound
On the leafy crunchy grassy ground
With every move I make
So fast you barely see me in that flash,
I slither up the hill.
I am the cunning red fox.
My skill, I pounce with every ounce
But still as silent as a mouse.
I sit in the grass, my ears up high
I close my eyes, ears to the sky!
And so then I hear a muffled noise,
Then I’m flying and touching the clouds!!
The bunny is in my mouth.
I am the cunning red fox.

Elowyn Pate

Remote, Where Have You Gone?

Oh where have you gone this time, Remote? I try and try to keep you in the same place, but every time I place you down, you always disappear. I really want to watch TV but every time I have the time you always play games with me. It’s like you’re running off to the circus. Instead of watching TV I have to go around and find you, and it’s getting tiring.

Is this because we dropped you under the couch and forgot about you and used the other remote to watch TV instead of using you? Please stop being a jealous remote. I am tired of you always playing hide and go seek like mister power cord. Here we are still not in speaking terms.(P.S. Can you tell him I am sorry?)

Anyway is there any way I can make it up to you? Like make you a special name tag that says the “Amazing Remote”?Maybe a throne? Maybe a trip to the salon? A trip to the zoo maybe? Just please call me if there is anything I can to to make you feel like you are needed cause you are.


Ps. Maybe if you don’t stop I will just always use the other remote instead.

Finley McGrath

Dearest Mrs. Carpet,   

I am writing to send my apologies, you see I’ve done you wrong. I blame all problems on you, throwing pillows, and punching the surface of your fluffy blue body.  I let ickle Milliekins (you know that dog who sheds ALL the time) leave her black hair on every inch of your face. Ahh, you see, I’ve seen the errors of my ways, I now see the suffering I put you through—the crums of crackers, dirty clothes, tissues from when I’m sad.

Please just pour out the memories of seven days ago, when I rang you outside to get the water I spilled off of you on a bone and give it to the dog. (I’m so, so sorry, I know that must have hurt!) But I’ve come to the nasty conclusion that your physical body isn’t the only thing I hurt. Please forgive me for thinking I might throw you away, you know how cramped my room is, but all the same, I regret it as much as you.

In the end I know I have treated you wrong, so once and for all…… I’m so sorry!

Your apologetic owner,

Grace Nichols

Me and Chad Broski

Chad Broski = he has his own coffee go check him out
Me =  the stupid kid 
Chad Broski = lives in his office 
Me = live in his mom’s basement with his dolls
Chad Broski = he looks like a office man with small feet
Me = I look like a wired kid that sits in his room because he has no friend  
Chad Broski = has a hat and its just a hat
Me = my mom has not fed me in 5 Days help me please 
Chad Broski = has a stream go check him out 
Me = I am still the stupid kid

Harrison R-B


Dear Bike,

Thank you for entertaining me ever since I got you. You have gotten me to friends’ houses, and just letting me ride you. Thank you for helping me when I was bored. Especially in quarantine. I have been bored out of my freaking mind.

Jude Castillo

The Rebel Business

Once upon a time in a sparkly rose gold castle lived a princess named Amber. Well not really a princess. You see Amber wasn’t like any other princess. She didn’t want to sit down and have tea, or go to balls. She wanted to ride four wheelers and play tag. 

One day the princess was at her prep school when Rhonda walked in. Rhonda was the meanest of princesses. But luckily she was Amber’s friend.

“Hey Amber what’s the 411?” Rhonda said excitedly.

”Ok lets see,” Amber said, ”Jamie told Karen who told Lucille who told Kathy who told Chris that Girdy wore jeans.”

“Oh my tiaras!” Rhonda exclaimed.

Since they were princess they were only two were where fancy dresses, and occasionally skirts. It was against dress code to where anything else.

”Well does Queen Flora know about this?” Rhonda asked.

”Probably not, she doesn’t really communicate with us that much. She only talks to me because I’m her daughter, and most of the time I break the rules.“ Amber said annoyed.

”Well try not to break the rules then.”

