A group of seventh-, eighth-graders and I had spent the majority of a block period in groups creating collages. The project asked for ambitious synthesis as students collaborated with classmates to make a visual commentary on how leaders and citizens both should and shouldn't interact. (These are key themes in both our recent reading and new texts we're starting.) Also, students had to draw connections to their history studies, weaving in Ancient Greek views on government and John Locke's philosophies about human rights.
Near the end of class, there was collage detritus everywhere. Tidying was warranted. In the midst of cleaning, a few students started singing this song that they apparently remembered from preschool. It didn't take long to engulf the entire class: ♫ "Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere." ♫ When I chimed in replacing the next 'everywhere' with 'stack your chair,' everyone did, just as the bell rang, dispersing us and our laughter.