Saturday, December 22, 2007
Lambs of Stone Teach Reading and Math
Bailey White came up with a surefire way to teach reading to 1st graders: the story of the Titanic. She says that 1st graders are so blood-thirsty that they will teach themselves to read in their eagerness to find out more about the tragedy.
Yesterday I took two young friends for a walk through the cemetery in Joe Tucker Park. At first they were hesitant, but once I pointed out the stories to be gleaned from each stone, they wanted to visit every one.
Paige, in 2nd grade, stretched herself to read the names and poems. Cassie proved to be an amazing math whiz, calculating the age of each person and relating many dates to events in her life and on everyone's calendar.
I wouldn't say they were blood-thirsty, rather, the girls were fascinated by the detective work. We discussed what a veteran is, how epidemics work and the passage of time. The girls looked carefully for lambs carved into the marble, moved by the death of tiny babies born before their own great-grandparents. We learned a lot from an hour among people whose voices are long silent but still have tales to tell.