5th grade was one of the most transitional school years of my life. I transferred to a different elementary school, met some of the most memorable people in my school life, and had a spectacular year overall. It was a small school but was a more enjoyable experience than the previous school I attended. The curriculum was more organized, the teachers were more accommodating, and there were a lot of fun projects. I met Maggie, a smart and caring friend, and Kit, one of my best friends who I still frequently keep in touch with. I’ll never forget that tall orange building. Life was better when I had fewer worries.

Though I was in 5th grade, the classes were structured to mimic the curriculum of middle school. Each subject had a different teacher lecturing the class, my class would travel to different classrooms for each class. Lucky for me, the building is small and linear so traveling wasn’t such a problem. We only had to take the stairs twice a day. I would kill to take classes in a building that small again.

One of the most memorable parts of 5th grade was the ELA class. I had a great combination of teachers; Ms.Urena and Ms. Rodgers. Ms. Rodgers was the serious one, while Ms. Urena was lighthearted. To say they were funny is an understatement. They were comical. They never failed to make the entire class laugh out loud. We read the most diverse range of books, from Esperanza Rising to The BFG. We would have book clubs, where the class is divided into two, with one teacher leading the group. For a few days a week, we would sit on the blue mat to read a chapter and discuss what we read. One of the novels I remember most was Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. That book sparked lots of conversation among my peers, and I was constantly thinking about the text, anticipating book club days. The thought of being stranded and forced to survive in a forest sounds devastating. I could never have the will and strength to survive in the same situation as the main character, Brian. He was starving, faced harsh weather, lonely, faced numerous wild animals, and was forced to do all of this by himself. One of the strongest protagonists in literature in my opinion.

After completing a book, we were assigned to write an essay about the book and craft a diorama to present in class, depicting a scene from the novel. The prompt for the essay was to write the main idea of the book and why you chose to model that scene for the project. The deadline was 2 weeks. After a few days, I spent a few days brainstorming ideas for the diorama. There were some days when I had time to write the essay in class. At that time I still had no thought of what scene to write about. I enjoyed the book but was indecisive about what scene to choose. After getting advice from Ms. Rodgers, I asked Kit what their favorite scene of the story was. ” I love the scene where Brain gets attacked by a moose, well not because he gets attacked by a moose but it shows a great example of how unpredictable and cruel nature is”. Don’t know what to say about that but okay.

Writing the main idea wasn’t such a big problem, I’m very familiar with this story, so that was taken care of quickly. I grabbed the book and skimmed through the chapters a few times, writing the scenes I liked the most. Eventually, I found the scene to make the diorama about. The scene in the exposition where Brian crashes the plane in the forest. He gets out of the plane and explores the wilderness around him. Where the story actually starts. Simple, but effective for crafting a detailed diorama around. I went to Dollar Tree and got a pack of small miniature trees and construction paper. I used a shoe box as a base, and glued pieces of construction paper to the surfaces. There was a toy airplane lying around, so obviously I used that. And for the final touch, I used a Lego Minifigure to represent Brian.

I finished writing the essay portion and now I’m done. A huge breath of relief comes out and I go to bed, sleeping like a baby. The morning comes through and I’m ready for the day. The door shuts behind me, carefully taking my diorama down the stairs. I enter the school and walk up to the 5th floor, the hallway filled with my classmates chatting and examining each other’s dioramas. My anxious heart beats rapidly. Maggie and Kit smile at me, and I sit at my desk. Everyone settles down and Ms. Rodgers heads to the front. “Who’s presenting first?”