Monday, July 30, 2012

Unexpected Brilliance

I am so proud of my grade 9s today! Today I didn't really have a plan for the lesson, and decided we needed to do some reading of the novel (Spud by John van der Ruit).

It happened to be the part about the vandalism of the headmaster's car (some boys violated it with a banana, causing the engine to explode). Once they've been suspended, pending expulsion, one of the Crazy Eight sneaks out and re-creates the crime so as to make it look as though the wrong people have been punished.

Before I knew it, the lesson had turned into a spontaneous mock-trial of Mad Dog, with myself acting as Judge, and students playing the roles of Mad Dog, lawyers for the prosecution and the defense, witnesses and the jury. It was fantastic! The kids were really getting into it, and whenever it got a bit too noisy someone would say 'Order in the court!' and bang a 'gavel' on their desk. It also made the whole class participate a lot more than they usually do. I'm thinking of recreating it for my grade 11 (Animal Farm) class for my next crit - we'll have a trial for Snowball, who stands accused of treason.

The jury finds the defendant GUILTY and sentences him to life
imprisonment with hard labour: cleaning toilets.

I can't wait.

If only they had been this responsive in my crit. Unfortunately they were on their best behaviour, which apparently means being very quiet and writing a lot, which lost me about 40% on 'connecting with the students'. Oh well - at least they were trying.

Maybe they should use subtitles.

This week is test week, which is exciting, as I've never set a test before...

No comments:

Post a Comment