So tonight, with all 3 of my 1010 writing classes, we had a little fun. I divided the students up into groups of 4, and told them to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" for 5 minutes.
And then I asked them -
Where did you learn how to play RPS?
Who taught you?
How old were you when you learned how to play?
How did you know what I was asking of you?
Who was in charge of deciding how to play?
Was there any differing opinions on how to play?
Did you have to teach anyone in your group how to play?
Did you learn anything new while playing?
Were there any arguments?
Did you play anything other than rocks, papers, scissors?
What did you learn?
When do you play?
How do you determine in/out, winner/loser, or not?
And then I asked them these two more questions -
How did you know?
What does it mean?
And I will continue to teach my students, this semester, that context is every bit as important as content, and to never stop asking these questions of themselves and to others.
So, Rock, Paper, Scissors - what are the rules anyway?