This morning I heard this story on the radio:
Two young friends were sitting at the kitchen table talking. Their conversation revolved around a boy. Both girls were intently bashing the boy’s character. They had littlle, if anything, kind to say about the boy.
One of the girls’ father walked into the room only to hear the harsh remarks coming from the pair. To his dismay, the girls continued even though they were keenly aware of the father’s presence.
“Girls,” he said. “We do not gossip in this house.”
The girls stopped and stared at the father. Their expressions of puzzlement lingered briefly until one of the girls finally spoke up.
“Mr. Miller, we were talking about a character in a book.”
The father paused. Feeling rather confused, he realized that he was mistaken, yet chose to find the humor in the situation.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if our students talked as easily as the girls did when we want them to participate in Book Clubs? At this point in the year, I’m lucky if I can get many my students to speak at all.
So I will press on. I’d like to aim for the goal of enabling my students to easily talk about the characters they encounter this year. I hope the children will find their voices and be able to talk about whether they like the characters or not, what they would do if they were in the same shoes, find feelings surface that may surprise them, and more. I wouldn’t mind at all at being “mistaken” for confusing their literature discussion for a casual conversation.