It's Thursday. Hurray! I've been teaching about the economic resources of the Northwest recently, and I was looking for a few videos to show my classes. I found a few, but one in particular was pretty interesting. If you have thirty minutes and are interested in fishing, I highly recommend it.
I suppose the main thing I want my kids to realize is the surprising vastness of products made here. We did a whole class where we brainstormed things we knew were from the Pacific Northwest (PNW). They enjoyed it, and they were all engaged in trying to get their ideas out there. Of course, there are those who are helplessly lost and more than a bit...well, as one of my coworkers puts it, "dumb."
In this case he is right. I was asking for them to help me list the different fruits that grow commercially in the PNW. I got great answers: grapes, apples, pears, nectarines, plums, peaches, cherries, berries and more. But, I also got some answers that just made me want to strangle a few kids. It may have been that they did not understand what I meant when I said "FRUITS THAT GROW HERE," or, "FRUIT THAT WE SELL TO OTHER PLACES THAT GROWS HERE." Still, I got answers like bananas, mangoes, papaya, starfruit, and my own personal favorite, coconuts. All of these elicited a response from me that first attempted to ascertain whether the kid was serious, and OH, THEY WERE! Then, I attempted to educate them as to the needs of some plants to grow in climates that don't include freezing. Of course, such responses should not surprise me, especially if you take into account the fact that one of them came up yesterday and asked me where Oregon was.
Now, students were clearing out for lunch and the murder would not have had too many witnesses...but I refrained and asked him if he knew which three states made up the Pacific Northwest, something I have been repeating since January 3rd, but I am pretty certain the previous teacher might have mentioned a few times, too. He gave me a blank look and I pointed to the maps hanging in strategic positions around the room. When I pointed to one buy his seat, he said, "OH! I have a map right next to me." It is a topographic map that has actual bumps for mountains and is about 4 feet by 5 feet. That little horned Jim on my shoulder was saying, "Smack him just once, no one will know!" The little haloed Jim on the other shoulder wasn't much help either, because he was rubbing his temples, shrugging, and saying, "See if it works." I did not smack the boy, but I resolved to make sure that a question concerning the three (3) states of the PNW will always be on the quizzes!