A couple of days ago, after we had finished reading Katherine Paterson’s novel Bridge to Terabithia, my fifth graders turned in a project where they each had to create an imaginary world. My class this year was exceptionally creative: they came up with worlds populated by rabbits, robots, talking candles, stick figures, otters, ghosts, and only children under the age of 18. Their illustrations involved media ranging from colored pencils to computer graphics, cardboard models to cut-paper collages and stunning watercolor paintings. But as always, one of my favorite parts to grade was the list they each had to write of laws that must be followed while in their world. There were plenty of the usual ones I see every year: don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t litter, don’t smoke; but every year I get a good laugh at some of the more – shall we say – original ones. Here are some of my favorites from this year’s fifth grade class at Morrison:

Do not step in lava.
Always wear blue on Friday.

Do not stay out after 2 a.m. All stores are closed.

You have to tie your hair in a pony or have it down.
If anyone hurts you they have to take you to the doctor. You can’t just leave them there.

Never blow out a candle.
Build with all your might.

Plant a tree when a person dies or is born.

Do not murder, with the exception of ghosts.

You cannot tease robots if they are sad about something.

Always go outside to get fresh air. 

Only use up to ten tissues a day. Don’t waste.

If you have a harmful sickness tell the government and they will put you into custody until you get better.

Do not use powers or transform into a monster inside a house.

Everyone must have clothes/pants/dresses or any clothing on all the time.

You cannot exit at the entrance or go in the city at the exit place.

Be modest.

You have to follow all these rules.

Want to read more unusual laws?  Click on the links below to read my posts about students’ imaginary world projects from other years:








Floyd and I are enjoying our fall break here in Taiwan. We spent three or four days this week in Taipei and had fun playing tourist. Here are a few snapshots of our experiences there.

The Museum of Drinking Water! Yep, it was about as exciting as it sounds. But the building was beautiful, and you can actually touch the old pumps and water-purification machinery.

We spent a few hours in Danshui, an historic area outside of Taipei. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good pictures of the fort we explored, but this church – planted by pioneer missionary George Leslie MacKay over a hundred years ago and still holding services today – was interesting too.

Riding the Miramar Ferris Wheel for a twilit view of the city was a fun way to end the day.


We spent Thursday morning at the Taipei Zoo, where the pandas (donated by China last spring) are by far the most popular animals. We had to get a special ticket at the front entrance which said what time we were allowed to go to the panda exhibit (to reduce crowding). They were cute but a bit of a let-down after all the hype, and their enclosure was nothing to write home about. (Most of what you see is a mural on the back wall.) Now the tigers, THOSE were fun to watch. Almost as fun as the hedgehogs.


This was Floyd’s favorite! The Taipei Fine Arts Museum had a special Pixar exhibit where we spent a couple of hours learning more about the making of Cars, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, etc. Floyd was like a kid in a candy store the whole time!

Another good way to end a day. We had seen the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial before, but never at night. The monument itself wasn’t particularly well-lit, but the gates were. They’re especially beautiful with colorful skyscrapers showing through in the background.

So, who wants to come with us next time??