Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to be Cool in Third Grade

This year's 3rd grade summer reading assignment, How to Be Cool in Third Grade, seems not to be having its intended effect on the third graders I know.

The book's message is that being cool isn't about abandoning your superhero underwear and avoiding your mother, but about being nice to your classmates.

But what one boy I know learned from this book was that he should give up his superhero underwear. It hadn't occurred to him, before reading the book, that superhero underwear wasn't cool.

By the time most kids are in third grade, even the less socially savvy ones, the idea that coolness comes from kindness sounds as phony as "why can't people just get along?" does to adults. Indeed, as another boy observed when explaining why he's not popular: "the popular kids are the ones with lots of friends who are mean to everyone."

2 comments:

Mrs. C said...

Isn't that sad? I have an eight-year-old who is still proud to hold my hand in public. I'm treasuring these days while I have them.

bluepontiac said...

And I still wear my SuperGirl underwear sometimes!