Sometimes you gotta wonder about your kids.
Mr. Social Studies is beginning his unit on Europe. He has mentioned before that one challenge when teaching a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds geography is the fact that they have such a small frame of reference. Many haven't ever left the town they live in, let alone been to another state or country. He makes an effort to do these great PowerPoints with lots of pictures and tries to tie in a lot of current event information. Anything to broaden these kids' horizons.
This week he began his unit on Europe, and started off with the United Kingdom. He showed pictures of oil platforms in the North Sea (which fascinated them for some reason), Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Stonehendge, etc. They got into a discussion about current events and he mentioned that the U.K. is our ally in the War on Terrorism and in fact, has suffered a number of terrorist events over the years, including the recent one this past July. He then poses a question to the class: "Does anyone know what it was the terrorists bombed this past July?"
Several hands go up and one student answers, "They bombed subways."
Mr. Social Studies nods in agreement and is about ready to continue the discussion when he sees a hand frantically waving in the air. It is Pink Girl, a rather bright girl prone to incredible bouts of note-writing and gossip. She rarely raises her hands, being a blurter, so Mr. Social Studies is pleased to see she's following the rules for once and calls on her.
"I'm afraid I don't get it," she says in all sincerity. "Did the terrorists not like the food?"
It took Mr. Social Studies and the class a beat or two before anyone realized that she was thinking of Subway, the sandwich shop, and not subways, the thing you ride underground.
Pink Girl was beyond pink when she realized her mistake. Fortunately, she's the type of kid who can laugh at herself and she, Mr. Social Studies, and the entire class had a good time over her little lapse of brain power.