Thursday, January 3, 2008

The verb pipe

Jacob: "You know how I said you look just like my friend's girlfriend? Well, you sound just like her, too."
Miss Brave: :::crickets:::

* * *

I had a gut feeling that I would be Observed again today. As it turns out, I wasn't, but I wish I had been. I feel like the kids are much mellower after their vacation -- before break they were so obviously sick of each other, sniping and tattling and nagging all the time, and it was pretty disgusting -- and my snazzy lesson on verbs went really well. (It didn't hurt that Mark the hairdresser -- see Item #7 in the link -- was absent, either.)

First I read the kids a boring little story (with accompanying photos courtesy of Google Image Search) I wrote up about my vacation: "One chilly evening, I went to the Bronx Zoo. There were monkeys in the trees. I saw sea lions in the water. In the garden, there were butterflies." Then I jazzed it up by adding some kickin' verbs: "Monkeys climbed and jumped in the trees. I saw sea lions splashing in the water. Butterflies fluttered in the garden."

Then we did the same to caption some photos of our old friend Flat Stanley, and then I asked for "volunteers who are not shy" to play a game in front of the class; I sneakily showed my volunteers a card with a verb on it that they had to perform for the class, and then we wrote sentences about what they were doing and figured out which word was the verb. Aside from the usual tears from a few of my first graders who didn't get a turn, it went off without a hitch. And just now in the shower (where some of my best thinking occurs) I came up with an idea to present the ever-dreaded notion of verb tenses: a matching game like Concentration where the kids will have to match the present tense verb with its past tense form (i.e., "see" and "saw," "go" and "went").

If only I could get over my fear of singing in front of my students, I would teach them the verb song I made up to the tune of "Jingle Bells":

What's a verb? An action word!
It tells you what to do
I can write by using verbs
And you can do it, too!

Yup, move over, Rodgers & Hammerstein. It's better at least than my noun song, which never saw the light of day thanks to the wonders of the Noun Eater:

Nouns, nouns, looking all around
A noun is a person, place or thing
Nouns, nouns, looking all around
Nouns make writing interesting!

In other news, today a first grader asked me how to spell "TV."

You know, I could really get used to this whole "Wednesday through Friday" work week thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your songs - if you decide not to go on teaching, Rhianna sure needs some help with her lyrics!