I'm starting a new writing assignment next week with my English classes. I've taught the project before which is wonderful - it means a little more security in knowing what I'm doing each day in class. The project is a research paper where they will research words. To get them excited, I wanted to get them playing around with language so that it didn't sound quite so boring. I found a worksheet I was given by another teacher a few years ago that she had used in her junior high classes in a project similar to this one. The paper involves sentences with blanks in them. Students are instructed to find the best word they can to fill in the blank - the most descriptive word is preferable.
Of course, I made the mistake of not reading over the page before I handed it out to my older students, who can sniff a euphemism from a mile away.
It started off normally enough. . .
"When his parachute failed to open, John (precipitated) to earth." (Like Voldemort at the end of the last Harry Potter movie?)
"Mary (flailed) over the cat which was in the middle of the hallway."
But then I started reading the sentences with the blanks and seeing that things just were not going to go anywhere good when you get sentences with awkwardly placed blanks such as. . .
"The class (molested) the teacher onto the bus." (Whoops.)
"The reporters (licked) the celebrity until she gave them a statement."
"The hunters (slapped) their prey until they could get a clear shot."
"The servant (fondled) the lady of the house; she seemed like a goddess to him."
They all left begging for more worksheets like this one. I left thinking that I would make sure to read over papers I used for junior high students a little more carefully before I used them on high school students again. Oh man.