Thursday, December 02, 2010

Root and Fruit

I love it when ideas take root and bear fruit.

A history teacher I work with ran with my suggestion to, "have students experience history, not just read about it." In his WWI-on-the-home-front unit, he had his students create a weekly menu, and list out the ingredients.

Then he posted the ration points available, based on a wartime document from a typical midwestern town one week in March, 1943. Flying eyebrows and colorful language ensued. One group had decided to keep chickens in the yard; no points spent on eggs or chicken. That prompted a family-lore recollection: During the war, the family kept chickens on the vacant lot next door. Each day, the hens were lifted. If there was an egg, it went into a pocket. If there wasn't an egg, the bird got its neck wrung and went into a basket. Produce, or else - there's a war on, buddy!

Another group blew two months' worth of points for a single week's menu. "Enjoy the feast, because you're going to be mighty hungry in a couple of weeks."

Student: "How come there are no points for bread?" Instructor: "There are points for flour. You can bake bread."

Bottom line: They "got it."