In Senior English, It’s Jingo All the Way

Renee Ann Smith —  December 13, 2010 — 30 Comments

Yes, that's me at the front of the class!

Check out these pictures of my Senior English Class. You’d never be able to tell it was a gloomy, rainy Monday morning by their big smiles.

You see, I surprised them with a special treat. First, I used a little reverse psychology on them. I leaked the rumor of a pop quiz to one of the boys and swore him to secrecy. Works every time! (And they say girls are the biggest gossips!) Then when the kids showed up for English, I prayed to begin class and handed out this paper:

The Jingo Game Board

It’s a Jingo Card. You play it like Bingo, but all the questions and answers have to do with Christmas traditions. Things like, “What is the French word for carol?” and “Visions of what danced in the children’s heads?” For prizes, I bought items from the dollar store. Lapel flowers that squirt water, cans of silly string, giant sun glasses, reindeer ears with bells, mega-bubbles, candy, and more.

The kids in these pictures are seniors at my little Christian school. They’re planning a class mission trip to Appalachia and just took a field trip to the Guggenheim. (NYC is less than 2 hours by train.) In a few short months, one young man will be enlisted in the Marines. Another will be on his way to college and then med school, with hopes of being a doctor in his parents’ native Haiti. One young lady will be off to nursing school and then on to the mission field. I have a feeling one of the young men will be called to preach. A lawyerly future seems to be in store for one of them. They have serious, godly goals and wish to change the world with their lives.

But today they could act like kids and just enjoy being together before they go their separate ways.

So what was the cost of my little game of Jingo? Printing out the cards: a portion of my stockpile of computer ink. Assorted candy and prizes: approximately 20 of my hard-earned dollars. Resulting camaraderie and joyful spirits: priceless!

Some of the kids were camera-shy, but I hope you enjoyed the photos of the ones who weren’t! And, hey, I guess I gave JOY to the World with the game and this post!

You can find other entries for No Ordinary Blog Hop at this link. Bloggers, feel free to join!

And since my students are such a blessing to me, I linked up to The Blessing Box, a special linky list at the Extraordinary Love blog!

I inherited my Jingo game, but you can find a variety of Gary Grimm’s Jingo games at his website.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

30 responses to In Senior English, It’s Jingo All the Way

  1. Love it. What a fun way to encourage and enlighten and make some great memories too!

  2. It looks like your students had a blessed day by having you as a wonderful teacher to make them laugh and be joyful! Thank you for linking up to the blog hop again! Once again I enjoyed another of your great posts :)

  3. How sweet! Makes me miss high school a little bit! They sound like a really great class, and I’m sure you’re a wonderful English teacher!

  4. High schoolers I am a very long way off from that but it is nice to see they can have fun and let loose. Some kids are way too serious and it is good to let loose every now and then. Great idea to get their blood flowing:) Yes, boys gossip just like girls they just don’t admit it:).

    • Yes, it’s good to see them have a balance. I love that our school can help prepare them to face adult challenges and yet allow them to enjoy innocent, child-like pleasures without any fear of being picked on for who they are!

  5. Popped in from SITS! How fun!

  6. Love it! I do think sometimes we forget that older children need some time to be kids. Heck there are times that we adults need to be kids too. What a wonderful idea and a great surprise for your students. Simple things like this are the things that kids remember years later when they think back on who their favorite teachers were. I used to have a teacher that the day before a holiday or break he would break out trivial pursuit cards and let us quiz him with it. We had so much fun trying to find questions he didn’t know the answers to (he knew most of them). If anyone found one that he couldn’t get that was related to any of the subjects he taught we would get a little free pass that he made up to get out of one regular homework assignment (you could only win one pass).

    • I agree! I think it’s funny that when adults hold get-togethers where they leave their kids at home, they end up acting like the kids. Teachers do this at teachers’ conferences all the time! . . . I enjoy Trivial Pursuit but don’t think I could get as many correct as your former teacher. I’ve used homework passes with my junior high students, and they go over well.

  7. Ahhhh what fun!
    I love the jingo and the fun pictures. You must be an awesome teacher.

  8. Renee, it sure sounds like they had a great time, and you definitely put smiles on their faces!!! Awesome!

  9. You’ve still got what it takes to make kids smile, Renee. You’re the best, Miss Smith!
    Still count it a blessing that Matt, Nate, & Tim were in your class for all those NDCS years!!

  10. How fun! That was sweet of you to do that for them!

  11. That is so awesome! I went to college to teach but never ended up getting a teaching job. I subbed for 3 years, then had to get a PAYING job! : ) LOVE the prizes! What fun.

  12. Oh, the joys of teaching hs students…haha

  13. I loved getting a good surprise like that in high school! What a nice think for you to do.

  14. Your kids look like a blast!!!
    Thanks so much for participating in the Blessing Box! Nice to ‘meet’ you! : )

  15. Sounds like lots of fun! I was almost an English teacher but switched majors to El Ed halfway through college.

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