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Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater Cover  copy 2.jpg

Santana sat in her bedroom, biting away at her nails because she was so nervous. Tomorrow, she would have to write a big spelling test, and well, she wasn’t the greatest at spelling. Despite spending hours at her desk in her bedroom, writing the words over and over again, Santana still struggled to get good grades.  


There was a spelling test each week, and every time she would flunk. It was so embarrassing and discouraging. So she decided to try something a little different. Something a little new. Something so risky, but a surefire way to ace the test.


Santana decided to cheat.


She wrote all of the spelling words on a small piece of paper, we’re talking an itsy bitsy, teeny tiny, little piece of paper, and slid it right into her pencil case. 


The next day, after Ms. Rajkumar handed out the test, Santana gently unzipped her pencil case, slid her fingers inside and shifted her pencils so that she could take a peek at the answers. 

This was cheating. 


Santana started breathing a little heavy, knees weak, palms were sweaty, she burped and all she could taste was her lunch; moms spaghetti. This was scary. If she got caught, her teacher would surely call home and tell her parents, which would make them so disappointed. 


As Ms. Rajkumar called out the words, one by one, Santana slyly glanced at the paper. Each time, it got easier and easier. 


But then, she made a mistake! 


So she rummaged through her pencil case, reaching for her eraser, and when she pulled it out…


Her cheat sheet fell right onto the floor, and guess who picked it up?


You got it, Ms. Rajkumar. She looked at Santana and said sternly, “I’d like to see you at recess please”


“Ouuuuu”, said Gabriel, Santana’s classmate. “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater”, he added.


She was embarrassed and officially worried. She just got caught cheating! This had never happened before. Then the recess bell rang and all of the students left the classroom, except for Santana. 


Ms. Rajkumar walked over to Sanatana’s desk, “I’m only going to ask you this once, and I don’t want you to lie to me. Were you cheating on your spelling test?” she asked.


Santana fought back tears and responded, “yes, Ms. Rajkumar. It was my first time cheating, I promise, I’ll never do it again.”


Santana opened up about her difficulty with studying and still not getting good grades and the fact that she was so frustrated, but nothing seemed to work. Even though she wrote down the words over and over and over again, she just couldn’t manage to remember them. 


Then, Ms. Rajkumar remembered that Santana loved to listen to music. So she suggested that Santana make a rap song with the spelling of each word - it might make things easier for her to remember. Then, she could rewrite the test tomorrow, during morning recess.


Santana was excited to go home and make a rap from her spelling words. It didn’t take her long to write, record, and recite her new rap song with the spelling of each word. 


The next day at school, Santana walked confidently into the classroom, eager to write the test again. This time, no cheating. 


Ms. Rajkumar marked her test right away. “Wow, you only made two mistakes! Good job, Santana”. 


Santana got to choose a sticker from the sticker book as a reward. 


From now on, Santana decided that she would study for all of her tests like this, by writing rap songs.



  1. Why do you think Santana chose to cheat on her test?

  2. What are some things you do to help you study or concentrate on your work?

  3. What does the word “confident” mean and how do you become confident?

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