Country Kid, City Kid

For the past week and a half the students have been learning the vocabulary associated with driving.  Words like road,  stoplight, stop sign, plaza, avenue, truck, to drive, pedestrian, block, etc.  

This unit has brought me some surprises.  Last year I had a student that didn't know what a pedestrian was.  Yesterday, was another eye opener.

We'd been working on an activity where I gave them directions in Spanish and they were to follow those directions on a map while pretending they were walking in this make believe town.  The directions were something like, go one block and turn left, cross the street and go one more block, etc.   At the conclusion of the activity I had a student raise her hand and ask, 'what's a block', to which another student chimed in 'yeah, I don't know that either.'  A third student commented that she'd lived her entire life in the country and wasn't too sure she really knew what a block was.  

Close your mouth, I know your jaw just dropped.  Mine did.  I tried really hard not to act shocked but it was impossible.  It's not as if these are five and six year old students, they're teenagers for heaven's sake!

The other students and I spent the remaining fifteen minutes of class trying to explain to them what a block was.  I don't know if they ever got it.  Then I thought they were trying to be coy and use up class time.  Nope, they truly didn't know what a block was.

As I was pondering all this while I drove home, I concluded that if these students had lived their entire fifteen to sixteen years of life in the country they might not know what a block is.  Yet, there were other students in the class that I know have lived their entire life in the country and they knew what a block was.

I suppose this is akin to a city kid thinking that milk and eggs come from a grocery store and then being utterly amazed when they realize that these products come from animals.  At least that's what I'm hoping.


  1. In one of my history classes, there was a girl that was from Jersey. Never in her life had she seen a real life cow. She literally had a panic attack because she thought it would hurt her.

    And do those kids *not* have t.v.??? You learn what a block is on Sesame Street.

  2. Do you think they're utterly amazed or "udderly" amazed when they realize where milk comes from?

  3. Oh, Amy, I love your play on words. I thought the same thing as I was writing the post. Great minds, as they say. :)

  4. I literally gasped. Mr. Rogers hasn't been gone that long has he? Surely, they've heard the terms "he/she's been around the block a few times" or "take a walk around the block"? I know they live in the country, but they do make into town on occasion and someone's responded to a "where's the...?" question with a "it's just down the block". Come on...Spreckles was just a wee speck of a town and it had blocks. Oh, I'm depressed.

  5. I too was depressed, Baby Sis. I blame it on video games. Something has to take the blame, may as well be the insipid video games.