Thursday, September 4, 2008

Community Building...

Today my 10th graders participated in a little community building activity that brought me so much joy.  We finished reading "Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket" by Jack Finney,  (I am such the English teacher who must cite her sources), a little tale about a man who goes out on a ledge 11 stories high for a sheet of paper.  I try to simulate the experience in a challenge by choice activity, and the students just eat it up.  It's really just a sneaky way for me to make them think about the story and summarize for me. 

Here are some challenges Tom (ledge man) faced, followed by the replication:
Height No way to replicate 11 stories high in my classroom and not kill a kid :(
Fear There is a tape ledge in front of the room...being in front of your peers is scary!
Cold My box fan, on high
Wind Ditto
Dark A blindfold with some mesh for partial visibility
Vertigo Spin around 10 times before you give it a try! 

Oh, my.  It was an incredible thing to behold.  Many of the students throughout the day took my challenge and tried to walk my ledge.  The premise was they had to walk down 15 feet without touching the tape, and the tape ledge was a little less that the width of a man's foot, up against the wall.  It seems like last year after we did this activity, I had them eating out of my hands. And, what a fun day for me!  I am making friends instead of my enemies out of my class members.  They are seeing each other attempt something grand and supporting that attempt. It was such a fabulous day, seeing my students in this regard.  Even more so, I know that they will remember the gist of this story for a long time.  Teaching rocks.


Ang & Greg said...

Sounds fun:) I'm glad you love your job so much- that is a GREAT thing:)

Velecia said...

Your an Awesome Educator. Is that how that's spelled? Are you sure you don't want to continue being a teacher? This world needs good teachers badly. I'm glad you had a great day.