Students often don't see the value in what we teach. "When am I ever going to use this?" they'll say. A simple example is spelling. Not that I'm a fan of making elementary students copy spelling words over and over again (a ridiculous waste of time), but understanding pronouns, contractions and homophones, for example, certainly has a place in education.
Sadly, all too often, teachers fail to relate what seems to be insignificant to real life, emphasizing why particular lessons are so important.
Sometimes the real-life lesson can be provided in a simple picture. Take this picture from Funtasti.com.
Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words -- even when it's only three!
Share this picture with your students. Begin by asking what is wrong? Some students will figure it out immediately. "The contraction should be the possessive pronoun 'your'," the excellent reader and grammarian will announce. Still, many will scratch their heads, failing to see the problem.
Not only does the picture help teachers explain the homophones, it provides a wonderful real-life teachable moment.
"Remember class, if you don't know the difference between 'you're' and 'your,' stay away from the tattoo artist."
Cross posted at ASCDEdge