Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I've finished up all my units with my classes, and because my last day with all my kids is tomorrow, we've entered that time of year when every teacher digs through her movie collection and tries to justify the latest Disney classic as "educational."

I must admit, I'm a variation of that teacher. I try to make the learning last as long as possible, and this year has not been an exception. I haven't started on a fresh unit--mine and my kids' attention spans wouldn't last long enough to make it meaningful anyway. Instead, with my 8th graders, I've been doing "fun" lessons. First I started with "The Top 5 Things You Don't Know About the USA." The girls seemed to enjoy that one, and I think I actually exposed them to some information they didn't know. Then a presentation entitled "The World's Worst Monarchs" where I reveal some of the more shocking and crazy monarchs history has to offer. Next I had an extended book talk and gave them my recommendations for summer reading. As a young adult lit lover, I was so happy to see all of them write at least one title down for future purchase.

The most entertaining of my entertaining lessons, however, has been Geography Jeopardy. I reached back into my college days and made a jeopardy powerpoint, my first in years. It took me about 4 hours to get all the hyperlinks and spelling correct, and I was really afraid the whole thing was going to be a total bust. I was so touched when one of my girls quietly said, "Thank you for this game, teacher. This is a lot of fun."

My cup runneth over.

Of course, throughout the class period the girls busted out with some hilarious answers to the general knowledge questions I'd found for the game.

Question: What famous Italian pasta has a museum in Pontedassio, Italy dedicated to its history?
very enthusiastic answer: PANINI!

Question: Which country lies immediately south of Nicaragua?
Answer: ...Is Nicaragua a country?

Question: What bodily function can exceed speeds of 200 miles per hour?
Answer: giraffe?

Question: The South American country of Bolivia has two capital cities. Name one.
Answers: Bolican (a combination of Bolivia and American) or Pepper.

Apparently, when it doubt, the answer is Africa.

What is the largest country in South America?

Alphabetically, what is the first country in the world?
Africa. (other favorite answer possibilities included Alabama and Arizona)

Which country has the longest coastline in the world?

In which city did gangster Al Capone live?

The girls were cracking me up that day, but I hope they learned a thing or two in the process!

Vicariously yours,

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