Tom and Huck or Huck and Sid or…

Yesterday was a good day at school. Actually, most of my days at school are good ones, but yesterday had two particularly high points.

1. The sophomores are studying poetry and they needed to write their own sonnets. Now, I can advise on structure, but normally in that particular class I don’t assist because the teacher, who is the same age as my son, has a particularly good rhythm that I don’t want to interrupt. Yesterday, though, she wasn’t there, and the kids came to me for help. They had sonnets on why love stinks, on loving apple pastries, and on the problems with school. It was uplifting to watch them count their syllables as they tried for iambic pentameter and ask around for words to fit the rhyme scheme. I love that class! True learning often happens there.

2. The juniors are studying HUCKLEBERRY FINN, which tends to be tedious because of the dialect. I mean, the story is funny, but the kids never get that far (at least the kids with whom I work) because they are frightened off by the length of the book and the difficulty of the words. We have the book on tape in the resource room, but they go to sleep when they listen to it. Yesterday, though, two of the boys let me read to them, and they actually got it! There’s a place in the book where Huck and Tom are going to rescue Jim, and they could do it in half an hour (which is the practical Huck’s way) or they could do it in a week. Tom’s way. Anyway… the boys were rolling their eyes and laughing as Tom tried the hard way and Huck’s appeared to win out after all. “What a weirdo!” they said. But they smiled.

Anytime you can make kids smile about learning, the day is a good one.

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3 Responses to “Tom and Huck or Huck and Sid or…”


  1. 1 writeathome March 24, 2007 at 12:04 am

    If I were teaching in a public school, I think I would want to be teaching literature and writing too. Those were the things I enjoyed the most in school. Glad you were able to get a smile out of some kids today. Here is my smile for a good teacher. 🙂

  2. 2 Becky March 24, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Thanks, Carol. Are you sure you wouldn’t like a second career once the kids you are teaching now are on their own 🙂 ?

  3. 3 writeathome March 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Last year I taught a creative writing club for children from 3-6 grade in our homeschool group. We wrote haikus, limericks, acrostic poems, poetry with magnets, a partial autobiography and a story using candy wrappers. It was a lot of fun, and I may end up doing something similar this next school year.


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