Sunday, August 24, 2014

Using The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups to Create Checkout Day Procedures

Two days worth of lessons last week had 3rd-5th grade students working in groups to create projects about checkout procedure for younger students.  Their projects could be skits, songs, raps, jokes, drawings or a combination.  This idea worked well but for some groups it was just too overwhelming without proper guidance.  I don't mind kids taking time to think and plan out a project, but we only had 55 minutes together.  

That night after the 2nd days lessons, I dug a little more on the internet and found this Northern Nevada's Writing Project lesson via  This required the book The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups by David Wisniewski.  I think this a pretty funny book, so I was all for the revised project.

The book's format introduces a "top secret rule" then the "official reason" and the real reason which is an outlandish and humorous story. Students are introduced to the same concept for their writing with this pre-writing sheet.  I tweaked the rules to reflect library expectations, such as "Don't let the library shelves get messy," "Don't run inside the library," "Don't draw in the books," and so on.  They could choose one rule to write with its official reason and real reason and illustrate it.  Or they could choose several rules.  

My students had me smiling a laughing bringing up their ideas to me.  Examples included the real reason you are not supposed to run in the library is that the carpet will bite you or that the real reason you don't sit on library tables is that you'll turn into one and can only be turned back when another student sits on you.

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