Life Lessons – Straight Out of the 7th Graders’ Mouths

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Despite the fact that I believe I’m getting better at teaching week by week, there are obviously still some gaps occurring between my direct instruction of the material and the students’ direct understanding and application of said material.

I present to you, for your reading pleasure, some of the spicier bits that came out of the formative assessment I gave my students the other day on theme. Basically, the students read three very short stories: the first was about a guy who liked this girl and treated her awfully (and then couldn’t understand why she didn’t show up to his birthday party); the second was about a human who was “happy” to share spare crumbs with a rat as long as he didn’t know the rat was sharing with him (but who, when the rat got sloppy and greedy, set out a trap to kill it); and the third was about a boy named Ulysses who read so much that he turned down having “real-life” experiences with friends because he’d read somewhere about certain negative traits those activities had.

The students then had to come up with the theme for each story.

I’ve taken to explaining theme as “life lessons” the characters or author of a story are trying to get across to the reader, so, here you go—life lessons straight from the 7th graders’ mouths:

(All mistakes are theirs, not mine)

(From the boy-liking-the-girl story):
*Don’t be mean to people even if you like them
*If you’re nice, people will do things for you
*Liking someone doesn’t mean get all crazy
*Be nice to get with someone
*If you are mean to them, they ain’t going to be nice to you

(From the messy mouse story):
*Mice are a big issue
*Don’t be too greedy, but if you are, at least clean up after yourself
*Don’t share things that often
*Do not steal or it will lead to your death
*Mice are always getting into things and making messes
*Never leave your food out
*Clean your mess to get more
*A friend can become a pest
*If people or things get into your stuff, then trick them to make them be in trouble
*Don’t leave any evidence of what you’ve done
*If something is eating your lunch and cleans up after itself, it’s okay, but if it’s eating your stuff and not cleaning up after itself, it’s not okay.
*Don’t be sloppy, especially if you’re a mouse
*Be careful about what you do in case someone finds out
*Don’t take too much of other people’s things or you’ll be punished
*If you’re not messy, you’re not going to get caught
*Mouses need to eat to

(from the prolific reader story)

*Reading is good, but take a break
*If your friends ask you to play, go play
*Books arn’t that good of advice
*What people write isn’t exactly true
*Books are opiniens and their not to actually listen to
*Take your chances so you can have people like you more
*Don’t read as much as you can or don’t read dumb books

So there you go friends—hope you got a laugh or two out of them 🙂

Happy Thursday!

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