by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|The objective of today's lesson in Reading was to think critically- to not respond to please the teacher, but to write what is truly on the mind and the heart.
I am of the opinion that too often children become programmed, and as a result when faced with having to do so, they have difficulty thinking and making decisions for themselves.
We discussed morals and how they differ from person to person. We also discussed scenarios, and dilemmas. Then the kids were given nine scenarios to read, each having several answer choices they could make as to what they would do in that scenario.
I gave them the option of choosing one of the given answer choices, or saying that they wouldn't have done any of the suggested actions. They then had to say what they would have done instead in that instance. But whether they went with the supplied response or wrote one of their own, they had to explain in their own words, their actions. It wasn't about right or wrong. It was about what would you do?
One scenario had the student walking behind an elderly man and the man's wallet falls out of his pocket. What what would you do? Give it back to the man, keep it, or act as if you didn't see it were the options. One boy crept up to my desk and said, "I want to write what I would do, but I don't want you to think less of me."
I had to assure him that what I thought wasn't what the lesson was about. It was for him to speak honestly and to be faced with himself. The kids seemed intrigued by being given that opportunity, but they were also a little fearful of it. It was an interesting thing to watch them work through the lesson.
As they worked, I completed the exercise myself, explaining my actions as I went. I did it as a model for the kids, but it was interesting for me, as well.
For the second part of the lesson, the kids had to write a story about a time that they were faced with a dilemma. They had to incorporate all the elements of plot, use dialogue, if it applied, etc. to practice the things we have been studying. In having them do that, I was reminded of a dilemma I once faced when I was about their age. I wrote my story, too. I plan to share it with them in class tomorrow.