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oakton elementary


Words from Our Young Authors at Oakton Elementary, Grades 3-6

This session in our What A Mystery! curriculum we solved mysteries through writing! Our class was all about suspense, problem-solving, and finding clues. No small detail gets past this class!


From: Grab Your Reader by the Hook

Computer Trouble

I thought it was just a glitch in my computer. But that was yesterday before I discovered that my computer was alive! … My computer is amazing now that it is alive! For instance, I don’t bother looking at my homework because I have a walking, talking super computer with arms, literally! So it just does the homework for me while I study or watch a movie…The next day I got an F on my homework! “What?” I exclaimed… Then I remembered my brother knew my password….

- Ian


When it Happened

I didn’t know how it happened, I didn’t know why it happened, I just knew when it happened. It was a cool breezy day when the incident occurred. I felt a chilling feeling up my spine when I saw the shadowy figure walking down the alley at exactly 1:45 AM. I knew the witness, but the victim was still a mystery.

“I wonder,” I thought to myself as a cool breeze brushed against my face. “I wonder why?”

- Ava


From: Beginning, Middle, and End Activity: Beginning - Characters are introduced and the reader learns about the problem, Middle - Detectives work to solve the mystery by interviewing suspects and gathering clues, End - The mystery is solved...

The Legend Of Edward I

There was once a boy named Edward Prestly. He had a mom, a dad, a younger brother named Elvis Prestly, and an older sister named Gracie Prestly. They all lived in a mansion. Edward had a secret: Whenever he reads his sister’s diary, monsters and other creatures come out. If he tells anyone, all of the things come out and attack the person he told!

- Bayan



From: Who, What, When, Where, Why

Mystery Story

I got an eerie feeling when I heard the booms and crashes of about 5 cars that mysteriously stopped suddenly. I stepped outside, it was misty, a police officer was already there. He had bright red eyes when he asked me my name.

- Nataly


We were in the teacher’s lounge when the lights went out. We waited for the generator to turn the lights back on, but they never did. We all rushed to the door (all of us except Miss M&M, because she didn’t know). The door was locked! Then the clock raced backward as fast as light! Then the door opened simultaneously. We rushed through to the front door of the school, but it was locked too. A realization dawned on us, we were all alone here.

- Brenna

The Robbery

I couldn’t believe what I had just seen and it was coming back! One night at 2:00 AM on June 3rd a person walked by London Bank #243. He looked gloomy. I tried to keep my eyes from drifting to see his face, but I just couldn’t keep them straight. He looked at me. An alarming shiver flew down my spine. He walked into the bank, but took out a card that wasn’t from the bank. I thought about the bank robbery that happened last week.

- Devon

Detective Pudgy and the Case of the Missing Jackpot of One Million Wombats

Suddenly, Detective Pudgy woke up in the middle of the night! He had had a terrifying dream. But then he heard a horrified squeak followed by an evil laugh. A chill ran down his back. He jumped out of bed and ran toward where he though the noise was coming from. It was dark, but D. Pudgy could just make out a small car driving away from Dr. Chubby’s house. He went up and knocked. He waited five minutes, but no one answered.

- Sophie

The Tunnel

Once upon a time, there was a boy named John Pine who found a hole in his back yard. He had no clue what it was. He threw a rock into the hole but didn’t hear it hit the ground.

“That’s weird,” he said out loud.

Then his mom called him in for dinner. As he was washing his hands he heard about a crime on the news. Someone called The Tunnerler had been robbing banks all over the country!

- Charlie



Words from Our Young Authors at Oakton Elementary

This winter at Oakton we explored the fantastical world of dreams. Take a look at some of the work our students dreamed up!

From a warm-up writing exercise describing daydreams:


“A daydream is a dream but your mind is confused so you do it during the day. A daydream is a magical sight you saw earlier. And after if you think you can find similarities of what happened earlier. You can also find similarities in the characters. Your mind is a fly trap. It traps moments. You can also add to what happened earlier in your daydreams.”

– Pearl


“A daydream is a dream during the day. You may be feeling tired or something, and you may make it turn into a daydream to dream. Then a dream to REM. The REM to a deeeeeep sleeeeeep. Then a deeeeeep sleeeeeep to a daymare! Aaah! Then, your teacher says, “Wake up Suhani. You are suspended from sleeping in math!” Sigh. All because of a daydream. Time to go to the principal’s office. Bye.”

– Suhani



“A dream is a fly speck of dust from dreamyness. It flies and flies until it hits your head and the redder ghost and then you wake up!”

– Wesley


What is a daydream?

"A daydream is when your imagination comes to life. A daydream could also be a warning. A daydream is unrealistic. A daydream is not paying attention. A daydream is gets your trouble. A daydream is more secret than 51. More powerful than a whale."

– Bayan


From What if Pencils Had Dreams:

A Candle’s Dream

“I dream of being the brightest burning and the longest fire lasting candle. I dream of being alive. I dream of giving peace and quiet to the world.”

