Friday, November 14, 2014

Novelists & Tweeters (Dear Katie V3 #9)

Dear Katie,

I will never play Pictionary with your aunt as my partner ever again.

A few years ago, we were playing Pictionary at a friends house, and it became a very frustrating expereince.  I was a good Pictionary player.  I remember a time in college that myself and a bunch of male friends defeated a bunch of girl friends and that even though I was a horrible sketcher, my friends easily could pick out what I was trying to draw.  Actually, we all were very horrible sketchers and the girls were in constant amazement that we could even identify what they other guy was drawing.  It seemed like every picture the girls drew were worthy of A's in any art class.  We chalked up the difference to the fact that several of the girls were Elementary Ed majors and of course that meant they had to be good at artsy things to fill their classroom bulletin boards.

In the game that winter night many years later I had no such luck with your aunt, either in getting her to know what I was drawing or me guessing what she had drawn.  What I saw as a very simplistic drawing, your aunt had difficulties guessing it.  When it was my turn to guess, your aunt would draw very detailed, well drawn and thought out pictures.  Yet I had difficulties coming up with the correct answers in time because it took her so long complete it.  Being a competitor, I hate to lose, thus my frustration bubbled over and caused some tension (Like I said, I hate to lose).

And the other day, I learned that there was nothing wrong with either your aunt or me.  We were just thinking like the men and women we are.

I was watching the show Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel hosted by Jason Silva (actually I saw it through Netflix).  The episode was discussing how men and women think differently.  Here is what I learned...

Women remember more detail thus share more details when telling a story.  
Men remember less details and need less details to understand the same story.

How do we take that fact and apply it for the classroom...

Boys are "tweeters", girls are "novelists".

As teachers, we need to remember to encourage boys to be more descriptive in writing longer pieces. What other facts could you include to support your thesis?  What adjectives can you add that will peak the readers interest?

In writing summations, we need to encourage girls that sometimes brevity is necessary.  Is that fact really necessary to advance your point?  Are the amount of descriptive words distracting to the main point?

Obviously they are valuable questions to ask all students, but maybe it will allow us to be more focused on where it is most needed.

So if you and your brother ever come over to the house with the game Pictionary, I'll be on Bobby's team.

Uncle Kevin

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