As the students sat on the carpet in front of me, I wrote "Mr. Biddle" on the chart paper, and made two columns underneath. I told the kids that my imaginary friend Mr. Biddle has some strange likes and dislikes. For example, I began, he likes zippers and buttons, but not laces. I wrote these three words under the
Next, I told the students that Mr. Biddle likes apples, but not bananas, and that he likes the colour yellow, but not red or blue. Further, I explained, he likes running and skipping, but not walking or dancing. He also likes glasses but not cups, I noted, and is a bully, but not a bad guy.
At this point, a number of students began calling out the sorts of things they thought Mr. Biddle might like:
"The colour orange!", shouted one student.
"Nope", I responded.
"Is he a dentist?" queried another student, after I added "teeth" to the list of Mr. Biddle's likes, and "eyes" to his dislikes.
This went on for some time until, finally, a tentative smile appeared on a student's face at the back, and a hand confidently went up.
"He is a 'bully', right?" the student asked, and I smiled back, and added "bully" to the list, noting also that Mr. B was "good" and not "bad". This made the bully student smile, and confused pretty much everyone else. The bully kid soon had me adding "books", "eyeballs" and "stuff" to the list of Mr. Biddle's likes, and not long after, two other students had their a-ha moment, and we added "blood", "letters" and "butter" to Mr. Biddle's strange list, noting that he was NOT a "vampire", nor did he like "kids"!
After a few more incorrect guesses by students who hadn't yet discovered Mr. Biddle's "rule", I encouraged the masses to focus on the spelling of the "yes" words, rather than their meaning.
At this point, the bell rang, and the students had to leave for the day, but I noticed as they did so, those who got it continued to shout out things like "batter", "seeds" and "green", which I added to the list of Mr. Biddle's enjoyments while the students moved out into the hallway and down the stairs.
So, dear reader, let me ask you, do YOU know what Mr. Biddle likes? :-)