I have previous experience teaching fourth graders about the establishment of our United States government under the Constitution by pretending to be the King, having the students overthrow me, setting up a Constitutional government of their own, and culminating the lesson with a trial. I have blogged about it previously: A Lesson in American Justice Gone Astray.
The lawmakers in our class came up with these ideas:
- chewing gum is allowed in class at all times
- food is allowed except for chips and other "noisy" snacks
- a field trip every month
- a class party every week
- a walking field trip to the nearby National Monument every week
- cable tv watching during Wednesday lunches in the classroom
- music, played during quiet writing times and parties, to be chosen by the class and not the teacher
- more computer lab time, and it's to be used playing "games"
- more "self-selection' (wasted free time)
"Congress" has already passed the "Gum Chewing Resolution" and I hate it. It rattles my innards to watch those precious children turned into cud-chewers. Gum just doesn't seem apropo in an elementary classroom. Of course, it could be my 1950's upbringing, but that's my "culture." I respect their "culture," so why don't they respect mine? I hate to say it, but I am itching to arrest all of the little cud-chewers before the week is up. I want to hire one of the best prosecuting attorneys in the class and send them all upriver.
I would be better off, however, preventing them from passing the rest of their bills into law. If all of them are implemented, we won't have time for the Three R's: reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. Of course, that's where their parents come in.