Yesterday was a very untypically grey day in Cádiz. With the drizzle thick in the air and the grey-green sea lost in the low clouds.
When my students came back from their break in the morning class they seemed a bit subdued. So, instead of moving on to the next activity I had lined up for them on the IWB, I thought I’d try and lighten the mood, well actually, talk about the mood, and see if by embracing it, we could dispel it.
I asked them to think of three adjectives that described the day. Looking at the long faces and blank eyes, I was expecting adjectives that described their negative feelings, but got adjectives that described the weather instead: grey, cold, cloudy, windy, wet … one student wanted to add shady, but we discussed it and what he meant and slowly worked round to deciding that maybe overcast was what he wanted to say. We talked about different attitudes to this kind of weather and how some people find it energising, while other people find it draining – these were two more words we added to our set on the board.
I then asked them to think of what they most liked to do when the weather was like this. We all did this in silence for a few moments, gathering our thoughts, casting our minds into the situation and then we shared our ideas. There were those who wanted to stay at home watching a film, snug and cosy on the sofa, watching the weather outside. One student wanted to share baked sweet potatoes with her family. Another described walking along the beach and we all agreed that it was a great place to be, with no-one else there and the wind and rain in our faces.
By the end of this short discussion (about 20 minutes or so) we were all ready to get back to the lesson. The mood had shifted and the clouds, in the classroom at least, had lifted.