This is a busy, busy week. My school is finishing up SAGE testing (state standardized testing) and my husband and I are in between a wedding, finals, graduation, family visits, etc. I’ve been barely able to keep up with class work, so today’s post will be short.
My 8th graders are about half-way done with Fahrenheit 451. We’ve been having a lot of conversations with it as it is truly a deep book. With our discussions, I’ve started to wonder if this is too deep a book for 14 year olds to truly appreciate its intricacies, themes, and layers of symbols.
One of our discussions was on the difference between intelligence and knowledge. I had the class come up with a definition for each, then had students look up the dictionary definition. They were just about spot on with their own definitions. I was so proud they could tell the difference. So, I asked them to write explaining which was more important and why:
“I think intelligence is more important because if you don’t have intelligence, but you have knowledge, it’s no use to have knowledge.”
“Intelligence because if you have a lot of knowledge but don’t put forth effort to do something with it, there is no point of having knowledge.”
“Intelligence is a lot like wisdom. You are very cautious on how to use knowledge.”
My 7th graders finished Around the World in 80 Days and, as always, I asked them for their thoughts on it:
“I liked it because it sowed trials and not everything goes the way that we want it to go.
“I didn’t like how the romance felt like it got in the way of the action”
“The thing I didn’t like about the books is probably that the author put too many obstacles in the way. They couldn’t go without one day of chaos.”