This has been such a difficult beginning of the school year. I didn’t see it coming, that’s for sure. All the behavior stuff. Ick. I usually get along well with my students, and this year really tried me. But today I think I saw a peep of light at the end of this tunnel.
With Halloween and the change in the weather coming, I’ve put together some activities based around the stories of Poe, and some other kind of scary stories. Today I told the seventh graders that they could follow along with their eyes as I read them a horror story. It’s a story called, “The Jigsaw Puzzle,” by J.B.Stamper. First, we did a writing prompt about the sounds you might hear in a haunted house. It was accompanied by a photograph on the screen in front of the class, and the lights were low for the writing. Without turning the lights back on, I began to read the story, and everyone, even the grouchy kid who usually takes delight in disrupting whatever we’re doing, was silent, reading along with bated breath. (The story isn’t really all THAT scary, but they were captured by it.) The grouchy disruptive kid actually read it on his own and finished before me. He thought maybe he would enjoy spoiling the ending for everyone else, but I managed to dissuade him from doing that.
After we finished this one, they clamored for a second one, and the grouchy kid chose which one he wanted to hear. It was the Urban Legend about “The Stranger,” that’s been making the rounds for a few years. I guess these guys hadn’t heard it yet, because they ate it up. Even though I knew I should stop and do the paper and pencil activity I had planned for the first story, I just couldn’t let go of the interest they had in the stories, so I just read to them. Three stories, with more promised.
There is magic in reading, really there is, if you can slow things down enough to find it. I’m just relieved to see something new beginning in this class. We all really need it.