Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, If You Say So...

I often use analogies to help build my students' logic and thinking skills. The idea is that they identify the relationship that exists between the two words on the complete side... and then apply that same relationship to the other. Many of these are simple, ready opportunities for the students to feel successful:

HAT is to HEAD as GLOVE is to ________

But every so often, an example comes along that offers a comical glimpse into how children see the world. This morning's analogy was a case in point:

HOP : RABBIT :: SLITHER : ________

Several hands went up when I asked for volunteers to answer. I called upon a boy, and restated the analogy for him to complete. "Hop is to Rabbit as Slither is to... "

"Woman!" came his confident reply.

I'm sure a smile escaped my lips as I searched his face for any sign or mischief or humor. I found none. Likewise, none of his peers seemed amused by the answer, though a few stretched their hands higher into the air, affirming that they considered it an error.

Still smiling, I said, "Well, how about we see how some others may have answered." Shortly, we settled on "SNAKE" as the preferred answer, but I'm likely not to look at the word 'slither' the same way again.

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