Letters from Camp: Miss Manners

Dealing with difficult questions from kids in the museumI am a thorough teacher. I plan curriculum, triple check materials and show up early. What I CAN’T plan for is when a kids asks a difficult questions…and you have to answer on the spot. Below are four situations I found myself in this week with my 5-8 year olds. I’m curious, how would you have said it better?

Question: “Who was the 1st human?”

Answer: People have different things they think and believe. What do you think? (At this point I got a variety of answers from “chimps” to “Adam and Eve”). You don’t have to believe same thing, if someone disagrees with you, you can say to yourself “Huh, now I know something different about how they think.”

Question: “Why are they naked” (referring to statues at the National Gallery of Art)

Answer: Just like Monet was interested in how light changes things (something we’d studied day 1) some people are interested in how the human body looks in different ways. By sculpting without clothes on they can see how the body looks in different poses.

Statement: “I’ve been here a million times”

Answer: Great! Then you are able to notice and observe a lot of different things. Scientists look at things over and over too! So after this visit you can tell me something new you noticed.

Question: “Wait…he is meat?!?” (After seeing the Magic School Bus book on dinosaurs where a carnivore is taking a bite out of a herbivore).

Answer: Yes. That dinosaur’s body was hurt and the other dinosaur did eat him. He helped keep the other dinosaur alive. Then, we talked a little about food chains and the “circle of life.” I will freely admit….I skipped past the page where the dinosaurs were running of with babies from the nest. I just wasn’t prepped to go through that with her!

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2 Responses to Letters from Camp: Miss Manners

  1. Sometimes in similar situations I’ve asked children if any of them eat birds…”No,” “no,” “No.” Then I ask if anyone eats chicken…all hands go up. Lots of connections to make about where food comes from.

  2. Pingback: Seton Hall | Cabinet of Curiosities LLC

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