Being Taught to Teach

5 Paragraph Essays
March 30, 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: Encounters in 5th Grade

I went back to volunteering after a sort hiatus for work.  Today the essay topic was the American Revolution.  I worked with several of the kids one on one, that is until the end of school drew near and a few of the kids asked if they could work with me.  The essay was pretty much laid out for them, they just had to create the sentences.  Even with a well written skeleton many of the kids struggled.  I had to ask many of them to reread the material and pay attention to the highlighted words.  Eventually after pulling the thoughts from each mind the kids were able to put the words into writing, talking about how several important events led to the American Revolution including “Taxation without Representation,” the Boston Tea Party and Coercive Acts, etc.  One of my favorite parts of this exercise was asking the kids what the Boston Tea Party was.  Most of them said that a bunch of guys went on a ship and threw tea over board…accurate, but not what I was looking for.  I told them to read the last paragraph we had written and think about what the colonists did in retaliation to the various acts (Stamp Act, Sugar Act, etc.), some of them were able to put it together and realize that the Boston Tea Party was a big protest.  Those magical moments when it clicks is what I enjoy about teaching.