Slow Food… For Thought

In the late 1980s American fast food was spreading through Europe. A group of people gathered to push for an alternative to fast food.  In a not so clever (but very articulate) move they called their movement slow food.  Essentially Slow Food’s aim was/is to link “the pleasure of good food with a commitment to community and the environment.”  According to Slow Food’s website they have over 100 000 delegates in 150 countries that promote their cause of slowing down and appreciating the good stuff that the world has to offer.

I think I like slow.

Today I introduced a unit on procedural writing (instructions) to my grade five class.  I told them “I have found really bad instructions on how to tie a tie.  I want you to use them to figure it out…. And please don’t ask me for help, because I want you to do this one on your own.”  

After a few minutes of frustration.  I asked them why they weren’t getting it.  I put some of their comments at the bottom of this post.

Next, I asked them “so does that mean if you had all of these things, the instructions would be good?”

“Yes Mister Stepan.”

So then I put on some hilarious music, and slowly showed them how to tie a tie.  Paying attention to as many of their requests  for details, precise language, and clear visuals as possible.

… and so began our slow journey into procedural writing.  No rushing through a million tasks.  No data driven assessments.  Just a little fun while establishing a commitment to learn something new with others.

***SIDE NOTES – 1) Many students stayed after class to figure out how to tie their ties better.  2) All wore them out to recess. 3) I’m expecting some students to add ties to their uniforms tomorrow. 

CC licensed image shared by Flickr user D H Wright


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