Blog Your Blessings: The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is this week's blessing. I used the text of the movie's website as reading material in my classes, and there were miracles to spare as a result. Kids were talking about the text, the movie, other movies in that genre, other stories about hauntings. We talked about folk tales and how they emerge from real experiences and become something else again in the process of story telling, and this could have happened in this story about a house in Southington where a family is said to have had paranormal experiences.

This led to a discussion of fact versus opinion, the difference between fact and truth, the nature of bias in text and how to identify it lest a reader be misled by a story.

And then the local paper ran a story about the family who live in the house now. They are being tortured by nosy people who are looking forward to the movie. In my haste, I had brought only one section of the paper to school to show the kids. I told them there was more to the story in another section of the paper; a few of my students went home and read it and told me all about it the next day.

They read the paper. Without being asked. Because they were interested in a story.

So it wasn't the standard curriculum. These aren't standard students. Anyway, when I have used regulation stories and worksheets, the hardcore non-standard students have thrown the stuff on the floor, stomped on it, and announced that they would not do it.

My students asked me if I was going to see the movie. I told them I didn't know. "Why, miss?" That stuff freaks me out; it stays with me. "You believe in hauntings, miss?" I don't know. "You believe in God, miss?" Yes. "Then you believe in the spirit world; you believe in hauntings." Okay. But I prefer to hang with the good-guys.

I say bring on the horror. Amen.

Blog Your Blessings

Comments

  1. This made me laugh. I am like you, this stuff stays with me forever. I am so sensitive to it that I can't get it out of my mind.

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  2. I am so glad your students could relate with your lesson! I will pass on seeing such thing, thank you. . . It is a blessing when you see kids put forth effort to find out more ontheir own. After all, that is what teaching is all about!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have mine ready but it is not scheduled to post until Saturday night -- have another going to be posted Saturday morning that you might enjoy tho.

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  3. What a wonderful class session!
    You are to be commended. I too prefer to hang with the nice guys. I don';t think the dark side can bother one without a bit of an invitation, Teacher!
    Aloha Miss Sandy

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  4. you are such a creative teacher...I hate horror stories/films also.

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  5. Very interesting post, Sandy.
    I think paranormal experiences must be studied delicately and seriously: they can't be reduced to a horror movie.

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  6. I could never watch that movie--but would love reading about the experiences that inspired it, including those articles. Wonderful that your students took on 'studying' on their own!

    Just this week our parish priest asked us parents what he could do to draw more young people (teens and 20-somethings) in to the church; nobody had many ideas. Some things work and some don't and it seems only by luck we find something that strikes a chord with them. All we can do is keep trying, keep offering, and keep hoping: I'm always inspired by your classroom stories of moments that break through and engage your students so well. Thank you for sharing this one!

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  7. I don't want any part of the dark side. I don't watch those scary movies.

    Very inventive of you to get those kids interested in class discussion leading them to think about what is being written.

    It is good to employ what ever makes people think on a wider plane.

    You are a good teacher despite your occasional misgivings and doubts about the whole process. These kids are blessed to have you.

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  8. I am so much haunted by spirits, and I just wonder how they take over my thoughts sometimes...But being a firm believer in God, soon I would get back to my senses...and the

    yes, as you said, I too prefer to hang with the good-guys. :)

    "I say bring on the horror. Amen." --

    at-times horror just seems the only way to peace!

    faith and patience -- that's the only hold in this world

    Your blogs are testimony to that, I believe...i love my time here...But i miss viewing your photographs...do not know why..

    wishes,
    devika

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  9. Mlle. Montessori would be so pleased to read this! This, my dear Sandy, is the difference between "teaching" and "educating". Or at least by my definitions. It's not just a blessing, in some cases it's a freakin' miracle!

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  10. You have a very creative teaching method. It's good to know both sides. As always I am on the good side.

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  11. What a charming story! Am I'm like you, I don't want to see things that I can't un-see after!

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  12. What a great teacher you are!!! I love that you found something outside of the curriculum that grabbed their attention and got them reading. Today-teachers too often are afraid of straying from the "teaching of the test". It's become a real downer in our area. The whole year really boils down to a test that last a few hours-just never mind about the entire school year. So I say Bravo Sandy!!

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  13. Now this indeed was an extra blessings .. with cream on top. The students may not know it, but they were blessed to!

