Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Secret Knowledge of Grownups

I bought this book at CUWP, and I've been meaning to use it all year as a Scribble. I finally found a time when I thought it would work well, since my students were learning about Romanticism. Romanticism privileged children and childhood, right? So--what better time to write from a child's perspective.

In the book, the author takes those basic nagging rules that all parents have: don't pick your nose, eat your vegetables, etc., and comes up with a wacky secret reason behind them. For example, you shouldn't pick your nose because you might accidentally deflate your brain.

My students took the ball and ran with it. They came up with some great secrets--about everything from aiming urine to talking to strangers. I gave them a 17 x 11 piece of paper and had them fold it like a book. They put their rule and the supposed reason (Eat Your Vegetables - Because they are good for you.) on the outside and then they put the real secret reason and optional illustrations on the inside. As a culminating activity, I had the students pass their completed booklets around the class. That way everyone got to see what their peers had come up with, and we all got to have a few laughs.

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