@mrmayo Twittered that he loves the sound of “a classroom full of students madly typing away.” We teachers all love the sound of happily engaged students. But this was music to my old-fashioned ears:


After reading Beowulf and selections from the Exeter Book of Riddles, my grade 8 students tried their hand at writing their own riddles, as a way of exploring metaphor. Then, working by candlelight, they transcribed their verses into Carolingian miniscule while listening to Gregorian chant.

The low light and contemplative singing gave enormous space for thinking–the classroom seemed twice as big. The kids worked, happily, in silence for an hour!


  1. Reply
    George December 17, 2008

    Greetings,This sounds like a great activity. It’s fun, and helpful to create different moods in the classroom when asking students to write. It’s also cool to play music and sounds for students that most of them would otherwise never hear, like Gregorian chants. Thanks for sharing! mrmayo

  2. Reply
    James Glave December 17, 2008

    Cool; personally, I can never write with music playing!

  3. Reply
    Bob Cotter December 17, 2008

    Very nice. Was this done today? If so, I can only imagine how the falling snow out the windows would have added to the effect.Now I have to look up Carolingian…

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