SOLC Day 6: Fourth Grade Pioneers

March 2022 SOLC–Day 6
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Two of the boys in my fourth grade classroom are best friends and totally opposite body types. One is petite and small boned, the other is the opposite. This wouldn’t be relevant, except that recently their recess activity of choice is for Amos* to get on all fours and for Arnie* to sit on his back as if riding a pony. Arnie’s feet literally don’t touch the ground. They don’t even come close. The two boys entertain themselves happily during every recess crawling around the snowy, icy playground, and no one even gives them a second glance anymore.

Yesterday on the way out to the bus, they approached me, eager to share their newest brainstorm for their game. Amos started.

“Mrs. Hogan, you know how Arnie rides on my back?”

I nod.

“Well, we’ve come up with a new plan. I’m going to wear my backpack so that when he gets on, he can use the straps like a saddle, to stay on better.”

“Oh…” I say, “…well, that sounds like a plan.” (I’m really not sure what else to say here.)

They move ahead of me and continue talking while I shamelessly eavesdrop.

“Hey, Amos, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that like on the Oregon Trail?”

“Oh, dude! That’d be sick!”

“Yeah,” Arnie continued, ” and they’d look over and say ‘Look at that oxen.’ And then someone would say…’ Arnie inserted a dramatic pause and deepened his voice, ‘NO! That’s not an oxen! That’s a human!'”

The boys burst into hysterical laughter.

Sadly, I had to help another student then, and the boys moved out of audible range.

A moment later, I looked up to see them merging with the long line of departing school children ahead of them. Amos’s head and shoulders were clearly visible above the masses. Arnie’s were lost in the throng. But I was sure they were still walking together: Two pioneers on the trail to home.

*not their real names

12 thoughts on “SOLC Day 6: Fourth Grade Pioneers

  1. jcareyreads says:

    This made me smile. Good old fashion play. Nothing better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You truly bring readers right into the moment, and I love these days that you have shared such fascinating conversations and moments that you have observed. Bringing in the Oregon Trail is such a pioneering way of looking at all they have ahead of them – using the OT as a rite of passage, a growing up, a pioneering of life along trails that we have to forge. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maryleehahn says:

    You are capturing the best of it. I hope it helps your soul as much as it helps mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    You have so much material for slices by just observing the idiosyncrasies of your students. This is hilarious. I see it as a picture book about two friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    This is hilarious but also refreshing to see kids using their imagination! Arnie and Amos may be made-up names, but I love them! They do sound like picture book names!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fran Haley says:

    I’m delighted that kids still use their imaginations – it is a relief! If they don’t mind the snow and ice…let ’em play. Will be fun to see what they come up with next!

    Liked by 1 person

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