– Ian


From What Dreams Tell Us About Our Personalities:


“I got lost going on my way to my house when I found a forest. It was misty and had vines hanging from the trees. The trees started to shoot killer gnomes at me. I ran until I found a path. The only problem was there was swamp with lava instead of water. I was walking on the bridge when I found a door. I looked in a tree’s hole and found five keys….”

– Dillan


“The forest is dark and spooky and smells like smoke of bananas. There is a path to a sponge, black and huge! They can dance. I can see a key!...”

– Kajvan




“I am driving through a dark and dreary forest and that smell! I don’t even want to start… It is like cinnamon mixed with farts and the other thing is that the grass is lime green and the trees are droopy. There is a wide path. It is white and mossy and there are a lot of insects and parrots that repeat what you say…”




When We Meet

“One day a kid named Sam wondered what was in the sky. His teachers and parents said the only things in the sky were planets and stars. Sam thought there was more so when he was 18 he signed up to be an astronaut at NASA…”

– Charlie


From Dreams for the World:

I Have a Dream!

“I have a dream that all tacos should be treated equally in Tacotopia Town where the burnt ones will have freedom! I will lead taco marches and do whatever I can to help tacos! We cannot work for you anymore!..”

– Nataly



Words from our young authors at Oakton Elementary

This fall, we asked our students at Oakton Elementary to come up with a list of Halloween monsters and to write a short spooky story where the monster was either the protagonist or the villain. See some excerpts from the eerie tales they concocted! From Bayan's piece, "Night of the Zombie Candies":

"...Hi, my name is Jimmy. On my most recent Halloween, I went with my brother, Billy, to go trick-or-treating. When we got back it was too late to eat anything, so we went to bed. The next day, I saw a lot of people dressed as zombies. Then, when someone completely fell apart, me and Billy ran home! Our parents saw what happened so they believed us. We locked ourselves inside the house and then I saw my dog, Sausage, eating some candy. Suddenly, he became green and his eyes were completely white. He was a zombie!"


From Aaron's piece, "The Machine":

"Once, a man named Fred walked straight to a haunted church and ate some blood -- he was a zombie. He had friends named Ted, Ned, Bob, and Ben who were also zombies and were rich (zombie money is blood). A gallon of blood or more means you are rich. Fred was poor because he only had a cup of blood...The next day, a machine appeared out of nowhere, but nothing happened - yet. Fred went out to get some blood, but no one seemed to have any. When he got back the machine was moving and killing zombies! Fred threw all the meat from his house at the machine and it exploded blood. He now has 1000 gallons. Fred is rich and has a happy ending."


From Wesley's piece, "The Halloween Night":

"'Twas the night before Halloween and everything was dark. There was a monster getting ready for Halloween - he was a ghost named Klober. But Klober wasn't a full ghost: he could also change into a human. He was a cop, but on Halloween, he would change into a ghost so that he could trick people. He had a ghost dog named Scare. This year, they were going to steal candy from babies and from everybody else (but mostly from babies). Klober loved Halloween..."


From Charlie's story, "The Monster Behind the Door":

"Once upon a time, there was a kid named Jason. He was graduating from wizard school. When he graduated, he received a magical staff with a crystal on the top. When he got home from wizard school, he heard a creaking and a growling from his closet at the top of the stairs. He slowly opened the door and there was a giant monster standing in his closet! The monster swung at Jason, but he ducked. Jason grabbed his staff and shot five plasma bolts at the monster. The monster was defeated. Suddenly, another monster came up behind him, but he was prepared this time. He summoned lightning to the crystal on the staff and sent it into the monster's chest. He had won. He had defeated all the monsters."


From Dillan's untitled story:

"One night, a couple of teenagers were having a party. Some of them were drunk, but not Jack. They heard strange noises, like footsteps, but when they looked out the window, they didn't hear a single thing. Jack, who paid more attention, heard the noises ten times, and they kept getting closer and closer. Then he saw Jason in his hockey mask with a bloody machete. Jack ran to his car and drove as fast as he could - somehow he knew that all his friends had died...Today, Jason is still alive and is coming for you."


From Erin's untitled story:

"The night was beautiful, with many stars in the sky. It was cool outside. Every child was asleep -- except for one. He lurked in the shadows all night. He slept in an old abandoned house all day. He was unknown to almost all, except for his grandfather. This boy had a scar doing down his face, from the middle of his forehead to his right cheek. He had brown hair and bangs, and a skin-tone darker than pale, but not very tan at all. He was tall and wore a black jacket and navy blue pants. He was a very mysterious boy. He never came out of the shadows until one day, when his grandfather found him and brought him home on Halloween..." To Be Continued...


From Emily's story, "Grandma's Haunted House" :

"Many years ago, during the Silver War, many people were killed in a forest and were turned into zombies. When they woke up, they went looking for a place to live and they found a haunted house. They went inside, and there was Grandma. They decided to kick her out of her house, and attacked her. Luckily, Grandma knew karate and could defend herself. Grandma still lives there today, but the zombies were never seen again."