“Oh yeah because I enjoy getting in trouble.” Amber said furiously.

“Alright right girls it’s time for special edition,” the announcer said.


“Everyone split into your groups.”

“See ya later,” said Rhonda.

”Bye Rhonda.”

Even though Amber didn’t act like a princess she still managed to get into advanced etiquette. She thinks it has something to do with her mom being the queen of Rosemary Country.

“Alright girls today we are going to be learning how to curtsy in front of the king.” The announcer explains.

Amber raises her hand.

“Yes Amber?”

“Why would I need to curtsy to the king if he’s my dad?” 

Kyeri Hickman

Mr. Snail

Mr. Snail stars on his back with letters too 
has been through so much and is doing well 
back and forth he flies very high and he’s light as a feather 
and slow as ever 


Dear Squirrel Who Was In the Nest,

Why are you such a pest!

Those eggs, happy as can be.
But you ate them in your tree!

They were going to grow,
So I hope you know.

That now they’re gone.
And mother is sad,

Why are you
So bad?

Your angry neighbor,

Lily Tello


Oh Dear Socks, I miss you so much. Can I find a sister:

Oh Dear Long School Socks, just because I stomped in a mud puddle that’s fine right?

Oh Dear No-show Socks, I just have one of you. I’m still looking for you if you hear this Bill, Bob, Bobina, Brianna, Brooke, I miss you. Bailey thinks that you five are playing hide in seek.

Oh Dear Wool Socks, listen just because.. hmm I think you are in the trash. Hmm I still can’t find you. Are you in the trash? If so, I’m not sorry.

Oh Dear White Socks, why did you have to get brown of the bottom? I just step out in the rain and then step in a landfill. I think I found a mouse in there, but I don’t know at this point. I think I might step on some mud just for you if you brother died. So sad just because I put him in the water it means nothing. Ohhhhhhhhhh my god, I found out why he passed. I thought y’all get washed, but I need it y’all to soak in a tub. If you read this, say hey.


Makenna Vasquez-Stegant

Two Sides

Silence is the sound
Of nature

Crash is the sound of the
The water so deep

Nature is
At peace

Ocean is anger
Waiting for release

Ruby Meadows

Trever & Joey

Trever – not the smartest, thinks a lot about himself, lives with his parents and likes Takis.

Joey boy – likes to surf and talks funny lives, is humble, lives in his own house and likes salads.


Dear Cords, 

You’re always not where I expect, even when you’re in a drawer you’re always all tangled up. I can’t untangle you in time before my iPad runs out, you’re always not long enough to reach where I sit. Please oh please stay in the same spot and maybe be a tad longer.

Why does it take so long for you to charge my iPad? I mean why does it take 2 – 3 hours. Maybe next time only 30 minutes because it gets so boring. Also the only thing that helps me is the long extension cord. If there were no extension cords I would probably give up on you. Why oh why do you have to be so short and always leave my sight? Please come back to me so I can charge my iPad to play.



The Lover Brothers

There were two brothers that were name Frederick and Trevon. Trevon loves candy and Frederick is the one that loved cotton candy. They live in LA. Trevon and Frederick are brothers.

Trevon is 15 and Frederick is 10. Trevon and Frederick live together. Trevon is the one that doesn’t like school and Frederick loves school. They both love to go to the park. One just loves to fight and one just loves to drum one. Trevon is in the 9 grade and he doesn’t know what 2 x 100. Frederick don’t know what is 2×2, but it’s ok.

They both love to match clothes and there favorite snack is Sour Patch Kids. Their favorite drink is root beer. When one fell behind on homework, they help each other. And if someone tried to make fun of them, they would stand up and say to leave him alone. They fight sometimes, but they still love each other and that’s why there are the lover brothers.


Contradiction is the Cat

Purring, kneading, cuddling-in
Glaring at the disrupter

Angel softly sleeping by my side
Rocket ship blasting through the house

Rolling into a sun beam
Attacking like a monster on its prey

Scritch scratch happy cat
Cry whine starving baby

Sweetly rubbing head against my hand
Brutal claws digging in for the kill

Lifting chin for more love. More!
Giving love?  Never!  OK, maybe sometimes.  But you’ll never know when.

