Today Paul was peeking over my shoulder as I read the Globe & Mail online. He noticed the title of the review for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
"Teacher? Harry Potter does not know English?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"It says Order of the 'Phonics.' He studies phonics like us? I thought wizards were genius."
"Fenix, not phonics," I said. "Phoenix is a firebird."
I explained using Google Images.
That however made me think, what if I taught phonics using this:
I think I've had a brainwave, especially given Joey's recent obsession with "the gallows." Last week, he drew a little picture of a hangman's noose on his book and asked, "Teacher, what is name of this place?"
"The gallows," I said sinisterly.
"G.a.l.l.o.w.s." He wrote it out on his fingernails in pencil, so he would remember.
After class he followed me out into the hallway. "Teacher! Let's go the gallows."
He skipped happily behind me singing the word gallows.
"Gallows, gallows, ga-lows!"
Soon, a few more impressionable bystanders were following along, and joining our little macabre parade, not knowing of course what gallows meant, but figuring it must be good from Joey's tone of voice.
I headed down the stairs.
"Teacher, we are going to the gallows?" Joey asked.
"Let's go to gallows!" another said with glee.
"Okay kids, lets go to the gallows!"
"Hurray!" they cried, and followed me out to the sidewalk like I was the Pied Piper.
When they saw that we were actually going to the Crown Bakery, there were moans of disappointment.
I think a field trip is in order.
A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.