Thursday, 6 November 2008

An Uphill Struggle

sisyphus Sometimes a day in the classroom leaves me feeling like Sisyphus!

I was working with Year 1/2s, looking at a history timeline - dating from 1408 - 2008. This is hard work, because many of them don't really understand big numbers like hundreds and thousands. So six hundred years is a really difficult  concept. They have just been doing Guy Fawkes, so we had to put 1570 [his birth] and 1605 [Gunpowder Plot] on the timeline. We had a few other dates -  including 1666, 1926, and 1952.

They had heard about the Great Fire of London- one child remembered it began in a Baker's Shop. Another waved his arm at me "Yes?" "Please, Miss, my uncle lived in London. But he's dead now" - and another child said "Did he die in the Great Fire, then?"

diana2 I moved on to 1926 - the year Princess Elizabeth was born, and 1952, the year she became our Queen. "Miss - she died in a Car Crash didn't she?" "No, that was Princess Diana, in 1997. The Queen is still alive"

"So Miss, was it Queen Victoria who died in The Car Crash?" "No - that was Princess Diana - we aren't putting her on our time-line"

I continued, trying to explain just how we were going to fill in the TimeLine in our Topic Books, and once they had all the information recorded, if there was time, they could draw some illustrations [A guy fawkes house on Fire, A crown, etc]

"Is everybody clear about what to do?" Great chorus of "Yes, Miss!" One solitary hand goes up. "Yes, dear?"

"So did Guy Fawkes die in the Car Crash then?"

I give up!!!


  1. I was once asked if there were still dinosaurs when I was a little girl....

  2. Once something is stuck in their minds there's no way of unsticking it. LOL!

    Did you put a long piece of paper in front of the room and do a time line on it for them as a visual? That might help. :)

  3. Oh bless that little one! I must admit that gave me a good giggle! You must be very patient though - good for you :)

  4. C - how awful, you are younger than me too!
    AG - I had a long line drawn on the whiteboard from one side of the room to the other - but they still didn't get it!
    S - It is the giggling [afterwards and away from the classroom] that keeps me going sometimes.

  5. They still didn't get it with the time line drawn on the board? Oh, my! I don't know what else to do.


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