Ms. Laura Beck


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


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

Jena Kirkpatrick 
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

The Man Who Wished

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



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



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


The Totally Unexpected Vanishing of the Xbox Controller 

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

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

Beck Hicks

Dear Door,

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


The Spy of Russia

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

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

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

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


Alliterative Sentences A – Z

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


Dear Guacamole, 

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

Sincerely and hungry,


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


—a golden shovel poem

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

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


Life of a Cardboard Box

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

Dear Cardboard Box,

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

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


Hamburger Letter

Dear Hamburger James the 5th,

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


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


Life Is a Mess!

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

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

“Why are you following me?‘’ He asked

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No problem. But I’m not doing it.”


The Best Best Friends

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

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

“I do not have that much money.”

“Can I ask dad?” 

“You can try, he’ll probably say no.”

“He said YES!”


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

“Go make some friends.”

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

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

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

“How about the shopping?”

“Or we could go get ice cream?”


“Sounds good, let’s do it.”

Five days later, Tosty arrives.

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

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



Life Is A Bouncing Ball

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

Leah Drory

A Letter to Water Colors

Dear Water Colors,

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

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

Maybe you could try to speed up the process?

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

Don’t worry I will try to get more.

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

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

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

You to were made for eachother, literally.

Anyway could you also try to stop staining my brushes?

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

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

Thanks a lot, Water Colors.

Leola Considine

The Best Bros

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

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

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



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


The Drive to McKinney 

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

Webb L.

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


Writing, at its best, is a conversation. It could be between the writer and the reader, or maybe just the writer having a chit-chat with themselves. Occasionally (as is the case with some of the pieces below), it’s a highly emotional exchange between the writer and an inanimate object. Not only can writing bea conversation, but it can also spark entirely new ones to happen away from the page.

That is exactly what happened in these workshops. We had all manner of conversations, inspired by the work we read and shared together. These ranged from discussions of poetry and the value of fictional friendships to reasons we might steal batteries from our TV remote control and the horribleness of litterboxes. This group of writers have created valuable, interesting, uniquely creative conversations in their works, and I’m so grateful to have chatted along with them in our time together.

Marissa Macy
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

My Ghost Story

Hi, my name is Keith, and I have a friend who’s a ghost. I know it’s weird, but hear me out. I will tell you how it all started.

I woke up, feeling drained and tired. ”Wake up, Sleepyhead” mom said as she went to get the cleaning supplies. I swear, every time we clean (she is always such a cleaning freak), she gets mad when there’s like one sock on the floor.

”Ok,” I said as I got up.

”Clean your room after school, it’s digesting.”

Well, she might be right about my room. It has Dirty clothes everywhere and dishes and unknown stuff. I grabbed my backpack and took it to the kitchen. My mom was cooking some bacon and eggs, and my big brother was playing Duty Calls or something like that.

”Breakfast is ready!” Mom said as she got the plates.

When we sat at the table, my brother said, “I dare you to go inside that creepy house across the street.”

And everyone who knows me knows I can never pass a dare. *Insert dun dun dunnnn!*  


I walked up to the house. I had a second thought, but I ignored that and went inside.

It was so old and broken and creaky,and it smelled like fart farted everywhere, There are books everywhere, chairs that look like it might fall to dust if you touch it for even a split second, dolls that look like they’re haunted. Just a lot of creepy stuff in general.

”Wow,” I said to myself as I noticed there was a stair on the side of the house. So I went up on there *creeeeeeeek*

I opened the door and that’s when I met the ghost. ”Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

My heart was full of fear as I saw the ghost yelling, “Well I’m a ghost, if you didn’t know.”


