I've finally reached the poetry unit with my fifth graders, and while it turns out that trying to get my non-native English-speaking tweens poetic feet at this stage is a bit of an exercise in futility, it turns out that I'm pretty good at teaching the subject. At least when it comes to form and function. Figurative language, on the other hand, is proving to be a little more difficult. Here are some of the better comments and conversations regarding the following literary devices:
Student: "It's a bowl that spins around really quickly."
Me: "It's pronounced hy-PER-bowl-ee."
Student: "Then where's the 'y'?"
Me: "It's English. Why does pneumonia begin with a 'p'?"
Student: "That's that bad smell Jane likes."
Me: "What? No. That's ammonia. It's not the same thing."
A type of pasta, presumably served with meatballs.
"You're an idiom."
Me: "Have you ever heard the phrase, "It's like the pot calling the kettle black" ?
Student 1: That's racist.
Student 2: Ms. Mo is a racist!
All students: A racist! Ms. Mo is a racist!
Me: (Indignant, to fifth graders) "I am not a racist. What color do you think the pot is?"
Student 2: White.