So, how does this school really work?

After yesterday’s discussion about the Caste system in school, I whipped up a little handout to help the kids get their ideas flowing and in order about how the actual Caste systems that work in our schools.

See, the kids told me yesterday about all the secret societal levels that happen in and around the school, and they started talking about the rules associated with each level — styles of dress, types of acceptable behavior, the odd prison-esque rule system about where you can and cannot sit in the cafeteria, and the rituals of dating between caste levels. It was really interesting stuff, and I thought we could take it further.

In the handout, the students are asked to create a caste system for school — they can choose to outline the actual systems they see in action, or they can write about a system they’d like to see in place. No matter what, they have to write an essay. But the beauty of the handout is that I ask so many questions about the caste system that, if they answer each question, they’ll end up writing an essay. It’s a directed writing assignment, but at least it gets them thinking. If there’s anything they have to come up with on their own it’s the Thesis Statement and the Transition Sentences between paragraphs. (But once they outline the levels in their systems, the students will have created a roadmap for meeting both those goals.)

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