Last week, a 7 Sisters teacher assigned one of her classes to make a “wordless picture book” of the kind they had been using in their spoken English class. The girls would work together over the weekend to plan and “write” a story, pick girls to draw and color the pictures, make it cohesive. The catch? It all had to be done in English. Knowing teens’ tendency towards dissent, the teacher had them elect a team leader and said that if they made her do too much of the work on her own, they would all lose credit for the assignment.
On Monday morning, the teacher went to class and excitedly asked to see the finished project. She was met instead by seven down-turned faces. “Where’s your project?” she asked. “Ma’am, no project,” responded the team leader. “No project?” “No, Ma’am. Too hard.” “I asked you if you understood the assignment.” “Ma’am, all girls were fighting.” “About what?” They then proceeded to each tell their teacher–in detail–about the stories they had wanted in the book. “Girls, that’s why you had a team leader.” “Ma’am,” the team leader piped up again, “no one would listen to me.” “That’s why I let you all vote!” Silence. “Can I at least see what you have?” “Ma’am, nothing.” “Nothing?” The team leader pulled out a stack of crumpled white paper with a few pencil lines on it. The teacher flipped through the stack and set it down on a desk. “I’m really disappointed in you girls.” She started in on a few sentences about working together and teamwork when she noticed some twinkling eyes in the corner followed by a sneaky elbow and a swallowed smile. She stopped speaking. At once, all the girls were giggling and someone called out “Just kidding!” These little jokesters are an endless stream of surprises, including this, the beautiful fourteen page picture book they presented that morning. Enjoy.