May 22, 2012
I should begin by saying that it is NOT raining!!!! It would seem that this has been the only real obstacle since moving our program outside. Such is not the case. When I arrived this morning to unpack everything I noticed a major discrepancy: All of the houses we had left in the pavilion were missing! Obviously this would be a huge problem. It is very late in the game to have kids start from scratch on their homes. With a bit of investigating and chaos, it was determined that a family had a party at the pavilion over the weekend (it is owned by the town, not the school). They moved all of the houses to a locked garage to protect them and forgot to put them back. In the nick of time the houses we located and replaced! Phew!! Crisis averted!
This is the day that was designated as the cut off for the Tinytownies to get their act together and save their town from the "Great Flood". We began with proclamations and big ideas. The homesteaders were instructed to first fulfill the terms for their deeds, then to work on houses. The seventh graders and a couple sixth graders agreed to various forms of responsibility and we set to work. A large group of boys hightailed it into the woods to check on their properties. I followed this group. When I caught up to them Disco Dave's homesteader was distraught, something had happened to his house and his peep was missing. Another homesteader was also distraught, his house boat had been badly damaged and he found Disco Dave in the muck near his boat. He held Disco Dave over his head and proclaimed that if his homesteader did not come to claim Disco Dave, that he would behead Disco Dave. And that is exactly what happened. The two homesteaders were furious with each other. Accusations were flying! They did not seem interested in help... only retaliation. With a bit of redirection the homesteaders called upon their elected officials to sort out their troubles.
This really needed structure so we turned it into a meeting.
Disco Dave, "R? is framing me for destroying his boat. He beheaded me and destroyed the top floor of my house!"
Fred, "We need laws against vandalism and murder." In the meantime the trading post was being robbed. "And theft."
R?, "I beheaded Disco Dave" -said with a smile
Chuck, "We should have a law that you get put in the river for three days as punishment."
Fred, "Vandalizers should get the same destruction done back to them."
R?, "I didn't touch his house!"
Disco Dave, "R? destroyed my house, beheaded my peep, and accused me of destroying his boat!"
R?, "I have witnesses that I did not touch his house!"
Disco Dave calls Gabe to stand ("up!")
Gabe, "Me and Dan saw R? with a metal tube destroy his own boat. R? ripped off one end of the tube and stabbed it into his boat..."
Fred, "Fine R?"
Morton and Bob, "He's bankrupt!"
Gabe, "Can I continue? He took the pipe and stabbed it through the top floor of Disco Dave's house and took Disco Dave. The he saw me and Dan and ran."
R?, "I call a witness to the stand."
Chuck, "I saw those two (points to Gabe and Dan) with sticks on my land destroying the boat."
Bob, "Did the pipe have a bent end? The pipe is mine."
Fred gives a character witness for Disco Dave..."he would never do that, I have known him since first grade..."
Jon (R?'s legal counsel), "I was told I could speak. We plead innocent until proven guilty!"
R?, "Is that a good thing?"
Mean while, a toad is being trapped inside of an empty yogurt cup, the possibility of taping it in is being discussed. "I'm calling PETA! Animal cruelty!", Disco Dave.
The house, the boat, and the pipe are brought in as evidence.
Carmen, "Has anyone noticed that it has been thundering and lightening? Maybe the bad weather was a factor in destroying the boat and the house?"
Chuck, "This (points to boat) has damage marks! Where are the nails (points to the house)? Where are the nails in that house?"
Disco Dave, " I used wood glue and it is water proof."
Rolph, "Are you sure?"
Fred (reads the bottle of glue), "It says water clean up, it doesn't say anything about being water proof. The bottom of the house of secure. We should address thieving, it is happening right in front of us right now!"
Law ideas were being thrown around to address the multitude of problems. Nothing was decided upon. The thief wound up giving back what he stole from the trading post. The bell rang and it was time to run back into the school.
This was by far the BEST class we have had this year. The kids began to acknowledge their personal investment in the community as well as their responsibility to the community. We did not create any laws or inflict any consequences... but the group did work together to try to solve these very large problems.
When packing everything up I found the toad, and freed it!
|Bob's home with fence|
|Pablo's home with archway|
|A nice fence!|
|Tucked into the hillside|
|On the bank of the river|
|A sturdy bridge|