Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Dark Stormy Night or Creative Teaching

On Thursday I had one of those teaching moments that really make it all worth while.

I was in the reading group I have each day. This group of three boys and one girl are not usually interested in what we are doing and just go through the motions to more or less humor me or to keep me from growling at them.

On Thursday we were discussing the *author's purpose for writing*. We had covered the basics boiling reasons for writing down to three -- inform, entertain, or persuade. The kids were doing pretty go telling the differences but ran into a snag when I asked (or rather the worksheet asked) if an article that was entertaining had to be funny and light. They all said yes.

At that I began to tell a story and when I finished all four students were leaning forward with their little mouths slightly open and eye huge. The story went something like this:

One dark stormy night I was driving home. Lighting flashed all around me and the road seemed unfamiliar.

Suddenly the car went clunk, clunk and died. I rolled to a stop just managing to get the car off to the side of the road. Then the headlights went out and I sat in total darkness.

A bright flash of lighting highlighted an old two story house off to the right even though I didn't remember having ever seen a house there before. The loud clap of thunder that followed spurred me to action. I jumped out of the car, pulling my coat up over my head to protect me from the rain and ran toward the house hoping someone would be there that could help me.

As I ran up the steps onto the porch I took a big breath to steady myself and shake the water from my coat. I heard a strange cackling laugh coming from behind me. It wasn't a friendly laugh. It was the kind of laugh that means you are in big trouble.

I was to scared to turn around. I raised my arm to pound on the door but as soon as I had barely touch the door is slowly opened with a soft creak. The laugh behind me was getting closer. I didn't wait to be invited in; I shoved the door open rushing in and slamming the door behind me.

Here I just stopped leaned back and said, "Okay what was my purpose?" I swear every head nearly hit the table. They were that into the story. They laughed and giggled and told me it was to entertain. Then I asked, "Was that story funny and light. Of course they all had the correct answer to that one too.

They were also able to decide that this was just a fiction story and I had not had that experience.

One boy did ask what happened next and to that I had to say, "I don't know. I was just making it up as I went along." They were impressed. Yes, they were impressed.

I love teaching moments like I had Thursday.


Ladykli said...

Aww that's not fair. I was just in getting to the story! I was sitting on the edge of my seat, starting to get worried about you! Great Job!!!!!

Losing Myself said...

I knew immediately it was fiction, but I want to know what happened next.....You do have a way with words, Sis.

Momisodes said...

I was totally on the edge of my seat as well. You had me going! What a great example and way to show them :)

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh my gosh Patsy!!!! You really had ME going. Now come on...don't tease us like that. What happened after you slammed the door shut. More, more, more!!! I demand you finish. LOL....kidding of course. I bet your students just loved this. You certainly got MY attention. I wanna attend your class.

LceeL said...

One of those little stories that just writes itself. Hmmm. I wonder why that seems so familiar ....

Kerrie said...

How fun! I would love to share my enthusiasm for writing with children. Lucky you!