Piano and Laylee

 Learning Adventures

Text Message

The purpose of this book is to guide our young students into proper netiquette practices when on cell phones and online. Many times students come to teachers in class after having had spats over a communication between themselves. In most cases, one or more of the involved students completely misunderstood the other person’s meaning - and that was with the benefit of seeing the person’s facial expressions. Now move the communication into the written word. Students become completely surprised to hear that putting a sentence in all capital letters into a word processor or online is taken as yelling. Online communication can be much more unforgiving than communication in person where there is no benefit of facial expressions and body language.

Piano and Laylee get into a similar misunderstanding because, in their excitement to text message, they forget to be clear in their messages. The less clear students’ messages become, the more capital letters they seem to use in an effort to get their point across. Then the students become more and more angry. Our children need to learn patience with text messaging. The necessity to learn patience is not a new thought, is it? However, in context of cell phone and online communication, it is a new medium through which we need to teach our students the benefit of patience.

This is yet another extension of everyday good manners and common sense that our children need to learn their application in the technology available today.

Big Idea for the Child to Think About:

Why is it important to be polite when text messaging?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the two special words you always say when you are given a gift by a friend or family member? (thank you)
  2. What is the one special word you always use when you are asking for something from a friend or family member? (please)
  3. Why do you think those words are so important to people when they talk to each other?
  4. When you send a text message, are you talking to the other person? (yes, just in writing)
  5. What are some of the differences when you text message with a friend from when you talk in person with that same friend? (can’t see their face or hear their tone of voice)
  6. What are some mistakes that we can make when we type a text message? (type the wrong word, misspell)
  7. Why is it important to look at and think about what we send in a text message before we hit the "Send" button? (once it's Sent, we cannot get it back)