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.