I dashed this off after a recent class discussion that began with the Great Migration turned into something else. Click on the picture to enlarge.
And in Outline form:
The Great Migration
Black people in the South moved to the North.
1. Me: They hoped that they would be able to vote in the North.
2. Student Question: Why is voting so important?
Answer from another student - To get power so they can make laws to make things more fair for black people.
1st Student - But what about the European immigrants? That's what I meant. Could they even vote?
Only U.S. Citizens Can Vote
1. Me: Mr. Mondale can't vote because he is not a U.S. citizen.
2. Me: His infant son is a citizen and can vote when is 18-years-old.
Student Question: What if you and Mr. Mondale got married? Would your child be able to vote?
1. Another student - Two men can't have babies!
2. Me - Actually they can.
3. Student - What? How?
4. Me - Does anyone have an answer to that question?
A Doctor Can Help You
1. Student - Um, I'm not sure how but a doctor can help you do it.
2. Another student - They can adopt.
3. Me - That is true but I want to talk more about the other way.
How are Babies Made?
1. Me - I don't want to get to into this because this is the kind of thing that most parents would rather share with their children at home. But I will say this in scientific terms - you need two ingredients to create a baby. You need a sperm and an egg. A man has the sperm and a woman has the egg. So how can a doctor help two women, for example, have a child?
2. Student - Um, they have to get sperm for an egg?
3. Me - Yes, one of the moms decides which one will have the baby. Then she gets sperm from a doctor. He gives it to her and she can get pregnant.
4. Girl with 2 Mommies - Like me!
5. Me - So how do two men have a child?
6. Another student - Oh that is gross. Ugh. I just ate.
7. I sidetrack to talk about being respectful of people and that you don't have to agree with things that people do but you can not be mean to people just because they are different from you.
So How Do Two Men Have a Baby?
Student: They get an egg from a women and one of the men has the baby.
Me: Ok, let's review. Men can not have babies. Only women can. So how could two men have a baby? Remember that when two women have a baby, they get sperm so one of them can have a baby. How would it work with two men?
Students: No guesses.
Me: Okay, one of the men would decide who's sperm they wanted to use. Then they could a female friend to have the baby for them with the help of a doctor. Or sometimes there are women that agree to help out by having a baby for them with her egg and one of the man's sperm. Then she gives them the baby or shares in raising the baby.
I suggest you ask your parents about this if you are still curious. Who's ready for recess?
And this is part of the letter I e-mailed to parents before the end of the day.
I just wanted to let you know about an interesting discussion that occurred this morning. The topic was the Great Migration. This led to questions about voting rights which led to whether or not the European immigrants we studied in the fall could vote. We spoke about how only citizens could vote and how Mr. Mondale couldn’t vote because he is not an American citizen.
A student asked, “Mr. Listmaker, if you and Mr. Mondale got married and had a baby, would the baby be an American citizen?” One child asked, “How can two men have a baby?” Another said, “Two men can’t get married!” I explained that gay marriage was a topic that was being widely discussed in our country over the past few years and how at this point, all but one state did not permit it. However, we also discussed that some states give gay people and couples more rights than others do even if they don’t allow marriage, per se.
We also talked about how two men or two women could have a baby. I told them that I did not want to get into too detailed a discussion in school about something that most parents would prefer to talk to their children at home about. I told them the basics about sperm and and an egg being necessary to have a baby and that men had sperm and women had eggs. I asked, “So how can two men or two women have a baby?” A student offered, “The doctor can help you.” With that, we briefly discussed this thread.
Anyway, I wanted to let you know about this conversation so you could be prepared for possible dinnertime questions tonight. At this point of the e-mail, I recommended a number of books about how to discuss the topic with children.
3 days ago