Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tabloid Fodder


Freshman English. They had a vocabulary assignment. Instead of the usual "use these 10 vocab words in sentences", their teacher had given them 10 prompts. Things like: "Describe a time when you would want a meeting to adjourn early." (Adjourn was their vocab word.)

"What's a tabloid?"

A quick perusal of the assignment led me to prompt #9: "Describe a celebrity who is always giving fodder to the tabloids." Fodder was their vocab word.

There seems to be one or two questions that every period has. For this day it was the tabloid question. So, by 6th period the explanation of the term tabloid became part of my opening remarks.

6th period was different than the other periods. First of all, I had their complete attention when I did my usual opening bit. Then, they worked silently. This was not one of those assignments where they were required to work silently. Even their teacher had said they could work together.

I should not have been surprised, but I was. A little more than halfway into the period, I got the tabloid question again.

Um... Didn't I go over that?

The girl sitting next to him did out loud what I only did in my head. "She explained at the beginning of the period." And then explained so that I wouldn't have to.

So, I came away with two thoughts. Even when I explain and think they're listening, not all of them are. And when did kids stop being aware of tabloids? Is it because it's all online? Does anyone know? (If you have a teen in the house, do they know what a tabloid is?)

8 comments:

  1. Yeah, it's all online these days. For everyone under twenty, a tabloid is TMZ on paper. I think it's funny that they got hung up on that. Times are changing, aren't they?

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  2. It is interesting to know how American students are learning new vocabulary in their own language.
    I wonder if the word 'tabloid' is going to be obsolete...

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    1. Perhaps the word. Most of it seems to be online nowadays.

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  3. Oh kids....they don't even think about a magazine any more...well, the typical kid anyway. Most adults don't listen so how will kids listen? I was told that one has to repeat something 7 times before the other hears what you are saying.

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  4. I'm not sure my soon to be 26 year old would know what a tabloid was. I'm going to have to make a note to ask him the next time I see him. My mom loved the tabloids, but she called them the "rags". When she was living with us for a bit, I'd buy a few for her weekly when I went grocery shopping; came to "enjoy" reading them myself :)

    betty

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    1. I was wondering when that cut off would be. When did we all start getting all of this "news" online?

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  5. Mine wouldn't know because they barely know what a newspaper is!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. I wonder how familiar with newspapers any of them were.

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