Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I've written before about the mechanics of reading Of Mice and Men with seventh graders. We've already had our discussion about language. "What are the words you were surprised to hear me read aloud?" I asked.

"You want us to say them?" they asked.

"Well, yeah," I said.

They giggled. "Damn," they offered. "Hell. Bastard. Son of a Bitch."

"Good," I said, writing the naughty words down. "Any more?"

"Shit?" one kid offered.

"Well, that's not in there, Jimmy, but how'd it feel coming out of your mouth?"

That turns into a longer conversation, but it's beside the point here. Yesterday, kids asked about a character named Susy.

"Who is she?" one girl said.

"Oh, she runs the house of prostitution."

"What's that?"

"You're asking what a prostitute is?"

"I guess, yeah."

"It's someone you pay to have sex with."

"Oh." Stunned faces. "I thought I'd heard of that before."

I'm sure the parents are really glad I've covered important topics like swearing, prostitution, and synonyms for slut.


mm said...

I think it's important if we are going to teach anything with the words. In my after school group, a boy was reading a news article with the word "ass." He wanted to know how to quote it in his blog. I told him A**. Then I asked him to read the quote to me. He stopped at the word. I asked him to continue. He, of course, was shocked that he was going to get to say ass even though he says worse in the halls.

LH said...

I think they should already know about prostitutes by now. What's going on with the teachers at your school? Thank God you have stepped up to the plate here.