This semester I have to volunteer 45 hours in a middle school Mild Mental Disability, self-contained classroom. The students are so fun to be with. Today two of the boys (grades 7 and 8) were permitted to eat lunch in the classroom as a reward. They asked me to play Hangman with them and were overly excited when I agreed to play. I was in charge of thinking up the words and they guessed the letters.
John (grade 7), who was most excited, wasn't able to guess letters very strategically or see the word as a whole and would end up guessing periodically, being so excited when his classmate Paul (grade 8) was able to guess so many letters right. It was a very endearing situation just to watch John get so excited at every guessed letter and even more so at the end of every game. He begged for another game every time we finished one. I couldn't say no to John who acted like every game was his first experience at Disneyland. You wouldn't take a kid to the entrance of Disneyland, let him ride one ride, then take him home, would you?
As the lunch hour drew nigh, John wanted to become the scribe. He'd thought of a word to do so I became a guesser. Throughout the game he would erase a letter, add some spaces, then take some (letters and spaces) away. He was so excited. Paul got very frustrated at trying to guess what the answer was. After awhile we started asking for hints. Paul was getting mad enough about the situation that John kept giving hint after hint. He basically told us the answer. His last and most emphatic clue was "It's basketball and it's hockey!" after which I was able to guess "The NBA and the NHL!" He was so excited when we got it I couldn't help but feel excited too. The other student walked away very annoyed with the whole game. I ended up enjoying the best lunchtime I've had in quite awhile. FYI, the marker-board picture up top of this post is the finally of the last lunchtime Hangman game I just explained.