I was working with fifth grade zombies yesterday. They were putting the finishing touches on their big research project on a famous immigrant of their choice. I spent the morning helping kids find facts and pictures of The Great Khalil, Edge and Arnold Schwarzenegger for their posters. After lunch, the ones who were ready gave their presentation. Not one presentation lasted more than a minute, some less than 15 seconds. Some kids read off note cards; some held cards but never looked at them. Most just stood with their back to the class and read off the poster while they pointed to pictures. But it wasn't torture to watch, not like those sixth graders back in December. These kids didn't seem nervous, were definitely not quiet and, surprisingly, they knew their stuff.
But one report really stood out among them all. This kid was doing his presentation on Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners. He gave the entire report reading straight from his note cards, talking really fast and repeating the same three facts in different ways. It was pretty hum-drum until he got to his last card.
"Now I will now show you a picture of a baseball field, a baseball and a bat because they have to do with baseball, which I like and it is what Ichiro Suzuki plays." He turned to his poster.
"This is a baseball field." He pointed to a picture of a stadium on his poster. "This is a baseball." He pointed to a ball. "And this is a bat." Another point. "These all have to do with baseball". He turned back to the room.
"Thank you." And then he gave a little bow.