Monty our make-believe monster on our coat room floor.
My friends and I drew a big face with marker using a hole drilled in the wood floor of our upstairs coatroom as the mouth. Monty was always hungry and we were constantly stuffing things down the hole, thus feeding Monty. Many of our school papers became Monty food. If a sweater or mitten spent more than a couple of days in that coat room, it got fed to Monty. One time (that I know of) that got us into some big trouble.
It would be very interesting to find out where all that stuff ended up. It had to have been a huge pile since there were five of us feeding Monty from fourth through sixth grade and we never did fill up Monty.
The Blue Willow Plate, Robin Hood and Little Women
When we were sixth graders, Mr. Farnsworth allowed his students to work on other projects (which had to be approved by him) when we finished our school work. Several of us would work as quickly as we could in order to have extra time. During that school year, we adapted three books into plays. We then assigned parts, rehearsed, came up with costumes and built scenery for our plays. It took two or three months for each one, but we ended up presenting three plays that year. I still remember how exciting it was being creative with our dialogs, costumes, props and backdrops. Hinckley Elementary had an auditorium complete with raised stage and a heavy, blue velvet curtain. It felt like the big time; we thought we were headed to Broadway with our productions.
Trilabites and other fossils
For some reason there was a large pile of slate rock behind the school. For months of my second grade year, I spent every recess out in that pile of rock smashing pieces together to split them apart on a quest for fossils. We found all kinds of little fish, leaves and occasionally a Trilabite. We would take them in to Mrs. Hales, our teacher, and she would make a fuss over them and then display the chunks of rock in the window sill by her desk.
For awhile I considered paleontology as a possible occupation, but by third grade I decided I didn't like being dirty and dropped that from my career plans.