Week # 28

Last week the kids were presented with a couple of questions and kids were able to find some answers.

What was the need for a new language?

Around the 12th century, people from a lot of different backgrounds found it difficult to interact with each other so a new language organically evolved over the next few hundred years.

Why does the word for “mother” sound similar across so many languages?

One of the first sounds that babies learn to naturally make is the “m” sound. This results in many languages having a similar-sounding word for “mother”.

Capital punishment/Death Penalty

Continuing from last weeks theme of crime and punishment, I asked the kids if they believed if capital punishment should exist or not. A lot of the kids responded with “it depends”. So to make the case clearer, I presented them with the case of the New Zealand mass-murderer who killed 50 innocent people.

2 groups formed, the majority was in favour of the death penalty for this specific case whereas a minority was against it. I asked them to convince the other group of their view. Here are some of the arguments:

  • It isn’t useful because the murderer would just die and not suffer for the crimes they committed. Instead, keep them locked up in isolation so that they can spend their natural life suffering. Counter: How do we know how much a dying man suffers?
  • Some murderers don’t care if they die, so this isn’t a punishment for them, instead, it’s an easy way out.
  • Capital punishment makes the government a murderer as well. Counter: The government is responsible for providing a fair trial and if the already said that a crime like this would result in the death penalty, then there is no excuse for crossing that line. The governments is just enforcing the law the land.
  • Capital punishment results in perpetuating the hate, so others will follow because of vengeance. Counter: Then they would be treated the same way, they know the law, just don’t break it.

It was interesting to see that some kids had a high benchmark where the death penalty became justified. The next task for the kids is to think deeper and figure out where that threshold is for them. They have to write a few lines on their reason and limit.

Another interesting outcome was that in spite of the fact that both sides unleashed all of their arguments and found rebuttals, no one changed their mind about it.

Little Alchemy 2

Although our new subscription tinker box had arrived, we posted building it because some kids had to leave early, we will continue with it next week. Instead, I divided the kids into 2 groups and asked them to play a game I discovered last week called Little Alchemy 2.

Both teams had 15 minutes to make as many items as they could. Both teams had kids that had already played the game before so it was a pretty even match. One team won with 68 items, whereas the other one was pretty close at 62.

Blog Post

The kids will continue to write about the books they are reading or have finished recently. It should involve a summary of the book and a bit of analysis on what they liked/disliked about the book.

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