Classroom Curiosities XXIV

This edition features a dictionary challenge gone wrong, some suspect answers and a priceless view on friendship.

This week, I ran a Creative Writing Workshop during the holidays. It was fun teaching the students how to show and not tell, avoid boring adjectives and build their characters using dialogue. I’ll share more ideas on teaching this tomorrow.

We made our own waving hands

Magic genie
As a warm up, I told them that I was going to turn them into animals and they had to give three reasons why they chose that particular creature. One pupil chose a dolphin as she wanted to breathe underwater, explore the ocean and be able to swim (she was learning and finding it difficult). Another student decided to be an ant because she wanted to talk with an ant, sneak around and bite people. If biting was her aim, I can think of better alternatives.

Dictionary misdemeanour
One of my students sped through the material, polished off her final narrative version and completed all twelve of my additional worksheets. I worked with her one-on-one to complete some extra tasks from the life-saving 700 Classroom Activities by David Seymour and Maria Popova, then decided to set a dictionary challenge. Writing A-Z down the page, I asked her to find three words for each letter that she was not familiar with from the dictionary. It started well enough but then quickly took a turn for the worse. Aberration. Burlesque. Calamitous. Damnable. Enamoured. Frisky. Groundless. Hashish. Bearing in mind we’re in Singapore, I quietly collected in that sheet.

Major calligraphy skills from a nine year old

One of my students asked me which month my birthday falls in. I answered, “February.” He replied, “Oh, I’m older than you. Mine is in January.” It occurred to me that this method of determining who is older would work at school since everyone in his class is the same age. The school year starts in January here in Singapore.

It was Teachers’ Day last week. I received so many lovely handmade cards and the messages that the students took the time to write were so special. It does make all the hard work worthwhile. One student apologised for not making me a card despite me saying I had not expected anything. Instead, he told me that he had prepared me a song. At the end of the lesson, he serenaded me with What Did the Fox Say? So blessed.

A beautiful sentiment
One of my kindergartners had moved house recently and was about to start a new school. I asked him how he felt. He was slightly nervous. I told him it was exciting and he could make lots of new friends. His face suddenly brightened and he exclaimed, “I will have an infinity of friends!”


Until next week!


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