Eli And Robby                                                                                                                         

There was once two little boys that met in kindergarten. One was named Robby and the other Eli. They were really good friends, but Robby was kind of a misbehaved kid. He stole candy and got in trouble in both school and home. And then Eli was a was a well-behaved kid. He never got in trouble and was almost perfect.

And even though it seemed like they had nothing in common, they were best friends, because they both loved the same foods and the same type of books (which were joke books). If they ever started a conversation, it was almost impossible to stop them from talking,

As they got older Robby began to get in bigger trouble like sometimes he wanted a new phone but he didn’t want to pay for it so one time he tried to steal a phone. But he got caught, and he had to pay for it anyways. Eli began to be very successful in life and became rich. But when Eli had became rich, Robby became a small time thief.

As time passed  they hadn’t talked in a long time, so Eli decided to text Robby to see what he was up to. But Eli saw that Robby didn’t respond for one week. Eli decided to do a little research and found out that Robby was arrested for stealing another phone. Eli decided to pay the police station, so that Robby could be free and he could talk with him and catch up with him. Eli and Robby talked for hours, and they felt like they were kids again. They hung out all day and then they both went home, because it was late. Robby realized how good Eli’s life was and decided to change his ways. He didn’t brake any laws, worked hard, and soon he was living a life almost the same as Eli’s.


Dear Computer,

Your pixels are as smooth as a baby’s butt. I’m sorry we couldn’t update you. That was tragic. I know I overwork you. I’m sorry but  I only do it because you’re so entertaining. I wish we could be together more. You’re my everything. And for that, I dedicate this poem to you.

You shine brighter than a star. Keep shining, my love.

Your love,


Dear Air Conditioner,

Why do you make it so hot in our house like a boiling pot? I’m always having a fan on because of you.



Derrick & Neil

Once upon a time there was this one boy named Derrick. He came from a family of five brothers and three sisters. There were so many siblings in their house that their parents had to take turns doing day and night shifts each two jobs each. So he only really saw one parent at a time. He started to feel really lonely because none of his siblings shared any of his interests, and he didn’t really see his parents a lot.

Where his dad works there was an incident… his father worked as an Uber driver, and he got into a terrible accident where a truck crushed him. And sadly his dad did not make it. Derrick was so sad when his mom told him after that he wouldn’t leave his room. He didn’t even want to eat. All until at night he heard a big boom.

He gasped and looked out the window. He saw a big round circle that had rings. He then realized that it was a UFO. He couldn’t believe his eyes since all of his family was asleep. He quickly grabbed a coat and ran outside.

When he approached the UFO, he noticed movement in the UFO. He got scared, so he picked up a stick from the floor and approached the UFO. When he got close, he saw an alien and it was hurt.

So he said, “Hey are you ok?”

And surprisingly the alien knew English. He said, “Yeah, I’m ok. I think I crashed.”

After that, he snuck the hurt alien inside his house. He soon realized since he didn’t have friends, the alien could be his friend. So he asked the alien.

And the alien said, “I guess you saved my life and sure why not.”

Derrick was so happy. After that Derrick decided to name the alien. Derrick thought it would be funny if he named the alien Neil Alexander. because the initials for Neil Alexander are Neil A. and Neil A. back wards spells A.lien.

So Derrick told Neil his new name and Neil actually liked that name. After that, Derrick took Neil around the city because he wanted to get Neil used to earth. They were so happy until…. his parents sent the coordinations on the UFO to earth because they were in the middle of war. They started tracking the UFO’s crash site and they went to earth to retrieve Neil.

Whenever they got there, Neil was so happy to see them. But when they said they were taking Neil back, Derrick wasn’t happy to see them. But he knew that those are Neil’s parents and they love Neil. So when Neil got in the car, Derrick gave Neil his little brother’s old tablet, so they could still keep in contact with each other and even FaceTime. After that, Derrick didn’t have Neil but still did at the same time.


The Crystal

One day, Daisy and her best friend Diana were taking a walk like they always did. On their walk, they saw a shining ball on a hill so they ran over and Diana touched the ball. When she touched the ball it turned blue and when she let it go it turned white. Daisy touched it for five minutes and it pulled them into a cave with crystals everywhere and every color.

