Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Canary in the Coal Mine (Classroom)

Whilst watching The Graham Norton Show last week, I discovered a name for something I often do with with class.

One of Graham's guests was Tom Hanks. Hanks asked Norton if he'd ready the copy of the book he'd sent him. Norton replied that he had, and that he'd found the 'Canary in the Coal Mine'. On one of the pages, to test if Graham Norton would read the book, Tom Hanks had left an inscription for him to read. 

Hanks described this as a 'Canary in the Coal Mine' and added that they're often put into scripts to check that the actors read the script. 

The above picture is one I recently used with my class. You'll see that not only did I give them a sentence that didn't need correcting (that was the activity), but I repeated it. How many would notice? How many would plough on regardless?

So, in slides, worksheets and in your own speech, start dropping in the odd canary to check the people in the coal mine as still 'with it'.

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