This morning with adult students the lesson plan was pretty straightforward — use past tense expressions to talk about good and bad experiences from when you were young.
What ensued was a catalog of misery: One student doesn’t like animals because her cat once birthed a litter of stillborn kittens — under her bed. Another can’t eat chicken because her grandfather insisted on her watching him when he slaughtered them. (“Why?” I asked. “He was a mean man.”) Another saw her neighbor die in a tractor accident.
I swear it got to the point that they were trying to out-horrify each other. And we never made it to the “good experience” part, as much as I tried to steer the conversation in that direction.
Suffice it to say, this lesson plan is going on the ash heap of pedagogy.