MONDAY: I pass out the announcement for our next salon, our culminating event after analyzing Lord of the Flies, and I can't believe my ears: actual groans and grumbles.
Really? You guys don't want a luau? (do not let them see you wilt. do not take this personally. do not think about all the lumpia you won't be eating do not do not do not)
Not really, they say.
Does this mean you didn't like the first one?
NO!! they explode sincerely. We loved it! But this one seems like too much work, and we have so much going on in our other classes.
OK, no salon, but you will each need to do your own music assignment independently.
Again there are some groans, but I don't care--I want to try this activity: each student has to choose a song that she thinks fits the text and then document it to death. I show them my example with citations from our text:
The Who: Baba O'Riley written by Pete Townshend
Out here in the fields (The whole text is on an island—“out here”)
I fight for my meals (Jack hunts for meat: 68)
I get my back into my living (Ralph and Simon build huts: 50)
I don't need to fight (Piggy is always right, but can’t
To prove I'm right fight back when antagonized or questioned: 71)
I don't need to be forgiven (Jack apologizes once—never about Simon or Piggy: 72)
Don't cry (Ralph cries for the death of Piggy only in the end: 202)
Don't raise your eye (Roger is furtive, doesn’t make eye contact: 22)
It's only teenage wasteland (No adults on the island except a dead one: 95, 96)
THURSDAY: We share the songs--"Demons" by Imagine Dragons was selected by four students, two have written about "The Eye of the Tiger," and the class clown has chosen "Don't Stop Believin'." I ask them if this was easy or difficult, and it turns out it was challenging on a surprising number of levels. I will definitely try this again next year. Kids learn documentation, learn how to support their thinking, and as S. put it, "To put on paper our ideas and connections in a way that would make sense to the reader."
Of course they want to me play the songs. I tell them that was supposed to be part of the salon they didn't want. And then I play some of them anyway. I am their hero for this melodious minute.