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Activity and strategy

Silly Laws: Teachable Moments Using Critical Thinking and Writing Skills

Teachable moments allow braille students to work on critical thinking and writing skills in this example about silly laws.

Thursday during ESY (Extended School Year), my plans of going on a nature walk with our feet was dashed as the mowers were outside mowing. Both students were afraid of the sounds they heard and wanted to stay inside. A quick look around my room and I found a fun replacement activity. I grabbed one of the books from the series “People in My Community” and let the students choose which one they wanted to read. They both chose “Police Officer”. After reading the story, we reviewed the 4 vocabulary words (badge, law, vest, handcuffs). Both students asked great questions about the vocabulary word “law”. 

Learning About Laws

Taking their curiosity and running with it, we reviewed the Americans with Disabilities Act. I scanned the pages, clicked on several links, and read to them what I found. My third grader became excited to learn that she could still get a job even with her visual impairment. This prompted discussions of what she thought people with visual impairments do when they graduate high school. She didn’t know. But she wants to be a teacher and be famous like Dr. Rosenblum, who had just sent her a video message. 

Silly Laws

My first grader wanted to know if there were laws about eating M&Ms. This prompted our search for silly laws. I clicked on Texas (that’s where we are), Indiana (a parent was from there) and Iowa (where I am from). I read ONLY the appropriate ones for their ears.  (The danger with these sites are that ALL laws are listed there and some are not appropriate for them.)  If I’d had more than a moment’s notice, I would have researched this better, but I was NOT going to let a teachable moment pass me by!
After reading several of the silly laws, we decided to come up with our own. My third grader had ideas that were causing her to wiggle in her seat. She started writing on the brailler and then it decided to stop working for her. Instead of becoming frustrated, she asked to use the computer to finish her ideas! My first grader came up with three ideas of his own. He was too busy laughing at the third grader, as she couldn’t contain herself. She needed to tell us each law after she finished brailling or typing them!
Here’s a list of the silly laws they came up with:
  • Homework cannot be issued on any day ending with “y”.
  • Babies cannot grow up.
  • Shoes must be worn in the bath.
  • Bananas can only be eaten using your feet.
  • Naps must be taken daily between the hours of 12 and 1 pm.
  • Children must ride skate boards to each class.
  • When crossing the street, each person must hop on their right leg across.


Silly Laws  (written by 1st grade student)

  • Teachers can be named Susan Monday.
  • You can only take a bath using a garden hose.
  • Apples can only be eaten upside down.
Silly laws in braille


Silly Laws (written by 3rd grade student)

  • A femail may not wear a sticky not dor a shopping list
  • Children can’t wear a stick on mustache in public
  • Pizza can be eaten with feet
Silly laws in braille
Sometimes lesson plans have to be thrown out the window and a backup plan may trigger a teachable moment that you can’t let slip through your fingers!
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