Skip to content

Day 54 LATE: An Unavoidable Lesson

October 1, 2010

I dreaded using this technique and I knew it was coming.  I wasn’t sure when.

The 4th graders were in the midst of story comprehension practice with a story called “Cheering for the Cheetahs.”  The tale relates to a group of elementary girls’ basketball players who feel so overlooked by their PE teacher that they challenge the boys to a showdown to show they’re just as good, with an epilogue discussing Title IX.

In one scene, the girls design their uniforms and decide to go with yellow shirts with black spots.  The question was: why did they choose that as their design?

[CRICKETS]

“Think this one out…if their team name is the CHEETAHS, then why did they choose that design for their UNIFORMS?”

[BLANK STARES]

“…OK, how many people have ever seen the uniforms of the New Jersey Devils?”

[VEGETATIVE DROOL EMITTED]

“…(no other choice)…What’s the design on the helmet of the Minnesota Vikings?”

“HORNS!!”   “VIKING HORNS!!!”  “THEY  LOOK LIKE VIKING HELMETS!”

“…and the Philadelphia Eagles?”

“WINGS!  BECAUSE EAGLES HAVE WINGS SO THEY CAN FLY!!!”

“…and the Cincinnati Bengals?”

“STRIPES!”  “THEY LOOK LIKE TIGERS!” “HEY, BENGALS ARE A KIND OF TIGER!”

[Teacher facepalm]

The key to teaching at any level is to build upon whatever the student already knows.  On the spot, I couldn’t think of another sport’s jersey that so readily reflects the colors and features of their namesake mascot.  There are no Lakes in L.A. that are yellow and purple.  Angels are not normally depicted wearing red.  But Rams have spiraled horns on the sides of their heads.

Then again, 70% of the students didn’t know what a cheetah’s fur looked like in the first place.  No win situation.  The SPCA will know what an extra buck to the tally looks like.

DR

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: