Classroom Curiosities XVIII

This week’s edition contains graffiti, artistic canines and a revolting new game.

Horror show
My class tackled silent letters in reading class, and we read a story about a some wrens nesting. When I asked my students what they ate, one child replied, “Their sons.” Another child suggested, “Limbs.” They were referring to tree limbs, but still.

I found this in the empty back pages of a dictionary:


I recently discovered that my students describe a dog’s ‘woof woof’ as ‘wang wang’ in Chinese. My primary class began to write their own narrative based on a storyboard that included a dog left in the sun and unable to reach a nearby water bowl. I asked what the dog was doing and I mimicked panting, as I love any excuse to play Charades. One of the children shouted, “The dog is painting!”

Reality bites
Conceptualising the word ‘endure,’ one of my students drew an angry manager pointing to a declining performance chart and chiding his failing employees. They grow up so fast.


While describing what constitutes a landmark and pacing the floor, I fell over my chair quite spectacularly. One child cruelly sang, “London Bridge is falling down.”

A refreshing twist
Some body positivity right here:


Naming ceremony
In one of many asides we enjoyed while sharing ideas in class, two boys mused on what they would name their pets. One said he would name it his name but add ‘Junior’ to the end to continue his legacy. Another said he would name it Hero, or maybe Jeff.

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In a book review I set my class, one student covered Dumbo. I shudder to think how many children think that Disney is an author. However, the girl kept referring to the popular elephant as the pronoun ‘she.’ That was a fun Google search.

Gross games
Children delight in the disgusting pleasures in life. A scientist called Anna Rothschild explores this in a recently published TED talk (see here). In a discussion about games that we like to play, the children assessed the merits of board games and more physical play such as musical chairs. One pupil mispronounced ‘hide and seek’ and instead said ‘sick.’ A spattering of students began fake gagging, but then a Mexican wave of real repulsion spread across the room. I’m not sure how I got out of that one unscathed.

Solid learning
Inspired by my dictionary challenge worksheet, one kid brought their own dictionary to class. He shuffled uncomfortably into the classroom, then lumped his bag onto the desk. Inside the bag that he had been carrying since 6:30am that morning, he unleashed a giant unabridged dictionary that must have weighed as much as he did. I made sure we used it, discovering the meaning of a grappling hook before having timed races to see who could find a random word like ‘hippopotamus’ first. The next week, he thankfully didn’t bring it, but instead brought a magnifying glass as a passive aggressive snub towards the diminutive size of our classroom editions.

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The way to my heart
One of my students brought me these back from New Zealand. This is my favourite job to date, and I used to get paid to drive a golf cart around the top of a cliff.


That’s it for this week, check back next week for more from the classroom!


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