Thursday, October 1, 2009


Today was THE day for OUR FUNERAL for "Mr. I Can't"
I got the idea from one of the 4th grade teachers, when my youngest son was in 4th grade 6 years ago. She got it from a story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I have been doing it with my students every year that I have taught since then. I'm always not sure if my special ed. students are going to get it, and I thought I might not do it this year, since I'm at a Primary school. I decided that with a lot of explanation from me they could get it, and my 2nd and 3rd graders DID get it. . .I think. . .I hope!
I mentioned it to them last week.
Then, 2 days ago, I wrote on the board and told them:
"Mr. I Can't" died this morning. We will bury "him" on Thursday. We can not say "I can't" anymore.
I explained to them that we weren't burying a real person. It was the "thought" of "I can't" that we were burying.
I sent a newsletter home yesterday, telling the parents about it, and asking if their children had black or dark clothes, to have them wear them to school today.
This morning, I gave each student a strip of paper and a pencil. I asked them to write their name and the words I can't on the paper. If they wanted to write something specific that they had said I can't about, they could.
I put all of the pieces of paper in a small, plastic, instant tea canister.
This year, I found a tombstone at a garage sale, that a lady had painted R.I.P. on. It would have only been 50 cents, but when she found out it was for school, she gave it to me.
I added:
(Rest in Peace)
Mr. I Can't
Buried Oct. 1, 2009
We buried the canister right outside my window, and put the tomb stone in the ground.
I told the students that we can say "I can't. . .yet" or "I will try." or "I will learn", etc., but no more, "I can't!"


  1. I LOVE that!! I've heard of teachers doing the same thing for the word Said. To show students there are better words than the word said to use in the their writing. I love the Mr. I can't! I hate those words too!! May he rest in peace!!

  2. What a perfectly wonderfull idea...I work daily with my grand kids, after school care, homework, dinner etc., I think I may try a similiar idea with them. Thanks for sharing this! Blessings to you, Debbie

  3. I love it!! I think that's great :)