Period 1 on Mondays I teach 3 kids Literacy Support. They’re year 8 kids who struggle a bit with their English skills. This morning we were sitting around the table doing a cloze exercise, which is a passage with key words blanked out and the kids have to put the correct words into the gaps. This particular one was about the Romans. It was at the end of the lesson and I was reading them through it in an effort to finish it off before the bell went.
This particular sentence was something along the lines of, “The Romans used enormous catapults to fire boulders at the walls of ………”
The word they needed was ‘cities’. All the words were in a list at the bottom of the page so it isn’t too hard.
“Right, we just had a sentence about how the Romans invaded lots of countries,” I said briskly. “What’s smaller than a country but still needs fighting against so the Romans could capture it?”
They looked blank.
“In the olden days, what used to have walls around them?”
“Asians!” said Luke. When it was my turn to look blank, he elaborated. “You know, like the Great Wall of China.”