    Reading a newspaper ... my three year old reads the comics ... oh I am so blessed!

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  14. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Don't you just love it when you REALLY connect with a kid? It's the most amazing thing!

    Me? No, I will not be watching that movie. I can't even watch the trailer for it. Creeps me out big time.

    Have a wonderful Saturday, Sandy!

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  15. Sandy; there is a newspaper program called NIE - Newspapers In Education - that you might want to look into. I used to do marketing for a statewide newspaper and we dealt with the program.
    I saw the original movie on discovery channel without all that bells and whistles and that was scared me half to death.

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  16. I've always said that historic sites should embrace their folklore... as it is so easy to teach kids history when it's wrapped in a ghost story... (Sort of like, "Tell them the ghost story then explain to them the truth")

    That said, when it comes to "The Haunting in Connecticut... be careful of your "truth"...

    http://seminars.torontoghosts.org/blog/index.php/2009/02/03/in_a_dark_place

    Oh, and "The Warrens"? The folks responsible for this?

    http://www.torontoghosts.org/amityville.html

    Then, if you need a REAL giggle, check out this post AND it's comments...

    http://seminars.torontoghosts.org/blog/index.php/2008/01/18/the_devil_busted_in_connecticut

    ...and lastly, tell this to your students...

    Your chances of being physically hurt by a ghost, no matter WHAT they've heard or seen, is far, Far, FAR worse than winning $1,000,000.00 in a lottery... You have a MUCH better chance of being struck by lightning.

    Most injuries from "ghosts" happen because of two things... the witness hits themselves/trips while "fleeing" the thing AND (statistically the worst,) the people involved are hurt in an attempt to "cleanse" or "clear" the ghost.

    In my study, there has only been ONE "semi-confirmed" death POSSIBLY by ghost in North America and Western Europe in the last 200 years... "The Bell Witch Case" for those wondering... Conversely, there have been over fifteen deaths since 1997 in North America and Western Europe caused by "exorcism" attempts... most of them children starved or dehydrated to death by overzealous parents and the like trying to "get out the ghost".

    In the literally tens of thousands of witnesses I have spoken to, the reaction to ghosts seems to be this...

    First time: Confusion... Because most ghosts don't look like ghosts (they look like solid people and are most often thought to be "normal" people until they either vanish or the witness realises they are "dressed funny",) or occasional fright... but more like a fright because the witness is startled... like someone popping around a corner and saying, "Boo!"

    Second Time: Annoyance. The witness does not want to be startled and as the first encounter caused no harm, they are more likely to be annoyed by the situation.

    Third Time: Anger. The witness does not want to be the ONLY witness, but like everyone who's had these situations happen to them, they have difficulty getting evidence or finding another person to witness the events.

    Fourth Time: Enthusiasm. The witness, because of the above, becomes active in trying to "hunt" for evidence... and as opposed to something happening and them running away, something happens and they run towards it.

    Fifth Time: Acceptance. Usually, by this point, the witness is so comfortable with "their ghost", they take it rather for granted... or even make fun of it.

    Tell your scared students this... because it's honestly really quite accurate.

    Hey, it's coming from the head of...

    www.TorontoGhosts.org
    www.PSICAN.org

    ...and a guy who works with his wife who runs...

    www.ParaResearchers.org

    Sorry for the length... but I figgered a little help in course development would be appreciated.

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  17. I wish the school system at large would get that kind of teaching and learning. There are so many ways to engage and so much learning in every day when an interest is piqued.

    I'm too impressionable for movies like that.

    A "story" has many connotations.

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  18. I love these types of stories, and movies. :) I like that you can find things to interest them outside of what might be suggested. :)

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  19. When I taught at an alternative high school there were newspaper delivered for each classroom every day. It was called Newspapers in Education (NIE)and was paid for by sponsors.

    Of course, I newspaper is so podunk that we mostly would just correct the grammar and spelling. LOL

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  20. I love it! It's so hard to get kids interested in the newspaper, and it's sad that a lot of newspapers are (no pun intended) folding.

    It's very cool that you used a newspaper article to get them excited. peace - D

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  21. I love this Sandy!! Sometimes the best curriculum is not the standard curriculum. I do a whole ghost story unit in October (and throw out the standard curriculum) with lots of discussion and read from Haunted Illinois. The kids love it! What levels, types of studetns do you teach? I am very curious!

    patti

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  22. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Congratulations!

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