Icebreaker

First day of school. 

Getting-to-Know-You activity.

Four Truths and a Lie. 

Surely, this one was a lie:

"I have six sisters and two brothers. I'm the baby and I'm 13. My oldest sibling is my sister who is 32. My mom is 47. My sister who is 29 has four sets of twins and she's pregnant again now, but this time with just one baby, and she's due in September."

It was not. I know this wasn't a lie because as she talked I started making some connections and realized that one of her sisters was a high school classmate of mine fourteen years ago and one of her other sisters was a student of mine four years ago.

This then prompted other students to pipe in and discuss their link to this commonality:

    Student B: I have five brothers and sisters.

    Student C: I'm the second-to-last of eight!

    Student D: I have four sisters and a two brothers!

    Student A: (the one with Nonomom Sister): DANG, we got a lotta brothers and sisters up in this classroom!

The spin-off conversations were even more interesting:

    Student B: Do y'all all have the same daddy?

    Student A: We do. All nine of us. My mom and dad got married when she was 16 and he was 18 and they're still together now. But my sister– each of her sets of twins has a different father and the baby on the way now has a different father.

    Student C: DANG! I know she collectin' that CHILD SUPPORT, though! 

    Student B: My two younger brothers and my 16-year old sister are still at home, but my older brother and sister are 22 and 21 years old and they've moved out. There are six of us and we have three different fathers, but we all always lived together.

   Student D: Well y'all are better than us, because the seven of us have four different fathers and I only live with three of my brothers and sisters. 

   Student B: My mom was actually going to have another baby last year, but it died a couple of months before it was supposed to be born. He was a boy and my mom…she kinda has a sadness now.

   Student C: Yeah, my mom had two or three miscarriages, too.

Not that I didn't already know this before, but it's everywhere, this rattling juxtaposition of life and loss.

Welcome back.

19 Comments

  1. GeekByMarriage on August 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    My head is spinning now.



  2. Baby Smiling In Back Seat on August 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Holy crap.
    4 truths? I’ve only played with 2 or 3 truths and one lie.
    My truths always trick people.
    Now I can add, “In the past year over a dozen people have touched my vagina.”



  3. Kristin on August 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Wow…kind of mind boggling, isn’t it?



  4. Moxie on August 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Baby Smiling: I’ve always played 3 Truths and Lie, but increasing it to 4 Truths when dealing with my students means that they have to think for a longer amount of time, thereby stretching out the activity to help fill the space of a VERY long extended class period.



  5. JessPond on August 6, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    That is a LOT of twins!
    Wow.
    Some crazy ovulation crap going on in THAT one!
    I think it’s good that your students obviously have parents who are honest with them (at least some of them) about pregnancy loss.



  6. Cindy on August 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    What? My sister’s 4 kids by 3 baby-daddies are in your class?
    Yes…life and loss. It’s everywhere.



  7. Nikki on August 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Children’s perspectives on things always amazes me! 🙂



  8. Carrie Holmquist on August 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    I’m still just shaking my head in disbelief.



  9. Lorza on August 6, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    WHAT grade do you teach. OMG. That is insane. I like that kid that said “DANG, we got a lotta brothers and sisters up in this classroom!” LOL! That is hysterical. Kinda sad that the coversation about different fathers and not living together is just as common place as how many siblings do you have.
    Poor kid whose mom has sadness. 🙁



  10. Moxie on August 6, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    8th grade.



  11. a on August 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Wow. First, that’s a whole lotta kids! We live in 2.2 children-land, and I don’t think you’re allowed to have more.
    Second, that’s an amazing track for conversation to take. You really know how to get a conversation started.
    Third, life and loss. Yeah.



  12. anymommy on August 6, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Life and loss for sure. The kids’ perspectives on their families cracked me up and made me a little sad. Also, dear lord, FOUR? sets of twins??



  13. Beautiful Mess on August 7, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Holy hell! That’s a pretty intense conversation! Someone asked me the other day if both my kids had the same father. I stared at her and said “yes, they’re far apart because we had trouble TRYING to have another.” I understand her question because it’s all around, but JEEZ!
    *HUGS*



  14. chicklet on August 7, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Uh, all I can say is holy crap!



  15. tash on August 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Kids are awesome. They are so honest and forthcoming and resilient. And not for nothing, I think they already trust each other and you a bit to have these sorts of conversations that go beyond just sheer numbers, ya know? Which I’m hoping bodes well for the year.
    And now I’m wondering how Bella’s intro on the first day of Kindergarten will go. because if it includes siblings, it could get interesting.



  16. Jill on August 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Wowzers!!



  17. Becoming Whole on August 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I’m glad that these kids had a teacher who is as sensitive as you are in the room with them while having this discussion, though I know they talk about these things with plenty of adults who are not quite so sensitive. Life and loss in the same basket.



  18. calliope on August 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    wow. I am just slack jawed over the conversation- but also kind of wishing your class can be a reality show.



  19. Io on August 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    The gazillion twins were a TRUTH? holy crappola!