While they were looking around, a man startled them and told them, “I’m Mr. Ferryman. I see you have found my cave. Come with me”. They followed him and he showed them a crystal that had a missing piece to it. “This piece of this crystal has been stolen by a man named Levi Hook. Levi stole this about 25 years ago and I’ve never seen it again…”.

This scared the girls… they were worried that Levi would take something important from them! “Uhm… d-does he still live around here?” Diana asked nervously.

“Nobody knows. He could be right above us right now!”. This just scared the girls even more. They knew they were going to find Levi and take that piece from him.

The next day, they searched everywhere. They were about to give up until they remembered one more place… a small cave. They went in it and someone was in it. It was no one other than Levi Hook! They quietly looked around and saw the green, shining piece of that crystal, but there was one problem: Levi was right there! They had to think of ways to be sneaky. They got a stick and knocked off the crystal from the stand it was on and escaped quickly and Levi didn’t notice!

They brought the piece back to Mr. Ferryman and said, “Mr. Ferryman!!! We got the piece!!!” he smiled and put it on the perfect green glowing crystal.

“Wow… we’ve been missing this for over 24 years and you got it back in a day?! I’m impressed.”

The news got spread around and the girls got $100,000!

Frances Roma Ramirez

I’m Sorry for You, Broom

I’m sorry for you, broom. It must be horrible to have to pick up other people’s mess, just like I do. I feel bad that I stuck you into the trash can to retrieve my very special plate, and our valiant efforts to get my sister’s dirty Frozen 2 diapers from under the old black couch (they were very stinky). We shouldn’t have to do these things, but the world will never be fair to inanimate objects and eleven-year-old boys.

Gustavo Maloney

Dear Chandelier Over the Table,

I wish you weren’t so low. It is impossible to not hit my head. I got a bump on my head one time. Also I wish you would not be so bright. You are constantly shining in my face. Please keep in mind you can be replaced! Also let’s talk about the fact that you never ever hit Maisie on the head just Mom, Dad, and me! I repeat I can replace you with a high tech chandelier! I could even get your brother, and I know how much you hate him! I will put you in a landfill and you can rot there for the rest of your life! Oh and one more thing: You have got to dust yourself. You are giving me allergies! 

 Thank you and I hope to see changes 

Your amazing owner,

P.S Could you please stop hitting my guest in the head it is scaring them off?


The Brave Dr. Pepper

One day in a small refrigerator, there was someone named Pepper and Pepper was a soda. One day the refrigerator that all the sodas lived in was getting thrown away and everybody was so scared. One person couldn’t see his world collapse, and so Pepper and his friends opened the fridge door. Five Sprites went to the owner so they could be drank (and so they could get his mind off the fridge).

Dr. Pepper got out as well and went to the big fridge to ask for help. They said yes. So then they waited for the dumb human to throw the fridge away.

There he was the human named Kane. *tan tan taaaan* Now all the people from the big fridge got out to fight and all the people from the small fridge got out fight. And there Kane was picking up the fridge when Pepper shouted, “This is war!!!!!!”

So they fought Kane. They punched him and kicked him (and one even punched him in a bad part). Kane was now on the ground, scared. So Pepper said, “You will not throw the fridge away.“

Kane said,”Ok, ok, ok.“

And all the sodas were saved because of Dr. Pepper.


Dear Overflowing Trash Can,

Do you think this is a joke? I’ve been waiting for a week, and you still haven’t cleaned yourself. I mean, do you think I’m gonna do it for you? Because it’s not my fault you fill up so quickly! And don’t get me started on the fact that you can’t even close properly because of all the stuff that’s in you. I mean what kinda trash can are you?

Oh and you might be wondering why I’m sending a letter. I know it’s a little old fashioned but it feels cool and don’t you dare not respond to this and give me the lame excuse that you don’t have arms. You are just as capable as anyone! Even the Trash Bag responds when I complain to him. His handwriting is really bad though. I mean who can blame him? He doesn’t have fingers. Anyway, I hope you respond soon or I’ll turn you into Simon’s litter box.

