Winston Wonders

Even though I love people, you have to admit they are peculiar. For instance, my Two-Leggeds get all bent out of shape when I drink out of a puddle. They fuss and tell me I have a perfectly good bowl of water at home. And their point is? And don’t even get me started on sharing. What’s theirs is mine, right? I mean, I’ve peeked at the bathroom scale when She-Writer’s stepped on it in the morning and it would do her good to share more of her meals with me. 

Now, any good dog knows about fun: chasing balls, squirrels, cats; rolling in something good and dead; playing keep away with She-Writer’s new shoes. Most two-leggeds don’t know this, but dogs are also avid readers. We love to read! It’s fun and who doesn’t like to have fun?

Evidently some educators in Florida. They’ve created a thick workbook for one of She-Writer’s books. Here is the first page of thirty-six pages:

LEARNING CONTRACT FORM Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larsen (sic)
Dear _____________________________, (Student Name)
You and your teacher will agree on learning projects for you to complete after you read the book Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larsen. The activities will be chosen based on the goals of your Educational Plan (EP). Your teacher will help you understand the goals and pick appropriate projects. You and your teacher will agree upon the number of projects you will complete, a deadline for each project and a schedule to meet on a regular basis to discuss your progress (please complete grid below).
It is important to preview the project choices before you read the book and keep them in mind as you read. You may have a lot of ideas and questions as you are reading, so you may want to use a journal to jot them down.
Your teacher will give you a short test after you finish reading the book to make sure you understood the characters, events, and vocabulary.

“Enjoy”??!! Does anybody else think this approach to reading is like being whacked with a rolled up newspaper? Does a child need to fill out 36 pages of exercises about a book? Does that sound like fun to anyone? Not me! I wonder: if a kid reads a book in a forest, and nobody is around to test her on it, would she still have read the book?

This Two-Legged approach to reading makes my brain tired. 

I’m going to go take a nap.

No Responses to “Winston Wonders”

  1. Kate Higgins

    Hi Winston, Someone once told me that if you tell a child she can’t read a book…she will. But if you tell her she’ll be tested on it she won’t. Oh…maybe that was my only two-leggeds experience and not a general rule. Signed: Cedar the Great, Maine Coon Cat – Ruler of the Universe