Today (like most days) the darlings reminded me that no matter what, we educators do this for a reason.
We usually read the story from our Oral Vocabulary Cards on Mondays. These stories provide higher level vocabulary words and often incorporate a moral of some kind.
I stared today's story by exclaiming that I LOVE it because it is fun to read. My students eagerly waited for the story to begin. I told them that the character in this story had to make some choices.
The title is La Cucarachita Martina Gets Married. It is a tale from Cuba. (If you are surprised that little Cuban cockroaches get married, you're not alone.)
Of course, this title got many giggles and ewws. I am happy to report that the cooties have returned to my class this year. Unlike last year's no-cootie problem.
Anyway, these cards start with a question that is meant to draw out students' background knowledge. This was the point where I saw just how much they already "know" about this topic.
This is what I was told to say: "Imagine you are a character in a story and you want to get married (huh!?). How would you find someone to marry?"
This is a list of what they would look for in a spouse:
is kind and gentle (aww)
has never been to jail
can make dinner for you
very likes you and never wants to divorce (um...)
was your girlfriend first
can stay home with your baby (this came from a girl)
is not your enemy
likes the same things you do like video games
Believe me. I was doing my very best to not bust out laughing. In fact, being unmarried, I took notes. Just in case.
So now I had to read the story.
I started dramatically. Once upon a time, there was an attractive and clean cockroach known as La Cucarachita Martina.
I showed them the picture.
Now Martina decided she was bored and it was about time she settled down. The problem was, she didn't know which of her many suitors to choose. Her idea was to put on her best dress and sit on her porch to wait. When her suitors arrived, she would ask them to sing for her. Basically, the best singer would win.
Me: Is that a very good way to find a husband?
Mr. Mohawk: Sure. It's like American Idol, but on her porch.
The next cards shows the first
Señor Cat came to call on Martina. I heard, "he's too fat for her". I had to stop and discuss how inappropriate this was.
Señor cat told Martina how beautiful she was and bowed low. I my most terrible voice I sang like Señor Cat: Meow, meow, meeeeoooowww!
The kids covered their ears (my ultimate goal). Martina shot the poor guy down and he departed broken-hearted.
Next was Señor Rooster. He exaggerated Martina's beauty and bowed low. In my most terrible voice I sang: Cock-a doodle-doooooooooo! (ear covering again)
She shot him down, too. He departed with his eyes filled with tears.
Next came Señors Dog and Frog. You can see that this did not go well either.
Señor Dog commented on Martina's beauty and bowed low. In my most terrible voice I sang: Bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wooooooow! (Of course, ears were covered.)
Señor Dog sobbed quietly as he departed. Notice the dejected mutt in the background.
Fashionable Señor Frog was next. He told Martina that she was beautiful and bowed low. (This time, when I read "bowed low" all of the students reflexively covered the ears. Success!) I sang in my worst voice yet: Gribbit, griiiibbbbiiiit!
Of course, she stomped on his ego and sent him away with a heavy heart.
The last card look like this. Sighs of relief echoed around the classroom.
Señor Mouse was the winner. He sang with a melodious voice: Chu-ee, chu-ee, chu-ee! (Is that Cuban mouse-speak for squeak, squeak, squeak?)
Apparently, Martina the Man-Eater found this to be soothing and agreed to marry the mouse the very next day. They lived happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah.
One little cutie said, "Where's the picture of where they kiss?"
And another, "I bet they had cheesecake at the wedding."
I asked them to tell me the moral of the story. It was: That cockroach probably won't be a nice wife.
I choose to continue loving my job and invite those governmental types to come experience our world.