Monday, April 7, 2014

Robinson Crusoe

Today while reading Robinson Crusoe aloud to my fourth grade class, we came to:

"I was commander of that ship - my men have mutinied against me..."

I, of course, needed to explain to my students the meaning of mutiny.  One student said, "It's like mutant."  I had to think for a second about the connection he was making, but then I exclaimed, "Yes! Class, what is the root of mutiny and mutant?"

"Mut."

"Yes!  And what does 'mut' mean?"

"Change!"

"The crew wants to make a change.  They don't want to follow the captain, and that's why they set him 'on shore in this desolate place.' "

It was quite exciting.

My class has also been living with The Tempest this year.  In the same paragraph, the captain asks Robinson, "Am I talking to God or man.  Is it a real man or an angel?"

My class made a connection to Shakespeare.  "That," one student said, "is like when Ferdinand asks Miranda if she's a goddess or a maiden." 

It's the little moments like this...

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