Wagons, Ho! We've been studying the pioneers for the last month or so. I thought that it would be fun to read some tall tales at the same time so we put our desks into a circle of wagons which technically looked a little like a square but it was the only way to make it work. Anyway, during our reading time we met in the middle of our circle for a campfire and a Paul Bunyan story. Yes, we did have a campfire! I put sticks in a box with construction paper flames coming out of it. What I love about first & second graders is that they dug it and they were falling all over themselves to light the fire (i.e. bring the box of sticks to the middle of the circle and make the flames stick up like a proper fire). Now, J who cleans my classroom had a good laugh over my "fire". I told him that he could go home and tell his family about the crazy white woman's version of a fire.
Anyway, I think the whole tall tale thing may have rubbed off a little too well on one of my friends who told some whoppers this week. They were working on their handwriting book and they were supposed to write a story about a snowy day. When I dropped by to check on K's finished story my first question was, "Were you intending to write a tall tale?" What else could it be when one has written a story about the time it snowed 7 feet of snow in Senegal? "No, no! This really happened," insisted K. So we checked with our resident expert, the other student who has spent some time in Senegal. "L, did you ever see it snow in Senegal? No, never. Well that is truly shocking! K, do you think this might have taken place somewhere else like America, perhaps?" After a few minutes of listening to the logical arguments of her second grade friends, reason prevailed and K changed the location to America. But that wasn't the end of the whoppers!
The bridge that runs across the river right in front of our school was closed one particular morning this week so we all had to use the new bridge which was lately constucted by the Ch*nese. It was quite a novelty and definitely occupied the first few minutes of our morning conversation. But this led to a conversation in which the very same child informed us quite smartly that an American President named Benjamin Franklin had built the old bridge and that he was later killed in a car on the bridge. Bad teacher that I am, I didn't even try to stop myself from laughing. What a melange of stories that was! After I finished laughing, I told her that it was JFK who built the bridge but that he was not killed in Niger but rather in the U.S.
Oh, my goodness! Those were some good laughs this week!