Lots of resentment,


Dearest Argos (my dogo),

I do not know how you get into the trash and cabinets that are twenty feet high? How did you do it? Do you have telekinesis? Can you fly? Are you a master of parkour?

And how do you fit so much in that belly of yours?(Especially when you eat a whole loaf of bread!) It’s almost bottomless! And you don’t even throw up?!?!?!?!? The more you eat, the more immortal you get, and the more your farts stink! Another question, does Paloma (our other dogo) help you on your evil schemes to steal our food? OK and what could possibly be in Lilly’s backpack that you think is so important you have to go through it every day the messiest way possible!??!?!?!?!

Any way to wrap it up, when you eat a whole loaf of bread while we are out, please think of our terrored faces when we finally arrive home to trash everywhere and little pee stains on our carpet.


P.S. Please stop drinking out of the toilet, there is plenty of fresh water in your bowl.

Leon Barfield

Summertime in The Very, Very Far North

Duane was hot! So hot that he woke up early, maybe too early. He never hated his shaggy cot more in his life. He groped around for his snipers (the small metal cutters). When he found them, he jumped out of bed and ran to the edge his cave and down the stone steps (which he made last year) and puffed to the shipwreck.

He had little beads of water on his face. He ran to the big hole on the side of the ship and burst into C.C.’s room. She was frantically flying around the room.

“Hello, Duane!” She chirped in her high pitched voice.

“Hello C.C I need help.”

It took a second for C.C. to answer “What do you need?” she asked.

“This morning i woke up super hot.”


“I think we have left winter” Duane cut her off.

“What!!!! Duane winter will come back, but for now we welcome summer”.

“What’s summer?” Duane asked

“Well, it is the opposite of winter. So you know how winter is cold?”


“Well summer is hot”

“You mean the way I felt this morning?”

“Yes,” she said sadly.


What Would Happen If Anxiety Took Over Your Mind?
—a poetic version

Snap, Skit, Hide, the world is out to get you,
Stay on the ground blend in don’t move at all,
Change your colors don’t show anything,
Never trust anyone,
Let the thoughts that keep you safe encase you with their tentacles
wrapping around your mind until you have to give up and bow to their wrath,
You’re trapped,
You try to escape but the thoughts come,
More and more each time taking over what you once were and what you will be,
Until you become someone else something else that no one can save anymore.


How We Bested the Mafia

Hi, I’m Jim Mcgee. I’m 87. Have you ever heard of the story of my best friend and I? No? I thought so. It’s about us when we were twelve and…

Once there was this kid named Dave and he was the son of the president. You know the president because he’s “the boss” and “the boss” was busy as heck. He had a lot of conferences over new laws with some other people (I forgot their name) to see if they should veto it or appoint it.

Anyway, Dave was the president’s son and booooyyyyyy did he like to prank those important people. Sometimes I helped him (if you’re reading this, Dave, no offense), and I thought my ideas were better, like that time we brought a crazy mule into his dad’s office (yes, he was mad).

One day we went to Chicago for a vacation and we heard that, and get this, the Mafia was planning to kill his dad! Boy was he shocked, so we faked that we got sick, and we went back to the White House where we yelled “Psych!” to his mom and he got grounded.

When he (barely) survived his grounding we told the White House guards and they believed us. Except no! They didn’t believe us, I mean, who would believe the biggest pranksters the White House knew? Hold on let me ask you a question, do you think maybe you would’ve believed us? After we told everyone, and no one believed us, we decided that we were gonna have to come up with a plan ourselves. We started working on ways to trap the Mafia, and let me tell you something, nobody missed us. I mean, if you were an extremely important serious guy, would you miss two crazy pranksters?

Once we finished, we knew we were missing something, and it only took us two seconds to figure out what we were missing. The answer is when were they coming? Luckily, we saw on TV that a famous gang, that looked exactly like the gang we saw, was coming to Washington D.C., where we lived. They said that tomorrow they were going to do something that was important business. Bingo!

