Have you ever heard the expression variety is the spice of life?
The meaning behind that saying is one of the reasons I love teaching language arts. We have so many different avenues to explore which keeps life interesting. Every day we think about something different. To begin with, the basic skills we develop are varied: reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and listening. All of those skills involve using language in some way. Add to that the manner in which we approach the development of these skills: small groups, class discussions, games (a list of choices here: diagram races, Jeopardy, Bingo, baseball), dramatic readings with costumes, traditional note taking, technology (more options: the blog, QR code scavenger hunts, Educreations, Quizlet, Prezi, Powerpoint, Chictionary, iPads, iMovie, Skype, etc), simulations, field trips. Finally, we have a myriad of materials at our disposal: myths, novels, informational text, poems, short stories, essays, and biographies and a plethora of topics: The Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, Antigone, Crispin, Beowulf, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Under the Blood Red Sun, Tangerine, The Wednesday Wars, a list too long to continue.
Is it any wonder I am constantly saying, “We need to spend the whole day in language arts!”?
This past week we used our speaking and listening skills to present oral reports about journeys we’d like to take. We chose this topic as we completed our study of The Odyssey. Odysseus’s voyage took ten years to complete. He sailed to a multitude of locations around the Mediterranean. He met strange people, ate unusual foods, and heard enchanting music. In addition to ten years of his own life, the trip cost him the lives of his crew. We thought about adventures we’d like to take: where would we go, how would we travel, what would it cost, and what would we see, hear, taste, and do.
Come fly with us around the world!
Here’s another student making an oral presentation that addresses some of the topics we’ve been thinking about in our class.
What road will you take on your journey in life?
Will you take the road less traveled by?
Will your journey be one of thousands of miles or a hundred feet?
How will you add spice to your own life and by doing so enrich the lives of others?
Will you become a world-wide traveler? A president? A chef? A language arts teacher?
What is your journey?