Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vocabulary Day

Two of my kids have vocabulary day at their school. Do you know about vocabulary day? Essentially what happens is you choose or are assigned a vocabulary word, then you have to dress up as that word and give a short presentation on the part of speech and meaning of the word. Even the staff dress up. I suppose it is meant to bring focus to language and act as a form of enrichment. For my third grader, it was yet another thing to get mad about and another reason for him to rant over the unfairness of his life. (Gawd! Being nine, is like, so horrible!) For my 8th grader, it was yet another thing for her to give the sorta-kinda-effort that she gave her Halloween costume.

Maggie's word was somnolent. She dressed in a white v-neck shirt, pajama bottoms, and moccasin slippers. I suggested an eye-mask or giving herself dark circles under her eyes and taking a blanket with her. This was met with an eye roll and head shake of utter disdain. She always enjoys seeing the way people dress on vocabulary day and she has come home with fun stories in the past, but God forbid she be one of the people that goes all out. That would be weird. And possibly not cute. We cannot have that!

Sean's vocabulary day was worth a pretty hefty grade, and he had some stricter guidelines so he needed to put some effort into his project. Rather, he needed me to light a fire under his butt so that he would put some effort into his project. His word was circumference. We decided to dress him as Sir Cumference (like the character from the books). He was The Knight of Circles. He had a tunic that we made together, some shin guards and a helmet that we bought--that were in fact, Roman rather than medieval, but we didn't care that we were mixing our countries and eras. He also had a shield that we made bearing his vocabulary word because it had to be written somewhere on his costume. Instead of a sword, he carried a ruler. Then he had to give a speech about his word.

The fact that this all fell on the Friday before Halloween just about made me lose my tiny little mind. It also just about made him lose his. As well as his life. Because I was ready to kill him. He was more worried about his Halloween costume than his school costume and I had to keep reminding him that if he didn't worry more about one, he wouldn't have to worry at all about the other. Yeah, he didn't care for that idea, so suddenly he became very cooperative and complimentary. He made Eddie Haskel look like a surly ne'er-do-well.

So this is what his costume looked like--minus the football pants and Under Armor.

So help me, if he doesn't get a good grade, then next year I'm just going to let him do it all without help. If he winds up writing his word on a paper scrap and pinning it to his clothes I'll call it good.

And I might just use some words that would never be approved for Vocabulary Day.

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