I'm reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the 3rd grade classes. They love pretty much anything Fudge says or does, and I'm loving the chance to read a childhood favorite aloud.
This week we were working on describing a character, based on what the book has told us about the character. We were thinking of words to describe Peter, the older brother and narrator of the book. I had students talking in pairs about words they'd use to describe Peter and why they chose them. When we got back together as a group, I asked for people to share what they'd talked about. I had heard several students saying Peter was jealous of his younger brother Fudge. The first kid I called on told me that Peter was jealous because Fudge gets special food when he refuses to eat. At the same time, another student right behind him held up his hands, scrunched up his face, and said, "Ugh, now I'M jealous!" [because he didn't get to share his answer, which was the same.] His teacher and I died laughing, and then I was able to take a moment to have the student dissect why he was feeling jealous so we could all understand the emotion a little better.
Man, I love a good teachable moment.