Each day as my students come into class, they’re supposed to do some reading exercises I put out for them. I get the exercises from some books a previous teacher left behind. The kids read short paragraphs, then summarize or draw conclusions or whatever I ask them to do.

Yesterday, one of the readings was about Jesse Owens and Adolph Hitler. I love these readings, because I am such a big fan of incidental learning. We’re supposed to be having Literature class, but instead I have the map pulled down, and we’re talking about the 1936 Olympics and Nazi Germany and Hitler’s ideas about race. The kids think we’ve side-tracked, but I’m teaching them, and they don’t even realize it! Ha!

One class had a huge discussion about pickles.

One class had a huge discussion about pickles.

It was interesting to hear one of the kids yesterday ask: “Who is Adolf Hitler?” A while back, I read an article about how a question like that shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to mock the person for their ignorance. Instead, it’s a chance to be the first one to tell them about something important. It’s so fun!

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One Response to Incidentally

  1. Lauren says:

    Brilliant. I love that idea – you get to be the first to share it with them! Those kids are lucky to have you as a teacher.

    Now I want to read that whole book of paragraphs. It seems like great information that’s just about my speed.

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