The next day, we set all the traps in their places after everybody was asleep. We waited and waited until we saw a sinister looking group pull up in a limo and that was our thumbs up for bringing the traps to life. When they started digging holes in the ground to get in, they found real jewels! I’m talking diamonds, gold, rubies and more. They decided that they would get way more money from this than killing the president. So they went back to their big car. When they were in the car, the ground gave way and set off a very loud alarm! They were trapped. It only took a few minutes for the White House guards and the police to find them. Then we came running out of the building telling the guards what happened. They couldn’t believe it. But they saw all the jewels the criminals had so they arrested them for stealing sacred Whitehouse treasures.

During the trial, the jury found out that these thugs were responsible for several cases of homicide plus plotting to kill the president, so they were sentenced to jail for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile at the White House, everything returned back to normal including the pranks.

One day, Dave and I pulled one of our greatest pranks ever. We set Whoopie cushions on every chair, except for his dad’s. We also switched out “the boss’s” speech with a fake Gettysburg Address written by us. You should’ve heard him when he read it because it was awesome! Of course Dave got in trouble, but it was totally worth it. We are the greatest pranksters the White House has ever seen.

Max Donahoe

Dear Sleepy Bunny,

Thank you so  much for comforting me every night when you sit on my dresser. I feel as though when you are near me you keep away my bad dreams and when you’re gone the bad dreams come for me. I hope that you enjoy it when I bring you on family vacations although I’m super sorry that the duffel bag is squishy and it makes you claustrophobic. I will attempt to upgrade to a bigger bag so that you will have room for some space and some air.

Another thing is that eventually I will make your own bed next to my desk so you have a place to relax. Again, thank you for all you do for me and all of my other stuffed animals agree with me that you make them happy as well and you are great company.


Dear Very Bright Lamp,

I’d like to start out with why do you have to be so bright?! Ok now that I have gotten that out of my system, let’s move on.

What I’ve really wanted to share my feelings about is: why do you have to provide the perfect amount of light to every except me? When I turn you on, could you just maybe be five notches dimmer? I would also like it if you only provide light for me and no one else, I know you are just trying to be nice, but your being just a little too nice. I hope you take this seriously.

Love your owner,

P.S. Can you tell the ceiling fan to quiet down a little bit? Thanks.


The Emotion Storm

Happiness is a big and strong T.Rex.
Every once in a while, an emotion storm comes.
It starts simple with small raindrops of madness.
The madness is fun in small amounts, but storms full of them can lead to insanity.
Next comes the fierce bolts of anger.
If your T.Rex is hit, then you will burst out in spurts of rage.
Next, if you are unlucky, a big, strong tornado of depression comes.
Your T.Rex could be in there for months, maybe even years if swooped up by the tornado.
And even after the storm, the T.Rex will still be there, maybe a little roughed up, but he will still be as happy and delightful as ever.


This Is Me

As swift as a fox, yet as clumsy as a panda
As quiet as a mouse, yet as loud as an elephant
As intelligent as a dolphin, yet as stubborn as a mule
As colorful as a peacock, yet as drab as a newborn penguin
As slow as a sloth, yet faster than a cheetah
As brave as a tiger, yet as fearful as a hamster
As intrigued as a dog, yet as annoyed as a cat 
I am unstoppable 


The Boy Who Was Running Like the Wind

The boy was running like the wind. He had stolen the store’s bread.

’’Get back here you little thief!’’ said the shopkeeper.

The boy went back to his house, which was under a bridge. His house had two wood pillars and a metal roof and walls. His bed was a rag and his pillow was a… well, he was lucky enough to find a pillow. He had no one with him. He was starting to think that he would never get a family when he heard something outside. A stray dog was outside. When he saw the boy, he jumped up and ran right toward him.

’’Its ok,’’ said the boy with a smile. ’’You’re safe now.’’