Slice of Life: Elvis Presley and Jackson Pollock

Slice of Life I have a little gaggle of regulars who stop by the library almost if not every day for new books, or just to hang out and chat. These afternoon visits are the highlight of my day.

First, one of them picked up the Horrible HistoriesDead Famous” Elvis and His Pelvis. She asked me about the joke. First, what’s a pelvis? so I explained, using Mr Bones, the skeleton model hanging around the third grade classrooms for their current Unit of Inquiry, Who We Are.

Mr BonesThat was the easy part. So how do you explain why Elvis wasn’t allowed to dance on TV without talking about moral panics or using the word “sexy”? I was at a loss, so I just pulled up YouTube and found a video of Elvis singing Hound Dog live on TV. She didn’t get it.

I guess it’s hard to see what’s so objectionable about a little dancing when you’re used to dodging pornography at the convenience store down the street from school where all the kids like to get ice cream. So we talked a little bit about how the media ups the ante to get more attention in an increasingly crowded landscape.

She didn’t take Elvis and His Pelvis after all, even after I told her that Elvis is “The King” that Lilo loves in Lilo & Stitch. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t take it. What matters is the conversations we have and how useful the internet is as a teaching tool.

After this conversation, I had some pre-K art on my desk. One of my other students said it was very scribbly. She is very into fine art, so we Googled some Jackson Pollock paintings and talked about scribbles as art.

Neither of these conversations are earth shattering, but it’s these little things, expanding students’ world views beyond what they’re learning in class. They’re learning lots of great things in there, but I relish the opportunity to teach them these little things they might have otherwise missed.


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