Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Week 13 Wedding

For weeks, we've been practicing writing different kinds of paragraphs in my writing class.  Which frankly, gets a bit boring now and then--so, I like to have an activity that gets students participating now and then.

This week's topic according to the syllabus (well, actually, not according to the syllabus--I swapped a couple of weeks around so that this lesson wouldn't fall the week of Halloween) is Comparison/Contrast.  Certainly a useful type of paragraph...

I decided that we would compare/contrast something fun.  How about American weddings vs. Chinese weddings? So, it's wedding week in writing!  The students are usually really curious about American culture and customs, and nothing gets them talking like romance--students here don't date in high school, so when they get to college the dating scene is new and bewildering.  I sent out a facebook message a few days ago asking if I could borrow anyone's wedding pictures for examples--thanks to everyone who responded!

I rushed through the boring part of the lesson from the textbook, and then showed a power point discussing various wedding customs (clothing, the ceremony, cake, bouquet/garter, throwing stuff as they leave, etc.) illustrated with scenes from the beautiful weddings of several friends.

Then came the really entertaining part--I made them act out a wedding ceremony in class.  I had printed up detailed scripts for them to look at (and keep, to use for their assigment later). I wrote all the parts on little slips of paper and had them draw--if anyone wanted to volunteer for the major parts they could (no one so far has volunteered), but I didn't want to waste ten minutes of class arguing over who had to do what.  By including the seating of the mothers and grandmothers, and a reading by the brother of the bride, I managed to come up with enough parts for everybody, with the guests being imaginary.

I took a lacy white scarf to stand for a veil, and candles and a lighter to act out a unity candle lighting (which of course, the center candle woudn't light--that's why I don't want that particular little part in my wedding if I ever get married; something always goes wrong.) I wished I had something to use as bouquets; I gave them balloons to hold but it didn't work very well, as they turned out to be water balloons and thus quite small.  Maybe I'll come up with something better before I teach the lesson again tomorrow.

I was the wedding director, of course.  I lined everyone up, and we went through the processional, and then the ceremony.  They all got the giggles during the "You may kiss the bride" part.  Of course the two students randomly picked didn't even consider it; in fact, I'm not sure they ever even let their eyes meet.

I think the students had fun; we'll see when I get their assignment back if they learned anything.  


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