Substitute Imagination

18 Jan

On Wednesday I subbed. This was on real short notice (I got the call a little after 1, the period started 1:40). The principal told me to teach whatever I wanted, and I did.

I did an old standby lesson, the lesson I actually used as a model lesson to procure my previous job. And I’ve taught this lesson elsewhere. It’s a fun lesson about word choice, focusing on verbs, and not relying on adjectives to make your sentence good.

I start off with a simple sentence like,

The girl walked into the room.

Starting with the verb, we change the words to more accurate words to reflect what we want to convey. Did she saunter, sashay, creep, whirled, storm, glide into the room? And move on from there to who is this girl, and what room she is entering.

Of course there are always kids with little imagination, and all they can think of is ran into the room, and the like. And of course the room is a classroom, but usually the girls can break out and come up with something original in one of the areas. And there are always the really creative minds that shoot out great words and ideas on cue.

The thing is, the majority of the girls in this class were the first sort, little or no imagination. I’m not used to that. The most unique word was saunter, stomped comes next.

I’m trying to decide if it’s a reflection of the school? The society?

They have no imagination because they’re so restricted or they have an imagination (meaning there’s hope) but they’re just too scared to speak up in fear of saying the wrong thing. (Bear in mind the principal was observing this lesson)


Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Jewish, Teaching


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Substitute Imagination

  1. Raizy

    January 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    They have imagination but they probably don’t have the vocabulary that they need to express subtle differences in meaning. Most kids don’t read nearly as much as they should, and their language skills suffer as a result.

  2. tooyoungtoteach

    January 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Raizy: I agree with the what you wrote, however, the second part is applicable to all kids, not just these kids, so why are these kids vocabulary relatively so poor?

    Is it because the only approved books are Jewish ones, and they aren’t exactly a shining example of quality literature?

  3. Princess Lea

    January 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I was allowed to read everything, so maybe that is why I speak polysyllabically.
    But maybe with the principal in the room, they were scared to say anything that would make them look stupid. I’ve been there.

  4. Moshe

    January 25, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Reading develops imagination. Jewish books use very simple words and are pretty similar in content. If those kids only read Jewish books, it’s no wonder that their vocabulary and imagination are lacking.


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