I’m Psychic: Brazilian Monkey Edition

It’s amazing how many little kid games I have my students play in class. We play board games, Memory, Cootie Catcher, but my favorite is Telephone. It’s perfect because it incorporates listening and pronunciation skills, and today, I made it use writing skills too. Because I’m the jam.

We were working today on quoted speech. You know, where you tell exactly what somebody else said and use quotation marks. I only just recently realized that not all languages write quoted speech the same. We use a comma to introduce a quote while other languages use a colon. We also put both of our quotation marks up high whereas in other languages, one of them goes down low. It’s crazy times, I tell you.

So I started two messages going in opposite directions around the room. As each student heard the message, he/she had to write it down as a direct quote:

Miguel said, “The fly water is ugly bathtub.”

That way, when we got the messed up one at the other end, we could trace our way back through the mistakes. And I don’t know, but I think that was more fun than just hearing the messed up version at the end.

Well. One of the sentences was, “Maria has a pet monkey in Brazil.” In my lesson plans, I’d written, “__student__ has a pet monkey in __country__,” and I’d planned to see who was there in class today and pick someone with a good sense of humor to put in the sentence. Maria worked out well because she has a great sense of humor, and she was far enough around the room for the sentence to have changed significantly from the original by the time it got to her.

On the other end, it came out, “Maria likes smoking,” but before that, it was, “Maria likes monkeys,” and ,”Maria is a bad monkey in Brazil,” which I’m sure they thought was some crazy idiom I’d thrown in. You know, like Shaft is a bad mon… (Shut yo’ mouth!). Aaaaaand YouTube-ing the theme from Shaft…

Anyhoe, once we traced it back to the beginning and everyone knew what the original sentence was, Maria’s face lit up, and she said, “Yes! It’s true!”

Y’all. The woman straight up had a pet monkey in Brazil. I was so confused, I didn’t know what to do with myself. She thought someone had told me, and I had to show her my lesson plan to explain that it was all a big coincidence. Amazing.

Incidentally, the other message was, “Without geometry, life is pointless,” which they totally didn’t get, but I was amused.

Author: beth

I'm told that I'm cleverly stupid, and that's why people are friends with me. And here I thought it was because I was so dang cute...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *