How do you handle the word “slut” in Revolting Rhymes? - ProTeacher Community




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How do you handle the word “slut” in Revolting Rhymes?

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How do you handle the word “slut” in Revolting Rhymes?
Old 08-01-2018, 03:44 AM
 
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I ordered Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl for my classroom library & just realized the word “slut” is in the poem “Cinderella”. I teach 3rd Grade in a rural area. I’m afraid parents might take issue with it. I teach in a district where parents are quick to find fault with schools.

I know it’s a popular book to use in classrooms. I’m trying to figure out how to handle this one.


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Old 08-01-2018, 03:49 AM
 
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Make life easy for yourself. Don’t read that particular poem.
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Haha!
Old 08-01-2018, 03:52 AM
 
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Yes, I won’t read it to the class, I’m just wondering about making the book available in my classroom library.
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Just no
Old 08-01-2018, 04:56 AM
 
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You're already questioning it and you already know it will cause issues.

I would not offer it in my library.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:21 AM
 
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I would not offer it to students .


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That was easy, lol!
Old 08-01-2018, 05:28 AM
 
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Thank you!
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:30 AM
 
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I haven't read that particular poem, but I have frequently edited book texts as I've read. I usually scan a sentence or so ahead and will change words as needed to make them grade-appropriate. If slut isn't part of a rhyme, you "might" be able to do this, assuming the poem is so wonderful that it's worth messing with. Otherwise, skip it altogether and don't offer the book to students.

Some books are easier to edit on the fly than others. Last year I had a handful of upper-elementary boys and thought one of the "Skinnybones" books would work well. Turns out that Skinnybones likes to talk about shooting people with a machine gun. Eeek. I edited as I went and threw the book in the trash when I finished.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:49 PM
 
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I wouldn't put it out for students to choose from in your library, but perhaps keep in on your bookshelf, and just read select poems.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:35 PM
 
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This is going to sound silly but-I edited words in book even in kinder. And not just verbally. I also crossed them right out.

When I taught kinder stupid was considered a bad word. Kids said that stupid was the "s word". Well Junie B Jones tends to call things stupid. However she also opens up a lot of talk about behavior, how to treat other, consequences, and other life lessons like a more engaging social story so I still wanted to read Junie B. Jones to my kids. Especially the "Stupid, Smelly, Bus" which is about the Junie's first day of kindergarten.

Only a few of my kids were ever capable of reading the word stupid but, just in case, I used pen to scribble out the word stupid and change it to silly when it appeared in print and I did it on the cover with sharpie.
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A little off-topic, but...
Old 08-02-2018, 02:25 AM
 
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Junie B. and Skinnybones were written by the same author, Barbara Park. I've never taught K, so I hadn't thought about the "stupid" concern until now. So you could extrapolate from that to be wary of a particular author's work or, maybe more appropriately, cautious of work from another "era." I'm sure none of this was controversial when Barbara Park was writing...


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Old 08-06-2018, 07:14 PM
 
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I'm in the minority here but I would never censor a book. I would also have it in my library. I probably wouldn't use it as a read aloud or anything like that, but don't like censoring books. Especially for just one word.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:51 PM
 
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Quote:
I'm in the minority here but I would never censor a book. I would also have it in my library. I probably wouldn't use it as a read aloud or anything like that, but don't like censoring books. Especially for just one word.
Ditto.

Except that I might consider reading it aloud if the rest of the book is worth it. If you're reading it aloud, you can have a class discussion about the way language and society change over time.

ETA: Actually, I just read the poem and am inclined to say that I wouldn't even have a classroom discussion at 3rd grade. They probably don't know the word and it won't even register.

For others who have not read the poem in question:
https://www.poemhunter.com/i/ebooks/...ahl_2004_9.pdf

It seems very clear to me that the poem is stating that the Prince is in the wrong for using the word.


Poor Cindy's heart was torn to shreds.
My Prince! she thought. He chops off heads!
How could I marry anyone
Who does that sort of thing for fun?

The Prince cried, 'Who's this dirty slut?
'Off with her nut! Off with her nut!'
Just then, all in a blaze of light,
The Magic Fairy hove in sight,
Her Magic Wand went swoosh and swish!
'Cindy! 'she cried, 'come make a wish!
'Wish anything and have no doubt
'That I will make it come about!'
Cindy answered, 'Oh kind Fairy,
'This time I shall be more wary.
'No more Princes, no more money.
'I have had my taste of honey.
I'm wishing for a decent man.
'They're hard to find. D'you think you can?'
Within a minute, Cinderella
Was married to a lovely feller,
A simple jam maker by trade,
Who sold good home-made marmalade.
Their house was filled with smiles and laughter
And they were happy ever after.
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