Funny questions are plentiful in the first grade classroom. That's because everything in the universe is new to the kiddos. So my students are naturally curious and intrigued with the world - and each other.
I believe that birthdays are what first graders think about most often. I KNOW that’s all they want to talk about.
For example, I knew that Michael’s mother had just given birth to a baby girl, so I asked him about his new little sister.
“Her birthday is just like mine,” he said.
“Oh?” I asked. “How’s that?”
He was pleased with his answer. “We both got born-did on Wednesday!”
I noticed Amy, who had been listening, had a far-away look in her eye.
Finally, she said, “Teacher, when a baby’s born, does that mean it gets a cake with NO CANDLES ON IT?”
This morning Gena entered the classroom pointing to her neck. She plopped down in her seat and promptly began coughing, repeatedly.
“Are you okay, sweetie?” I asked.
She held her neck and mouthed the words, “I can’t talk very far.” She motioned for me to come closer.
“Teacher,” she whispered, “have YOU ever had a horse in YOUR THROAT?”
As part of the review of the lesson about the exclamation mark, I asked, “What is the name of the punctuation mark we use whenever we are excited? Remember, we use it whenever we have great passion in our voices.”
Clarrisa said, “I know ... a EXCITING point.”
Loegan said, “I know! Is it a PASSION mark?!”
At recess Ema was showing me the amazing trick she had learned: She was leaned against the school building standing on her head.
“See?” she said, proudly. “I can stand on my head a long time!"
About that time Stevie ran by …
Suddenly he stopped, and his mouth dropped wide open. “What happened?” he gasped. “Did she fall down and land like 'at?”
I showed the first graders Marvelous Marvin, a plastic replica of the human body. And he IS marvelous because we can take him apart and study each of his various manipulative body parts.
By referring to the large black numbers stamped on each of Marvelous Marvin's parts, I can look up the corresponding numbers in the teacher’s guide, and tell the students as much information as they want to know about every part of the human body.
Whenever the kiddos saw the plastic replicas of what their insides looked like, they were ecstatic. We passed around Marvin’s heart, lungs, kidneys, and so on.
And then, there it was - the funny question ...
“You mean I look JIS like this on the inside?” Martin said.
“That’s right,” I told him.
“Wow, I didn’t know that!” He shook his head in awe. “You tellin' me I got them BIG BLACK NUMBERS stamped on my heart and everthang?”