My students tend to bring a disappointingly low level of common sense and prior knowledge to Science. However, one of my year 7 girls this year is even further below average.
Scene One, Term One
The Lesson Objective: To distinguish living from non-living
The Student Statement: “Rocks are alive because when you hit them together, they make baby rocks and water is alive because it can move and trees are not alive because they cannot move”
The Probing Teacher Question: “If trees are not alive, can you explain why they reproduce?”
S: “But they don’t reproduce!”
T: “Trees grow from seeds which are contained in fruit, which means th…”
S: “Fruit doesn’t come from trees!!”
The Internal Monologue: Is this a lack of contact with reality or a lack of contact with nature? Also, is this child abuse?!!
Scene Two, Term Four
The Lesson Objective: To explain the link between diet, exercise and health
The Student Query: “Why do we need to know this?”
The Wise Response: “So that you can make choices to keep your body healthy. After all, how many bodies do you get?”
The Perfectly Serious Response: “At least two, I think. I remember my last life, I was a cat.”
The Diplomatic Pronouncement to End Class Laughter: “Well, looking after your body will keep you human longer, and human life is preferable to some other alternatives”
T: Definitely child abuse.