It was a weekend of scouts for me at work. As some of you may know, I wrote up a lesson plan for Webelos and Junior Girl Scouts and we've been running the program free of charge to those troops who agreed to be our guinea pig.
Saturday morning I had a group of boys who were surprisingly calm...and bored. I was off my game and had a difficult time holding the boys' interest. I hate the experience of trying to capture and maintain the waning interest of kids. I always feel like I'm a magician holding an empty bag of tricks and I'm digging around in that bag, looking for something, anything to recapture their lost interest. I was hoping the arthropods, who were the stars of the show, would be able to revive the lagging enthusiasm. I wanted to show off our beautiful praying mantis but she was forced to remain within the confines of her container after half the boys freaked out when I pulled out a millipede, the first star, to show around the room. Sigh.
After that disaster of a program, I left the classroom open for the public to wander in. A group of special needs girls came in and I recognized them from a previous visit. They were just what I needed to restore my faith in my own teaching abilities. Each girl held the millipede and oohed and ahhed over my other arthropod stars. We chatted away as they examined the bugs and the books in the classroom. Of course, just as with any other kids, they had to tell me their bug stories...
"This one time I squished a bug and her eggs came out..."
"Once I chased my brother around with a worm..."
One of the girls was flipping through a book that focused on the different cultures that ate bugs (Entomophagy) and from her squeals of disgust, the others had to see the book too.
"Ohhh look at that! What are those? Worms? Who would eat worms?"
"Is that a spider in his mouth?"
"I would eat fried chicken every day of the week over eating some dead bug."
I love these girls. I hope they come in again soon.
Sunday afternoon I had a rather large girl scout group but they were awesome. They were an active, chatty group, but it was relatively easy to redirect their attention to the subject at hand. They came in knowing key definitions and concepts and it was easy to prompt and maintain appropriate discussions, with a little extra from the girls thrown in. This one was the most memorable.
"Once there was a praying mantis in my closet!"
There is one more guinea pig scout group next weekend then we go into full time mode with it. I will have my own scout schedule. I hope I'm ready.