Though I have not been teaching long (only about two years) there are some things that I have tried to make a tradition with all of my students. Every Halloween during my American History class I deck my classroom out spookily and dress up as a character from an old American horror classic (Washington Irving or Edgar Allen Poe, etc) and I act out some of the old scary stories by those American authors. Another thing I like to do for my class is buy them little treats every Christmas and Easter. It is a small token of my affections for them, I have been greatly blessed and I wish to be a blessing to my students.
The reason for this particular post is for another tradition that I have managed to keep alive these past few years and I hope to continue in the future. Last year for April Fools Day I pretended that I arrived to school late and had nothing prepared to teach for that day. I made my students believe that we were going to watch the Hunger Games due to my negligence. I told them that if an administrator came in that the movie Hunger Games related to anarchy and totalitarian dictatorship, which was a topic we were covering in Civics (basically an American Government class). Needless to say my students were greatly disappointed when they found out I was joking!
Well this pass Wednesday I played another joke on my students that I wanted to share. Because of Spring Break (and us being out for Good Friday) I decided to move our usual Friday’s test to Wednesday. Well at the beginning of class I offered all of my students a chance to gain some extra credit on their test. I passed out a word search and told them whoever finds the most words within five minutes, they would receive five points on their test. I started a timer and the students began their fruitless search for the words noted on the worksheet. Here is where the prank comes into play, not a single word was located in the word search. Instead the word search contain words like “joke, prank, laughoutloud, april fools”. I could hardly keep from blowing my cover, but this was a nice innocent prank that only took about five minutes of our class time. None of my classes took the entire five minutes because they figured it out usually within a couple of minutes. Another funny thing was my third period began complaining after a minute and I tricked them into searching a little longer by telling them that they always give up easily. That really motivated my students! I included a downloadable PDF version of the word search if any of you might want to try it with your class (either for April Fools or just a gag in the classroom). I teach Social Studies so the word search I constructed related to history, but there are plenty of word search creators online. After I created the word search I took a print screen of the puzzle and opened Microsoft Word. I placed the image of the puzzle in the word file and then typed in the words not found in the puzzle. Enjoy.