The Wee ‘Un’s weekly homework for primary school includes a list of words that he’s to practice using a number of strategies.
One of the strategies is to look the words up in a dictionary, then write a definition into his jotter.
When the Wee ‘Un looked up slug, he was excited to find several definitions and decided to go with:
slug: a bullet, usually made of lead.
The Wee ‘Un handed his jotter in for marking on Friday, bringing it home again this afternoon.
His definition of slug was corrected with the note: “a creature you find in the garden”. No credit was given for him having shown the intelligence and skill to find alternative meanings. Instead, he was pushed down the path of the obvious.
I was not impressed.
On the bottom of the page, I wrote a note for his teacher: “The Wee ‘Un does know this! He’s been gardening for years. He put an alternative definition as he actually used a dictionary and was excited to find several different definitions. He was showing intelligence and skill in writing an alternative definition, not making an oversight or mistake”.
Teacher’s “corrections” along the lines of “there’s only one answer and it’s the obvious one” wind me up.
Oh, and the Wee ‘Un also had to write five sentences using some of his words. As he often does, he chose to write a story:
I was mucking out the reindeer when a strange spaceship landed. An eighty kilogram slug slithered out. “Take me to your neighbour,” the slug said. “He has grown giant lettuces that my children want to eat.” “You’re too late,” I said, “the Martian grub got them first.”
From that, it seems clear to me that he does know what a slug is when it’s not a lump of metal. Rant over.
- Flash Fiction Friday – Slug Dedication (thedailywoman.wordpress.com)
- Slug Strategies (mairiking.wordpress.com)
- Homework guidelines scrapped to give headteachers greater freedom (guardian.co.uk)