Friday, January 20, 2006

Anarchy is Dangerous

My grand lesson plan for this week was entitled “Five Things That....” Simply, you make up a list of adjectives you want the students to know (or if you’re a Super Lazy Bad Teacher like me, you use the same list in all your classes). Put the kids in groups and tell them to write five things that are green, five things that are dangerous, five things that are difficult to understand, or whatever. When they’re done, have each group read their answers. If another group has the same word, they cross it off. If no one else has it, they circle it and get a point. Simple. Some of the better answers from various classes included:

* things that are green: cannabis, Green Day, greenhouse effect, greenhorn, Greenland
* things that are fast: my mind, our group, “meep meep” (Roadrunner), rappers
* things that are difficult to understand: why you tell us to be quiet, American accent, American football, boys, driving for girls, global warming
* things that are hot: our blood, love (I had to explain in every single class, usually to uproarious laughter, that ‘hot’ is NOT the same as ‘meleg’. For those of you in the dark, in Hungarian when ‘meleg’ refers to a person it means they’re gay.)
* things that are delicious: people, for the cannibals
* things that are small: the stars, from here
* things that are expensive: I want to buy a country
* things that are painful: boiling oil, getting a bad mark, life, love, death
* things that are more fun to watch than to do: school

And my favorite:
* things that are red: red letter. When I read this, my logical brain knew what the 5th grader meant: the bad, red marks that his napló probably has an abundance of. The rest of my mind, the part which far outweighs the logical side, immediately snapped back to 8th grade English and the tragic adventures of a woman named Hester. So I started laughing hysterically; after a brief and ruinous attempt to explain why, I gave up and just spent the rest of the lesson giggling to myself, murmuring, “Red letter - ha!” under my breath, and my students probably all went and mystified the other English teachers by asking them why “red letter” is so funny to the crazy American.

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