jimvanpelt (jimvanpelt) wrote,
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Making Kids Hate Kissing: Addendum to "What Is Happening to Reading"

I was talking to my Honors 10th Grade English students about some of the issues raised by my last post.  Is it true that many kids, even ones who like to read, resent the reading they are assigned (in general, they said they did), and why is that?

Here was the analogy I came up with: suppose we taught long kisses like we did novels.  Here's the steps we might follow:

  • Pretest their knowledge of kissing.  Students share what they already know.  The teacher needs to shape whole class instruction based on previous knowledge, and then individualize where necessary for the advanced practitioners or the ones who need remediation.
  • Introduce the kind of kiss they will be studying.  Be sure to share expected outcomes of the lesson with them and explain the rational for this instruction.  Be sure to include what district standards the lesson will encompass.
  • After the students are properly prepared, have them do a pre-kissing journal entry discussing their expectations or concerns.
  • Assign the kiss with appropriate deadlines.
  • Ten seconds into the kiss, students should stop and do a journal entry of their reactions to the kiss so far.  They might include how the kiss fulfilled or denied their expectations.  Based on the information they learned from the first ten seconds, what predictions can they make for the remainder of the kiss?  What was their personal reaction to the first ten seconds?
  • Do a follow-up journal entry every ten seconds for the remainder of the kiss, keeping careful note of questions that might arise (no jokes here, please), concerns that the kiss provokes, patterns they notice about the kiss, and any additions to the kiss that deepens their understanding.
  • Do a check quiz of their understanding of the kiss after thirty seconds.
  • Do the unit quiz on the kiss after two minutes.
  • Schedule whole class or small group discussion of the kiss at key points.
  • When the kiss is finished, take an overall exam about the kiss.
  • Evaluate the kiss with the kissing rubric.  Various components of the kiss will be measured and labeled as "Advanced," "Proficient," or "In Progress."
  • Assign a follow-up evaluation of the kiss.  For many teachers, this would be a paper exploring the meaning of the kiss.  More innovative teachers might design other projects, including graded discussion circles, poster projects, recreations of key moments for the class, a musical rendition or interpretive dance, oral presentations, etc.  Perhaps a student could design and present a PowerPoint.  Students must demonstrate their understanding of the kiss through their project.  The better projects will connect their learning to other kisses they've experienced.
  • For extra credit, a student could study another kiss on his/her own, but the kiss must be pre-approved and fit the classroom standards. 
My prediction is that while some students will have discovered kissing on their own, and will enjoy it a great deal, that most students would come to hate kissing, and, when their school years ended, they would never kiss again.
Tags: teaching
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