Speaking in Silence

We’re reading The Chosen right now in one of my classes, and one boy, Danny, has a father who speaks to him “in silence.” The students enjoy grappling with this idea and trying to determine what has to happen when speaking without words. The mind really has to stretch. Empathizing is necessary. New ways of communicating must occur.

Thus, I take my students into the hallway and have them remain silent. Then I instruct them to line up from shortest to tallest without speaking. Mouthing words is not allowed. Neither is writing. This usually doesn’t take too long.

However, I then have them line up from youngest to oldest. This takes a little longer.

Lastly, I have the kids line up (in silence still) from who was born closest to the school to farthest from the school. This takes a little while.

After they complete this task, we return to the room and discuss how they felt during the exercise, how they communicated, and how they had to stretch their ways of thinking to accomplish the tasks. They quickly realize that communicating in silence really means stretching the mind and broadening their means of communicating. They must feel what their peers feel, and they must discover multiple means of sharing information. They stretch and they grow–just like the character Danny in The Chosen.

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3 thoughts on “Speaking in Silence

  1. Anonymous

    Nice Topic
    The students enjoy grappling with this idea.
    You can find plenty of materials in archives or in formats difficult to search, then cut & paste so that you can refer to all arguments and judgments e.g. tiff/jpeg/pdf formats. Powerful arguments in favor and equally powerful against but in difficult to access formats,.

    However there is one way to get around, if you Click http://www.onlinedocumentconversion.com/
    upload, convert to rtf & then you can cut & paste selected paragraphs in MS Word. 24×7, Paypal, few cents per page( paid sites are better ) is easy.

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  2. LALIT

    Nice Topic

    You can find plenty of materials in archives or in formats difficult to search, then cut & paste so that you can refer to all arguments and judgments e.g. tiff/jpeg/pdf formats. Powerful arguments in favor and equally powerful against but in difficult to access formats,.

    However there is one way to get around, if you Click http://www.onlinedocumentconversion.com/
    upload, convert to rtf & then you can cut & paste selected paragraphs in MS Word. 24×7, Paypal, few cents per page( paid sites are better ) is easy.

    Reply
  3. John Spener

    I enjoyed this post. We experimented with silence one year by doing a team-wide “Social Silence” day. The teachers on our team developed a set of lesson plans where students could write, communicate, read, etc. but not talk. It was real different. We ended up using resources we’d never used before, like a reading, followed by listening to a song, seeing a few visuals and using sidewalk chart to write poems. The whole theme was the concept of silence around the world due to injustice.

    Reply

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