The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare, I assigned my fifth graders a project with several sections. In one, they had to imagine they were going to go and live alone in the wilderness like the main character. They could only choose ten items they would bring with them, and they had to explain why. Most of the items were what you would expect: tools, weapons, food; but some of them were amusingly impractical or unexpected. Here are a few of my favorites:
bracelet-making kit with instructions
the Bible (actually, quite a few students wrote that)
hatchet (someone's been reading Gary Paulsen!)
towel (um... maybe he'd been reading Douglas Adams?)
picture of family
A couple more pieces of humor from other parts of the project:
Here's how one student (a non-native English speaker armed with a thesaurus) described how to make a fishing device: "First, I will have to go and take my saw to amputate the tree's bottom."
Another student's journal entry about a trip through the forest: "Today I came one 6th way to my destination. Three more quarters to complete!" Yikes, I think it's time for another fractions lesson!
Interested in hearing about other fun teaching projects? Click here to check out a post listing funny laws my students came up with for the imaginary worlds they created. Notice the links at the bottom of that one that will take you to others.