Curriculum for a Rainy Day

An horde abundance of civil servants in local, state, and the federal government dictate supervise Jim’s sixth grade curriculum. Basically his curriculum gets more scrutiny than the budgets of most countries. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has nightmares many pleasant musings about curriculum mapping, curriculum guidelines, and curriculum in service days. These days, such activities plague figure largely in the life of a public school teacher. I try to stifle limit my contributions to the litany of directives suggestions he receives, because it’s already too much to process let alone implement. His curriculum already reads like a high speed tours through Europe. You know the kind. If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium. If it’s Thursday, this must be the Bill of Rights.

So, it is only out of the deepest convictions that I offer up what I see as some great new curriculum ideas, talking points, and vocabulary for his classroom next year. To make things easier for a beleaguered Mr. Sheehan, I give definitions for the words AND pithy sentences using the word appropriately.

precipitation: all forms of water particles whether liquid or solid that fall from a cloud and reach the ground
Q: “Do you think this precipitation will ever end?”
A: “No.”

condensation: the act of making more dense as in the reduction of a gas to a liquid
“Is that condensation from today’s rain on your face or are you just happy to see me?”

dew point: the temperature at which a condensable gas, esp. water vapor, in the air starts to condense into a liquid
Q: “Do you think there has been a moment in the three months when temperatures have not been at the dew point?
A: “No.”

continuous: precipitation which does not cease or ceases only briefly
copious: very plentiful, abundant and profuse
Like the copious dirty dishes that bred and multiply during summer vacation, we also observe copious amounts of rain falling continuously.

overcast: sky completely covered in clouds
glower: to stare with sullen anger
The water logged sixth grader grappled with the great philosophical issues of his time such as “Which is worse? The glower of an overcast sky or the glower of a tired mother as she grapples with mold, mildew, and jungle rot.”

drizzle: fairly uniform precipitation comprised exclusively of very small water droplets (less than a .5 mm in diameter) very close to one another
torrential: rushing, roaring, continuous precipitation which does not cease or ceases only briefly
Q: Do you think this drizzle will change to torrential rain soon?”
A: “Yes.”

cabin fever: a condition of increased anxiety, tension, boredom caused by living for some time in a confined space
The children knew their mother was experiencing the advanced delusional stage of cabin fever when she chirped “Isn’t this fun to watch the rain beat against the windows?”

Well, I have to go. I need to start work on today’s indoor activity. Using vocabulary already in current use doesn’t begin to stretch the minds of eleven and twelve year olds. Its time for some new words. I once read that Greenland has forty different words for snow. Today, I am going to make up forty new words for rain. Jim is going to love teaching a new language to his students.

Learning these new words will be the perfect activity when it snarflecks and whindershicks all day and given this summer of scremalatious rumblesnuffins, I expect this fall will be equally cretilacious, if not more grunboomershang than ever before . The sixth graders will NEED some sort of exciting curriculum while they look out the windows at the bumblution. Lets face it, the five thousand hours of curriculum mapping Mr. Sheehan already has done is just not enough.

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