Saturday, December 14, 2013

How This Twerp Saved Me

As I alluded to the other day, I have a cold and it's not pretty.  As the week went on, I quickly lost my voice, as in completely lost it at one point, and I had a debate every morning about whether or not to go to school.

When you're in the business of talking for a living, it's pretty scary to think you can't really do your job if you lose your voice!  Especially with young students.

The thought of having to whip something together for a sub, and of missing a day which equals missing a week since I only see them once, and the fact that I didn't feel especially bad prompted me to get my butt to school and come up with a plan.

If these kids were older, I'd have shown a video of Paris or somewhere else in France and it would have been fine. I could have even given a quiz or something for them to do.  Maybe luck out with the computer lab having space and they could do something on the web.

But they are too young for most of the videos I have and definitely not ready to do anything with me in the computer lab yet.  Plus, the class is 50 minutes, longer than I've had in the past, so nothing I have would really last that long.

Enter this little twerp.

I always showed an episode or two of this cartoon to my 6th grade students but I felt like I was pushing it.  They were always just on the edge of being too old to see such a juvenile cartoon.  I had it on VHS forever and when I found the whole series, 24 episodes, on DVD, I scooped it up figuring I could use it in a pinch.

I am not a fan of the story of The Little Prince.  It's way too overquoted.  I've never actually read the book cover to cover but the premise is that this little boy is the ruler of his planet, where no other people live, and he goes on adventures and always learns wise lessons.  Or teaches wise lessons.  He's very wise.

Occasionally, he comes to earth.

This particular cartoon is somewhat creepy in its design and some of the characters have questionable voices.  Like they thought they were performing for porn rather than little kids.

There's also an episode with a rose girl who grows on his planet and it's almost obscene.

So, I thought I could get away with showing one episode, the first in the series.  That would last about 25 minutes.   I had already prepared them last week for something that would require them to talk, not me.  They'd record conversations on their ipads with a cool app called Puppet Pals.  I could muddle through the directions and maintaining some degree of order.

It worked out marvelously.  They were all very worried about where my voice went.   They actually asked "where did your voice go?" to which I'd say "if I knew it was leaving, don't you think I would have held onto it?"

K-ster says I forget they are 9 and 10 and not 13.  I say they need to learn what reality is.

They loved the cartoon and totally were on the edges of their seats.  I cracked up looking at their faces.  There were the occasional "oh no!" or "ahhhh" and a few kids had to explain it to themselves or whisper they hoped the boy would be saved.

I did have one girl who asked me if it was a true story.

K-ster said I was mean to say the following:

Well, let's see.   A little boy lives on a planet called B612?  And he flies around on comets?  And just came from Mars?  And comes to earth and goes on adventures?

He says that was sarcasm.  I say I was reversing the learning so that she'd hear the questions and realize as she answered that perhaps it was not real.  That's what good teaching is, right?  It's called the Socratic method.  Ask them questions and as they answer, they see the light.

Ironically, though it's a French story and the narration is in English, in this first episode, he lands in S. America and there's some Spanish.  The kids all thought it was cool that there was some trilingual action going on.

There was also an atrocious accent going on.  The Spanish speakers all had the same accent when they spoke English.  It sounded like Sophie, the Polish tart on that show Two Broke Girls.  It even sounded like her actual voice and her horrible Polish accent.  I rolled on the floor all week when I would swear it was just her. 

So, merci to the little prince.  Even though I think he's kind of a bratty know it all.  Otherwise, I might have had to get a sub and my room might have been turned completely upside down.

And you know how I feel about my room.

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1 comment:

  1. That's adorable that a child asked if it was true- lol!-I remember we had to read this in french class -in french (about 100 years ago)- needless to say I think I missed a lot in the translation - might have to get an English copy and give it another go!


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