When I asked my middle-school students what an AK-47 is, they flung their arms up so quickly that I thought someone might dislocate a shoulder.
A rousing (and mostly accurate) description followed. Then, I asked my favorite question:
"How do you know that?"
As the cacophony of “It’s an assault rifle!” and “It’s the most popular gun!” gave way to debating the merits of various Grand Theft Auto sequels, I silently thanked the violent video-game gods.
Middle schoolers love to talk about things they know, and they love to talk about things they do. Put these two together, and we could very well have an enlightening discussion about gun control.
It was a fitting moment to segue:
"So, what do you know about the gun fired at the LAX airport shooting?"
It may seem unusual to talk to young students about such an unsettling topic, but it’s business as usual for me, as I teach current events to 6th, 7th and 8th graders at an after-school academy in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles.
Read more. [Image: David Goldman/AP Photo]