Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

The other day I had quite a few students in detention.  I was pretty tired of their antics and decided to make detention more detention-y.  I asked them if they wanted to listen to some music.  They all said yes, so I played the Chicken Dance.  On repeat.

The first time, they all liked it.  A few of them started doing the motions until I reminded them they were in detention.

The second time, they laughed.  One of them remarked that it was a really long song.

The third time, all their smiles dropped.  A look of dreadful realization grew across their faces.  I looked directly at them and flashed a classic super villain grin.

And so it played.  For the next 30 minutes.*

I sat and graded papers, joyfully whistling along while the students cringed in their seats until I signaled the end of detention, wherein they flew from their chairs out of my room and down the hallway…

The next day in class, one of the students started to act out.  I turned to him and with the same evil grin, clucked my hands and flapped my arms.  Immediately, he stopped talking and sat up in his seat.



*Although I constantly teach my students not to use sentence fragments, I secretly love to use them myself.  Mostly for effect.


9 thoughts on “Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

  1. Wow, that’s clucking awesome! Good for you! I am so glad that worked out effectively. Cruel? Tediously cruel. Unusual? Very original. Immoral? No, not at all! You taught them a lesson about respect in a completely different context. It must have been hilarious to see how enthusiastic they were when you suggested to play music during their detention. You would have been given kudos after that one, if the music was streaming from Pandora. Then, they thought, “Oh, this is going to be the most entertaining detention I have ever had!” Ha, think again. Honestly, could you last for more than thirty minutes sitting at a desk without having any fun? This was definitely inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks! I used to make my kids clean my room for detention, but I got in big trouble for that once. Something about child labor. Now I have to get creative to make the lesson stick.

  2. Pingback: Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blogs of 2012

  3. I LOVE it.

    I’m currently doing a unit on voice in writing which includes a lot of journaling. To model what these journals should look like, I showed my students a couple of my journals. Turns out I LOVE fragments, too.

  4. I love this idea! I’m definitely stealing it for my students but I’ll put on some opera instead. It’s something that I can enjoy listening to while their ears bleed. *Rubs hands and laughs maniacally in Snidely Whiplash fashion*

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