Words are Gifts


Reading with my local group of students, on Zoom yesterday, my colleague decided to begin with a riddle.

One of the children read it aloud, this sparked them all up. I was glad to see a screen full of lively, passionate children, each of whom wanted to share their solution.

Of course they had similar answers, some of them thought deeply and came up with more complicated combinations of ideas to solve the riddle.

The very quiet, passive students popped up, very animated and had the hands up reaction on.

This has never happened before, with so many students wanting to share at the same time. Siblings prodding each other and having their own discussions before unmuting.

As an observer, I was excited to notice the interest the children showed in trying to find solutions.

Could it be because the riddle had a familiar subject, animals and something they have experienced before?

We question and reflect, especially when the response to our delivery causes a different reaction. Before sharing the answer with the students, my colleague mentioned the examples that were closest to the right answer.

I took the opportunity to share with the students how I solve such problems: by drawing the steps, I explained. I pretend the story is a movie and draw it to help me process what is happening. My colleague said she also visualises the story.

We concluded by stating that all the methods help readers monitor their understanding of any text, especially when the story or text is long or complicated just like our riddle.


4 responses to “Sparks”

  1. What a delightful discovery. It’s true that “We question and reflect, especially when the response to our delivery causes a different reaction.” There’s nothing quite as invigorating as seeing all students eager to participate and be heard!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is fun to listen in to your thinking as you think about the spark. Sometimes I cannot figure out what exactly makes a lesson work or not- nice to have a colleague as a thought partner!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a truly engaging lesson, supported by your observations, “Siblings prodding each other and having their own discussions before unmuting.” In this new teaching environment, we are finding new and different ways to assess engagement. Thank you for sharing this slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this. Sometimes it is the simplest things that make a big difference. It sounds like this riddle was just the thing to spark interest in your students and get them talking. So magical when this sort of experience happens!

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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