I love tutoring – we have the freedom to be more flexible, to tailor our lessons to the tutees’ individual needs and interests. We can make learning fun. We can all get inspired.
For Alexus and De’John, today’s session turned out to be an unorthodox vocabulary lesson. After reading a few books that didn’t particularly spark any great interest from either of them, I thought, “Oh, I got it!”
I reached into my bag and found Tuck Everlasting, a great book my own kids’ elementary school does for parent-led book club. It was hard but had great rhythm and great words. We decided to go on a vocabulary scavenger hunt. They were willing to suffer the small type. We came up against words like “infinite” and “collaborate,” and we defined them together as a group.
A pause – De’John flipped the book over and read the back cover. What’s flawless? Alexus asked for a drink. Was I losing them? “What do you want to do?” I asked.
“Dance,” said Alexus. “I want to rap”, said De’John. And so we did.
De’John put the definitions- amazingly rhythmic -to a rap. Infinity. Collaborative. Flawless. Hub. Alexus harmonized and danced. I laughed. And recorded. (Click here to take a listen)
Their homework is to practice their rap, their Perfect Together Forever rap. And, of course, I’ve asked them to recruit members to their rap group, The Luthers, the name De’John came up with for the kids interested in continuing the important message of Dr. Martin Luther King. (This month is Black History Month of course!)
They skipped off smiling, excited about their assignment. Another tutoring success!