Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alex Reid over at digital digs describes a writing assignment his daughter is given:
Today's 3rd grade in-class writing assignment: why I love America. Of course one must be sure to follow the format. I love America. The reason I love America is because... Add three examples; close with repetition. My daughter discovers that the answer to the question here is that she loves America because of "freedom." Huh? That's some pretty heavy irony, don't you think? You must write that you love America, you must write that you love America because of the freedom you experience, and you must follow this specific format in writing your response. I mean if it was a movie you'd be rolling your eyes that this was laying it all on pretty think, right?
(Reid writes elsewhere about the factors leading him to consider home-schooling his daughter.)

1 comment:

runningburro said...

This kind of thing ranks right up there with "writing-as-punishment" on the list of Bad Writing Practices to Torture Students With.

We have our own unique version of that where I work. Our latest exam required students to "Write a persuasive paragraph of at least 120 words on this topic: 'We should continue to explore space.' To persuade, you will need lots of examples, details, and evidence to prove your point."

Of course, this was in a timed exam setting where dictionaries were banned. And how many examples, details, etc. can a writer cram into one paragraph?? Gah. (Nevermind the fact that since we didn't study space exploration in class, a good number of students took "space" to mean something more general -- like regular old space [the countryside, for example]).