My sixth grade students are working on fiction pieces, and today I had them highlight all the action verbs in their first drafts so that they could take a critical look at their choices as they revise. Plus, it's a good review for them and a quick way for me to assess their recognition of that part of speech. Most kids approached the activity cheerfully; they love highlighting, and they were eager to share some of their favorite verbs. A few students, however, complained bitterly about the drudgery of the task, one more persistently than the rest.
She happened to be sitting right next to me, by choice. "Do you even remember what it was like to be a kid?" she asked me. "If you did, then you would know why this is so boring."
I shrugged and told her I really didn't think it was so bad. "Sometimes it's interesting to take such a narrow focus," I said.
"I wish we could change places like Freaky Friday," she continued, looking around the classroom with an appraising eye. "I could do this," she assured me. "I could be just like you and suck all the fun out of everything."
I gasped and then burst out laughing. What an attitude! I had to admire her audacity; maybe she could take my place, but I could never be like her.
(Click here for today's sample of my 6th grade students' response to the 2011 SOLSC challenge.)