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3 Bumps

Worst school assignment ever

What is the worst school assignment or project your kids have ever had to do.  I think it's the one my kids have now.

I  have twins.  They're in 7th grade and doing a project about the Silk Road.  So far it sounds like fun right, but on Friday their teacher gave them the assignment and it's due Tuesday.  They need to make 21 note cards using 4 different types of sources listing specific  information about a product traded on the Silk Road.  My kids got turmeric and pomegranate.

Seriously she wants the information to be relevant to the time period of the Silk Road.  They're suppose to find videos, articles, Internet, and books about turmeric and pomegranates over the weekend.  They don't even have time to get books from other libraries if they existed.  Who in their right mind would write a whole article or book about turmeric during the time of the Silk Road? 

They had two books at our township library about the Silk Road and those were already checked out, I'm guessing by other classmates,  Their school library had zero books about the Silk Road.

I thought it be fun to hear about other people's experiences with terrible school assignments.


Asked by RyansMom001 at 4:32 PM on Mar. 16, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 31 (48,605 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • There is, but they need 4 separate types of sources. The internet only counts as one type of source.

    that's bullshit! Each website should be counted as a separate source. the actual website would be what you credited not just 'the internet'. I would be complaining about that! lol.

    I am currently irritated that my sons school gave every kid in the 3rd grade a cabbage plant and told them they have to keep it alive and track the watering, weeding ect... for a minimum of 4 weeks... yeah... we live in an apt! Where the F am I supposed to plant this damn thing? So we ended up planing it at a friends house and have to drive over every other day to check on it.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:57 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • The project itself, to me, isn't bad. You won't find a whole book about tumeric, the point is to learn how to figure out what sources would be good - to figure out what book would have the info you're looking for, etc.

    The time frame is the problem. To assign something on Friday that would require library visits and say it's due Tuesday isn't fair. There are too many things that could prevent a student from getting it done.

    I wish I had some actual advice that would be helpful, but all I can really is say is good luck! I hope they find what they need and get it done.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:20 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • That's not much time to find relevant information. Maybe there's some available on Google.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:36 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • I got lots of hits usnig

    History; silk road; tumeric

    Pretty sure I would for poms, too.


    It is a starting point

    But I agree not much time


    Answer by Dardenella at 4:46 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • Hmmm, 4 sources, Have you tried an encyclopedia at the library? The worst assignment I can remember was when my daughter, in 7th grade, had to make "something" that represented who she was. She made a paper mache egg and decoupage pictures on it that symbolized who she was. She got a D on it. How do you get a D on something that represents who you are?


    Answer by musicmaker at 7:27 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • My son had an assignment to keep a plant alive. He didn't tell me, and hid it in his room, so that poor thing died a miserable dehydration death. I found the dead dried up remains in his closet.


    Answer by musicmaker at 8:12 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • I'd talk to the teacher to clarify what exactly she means when she says the internet counts as one source. Honestly, the internet is now basically the same (only better) than a library so saying the "internet" is one source is like saying the "library" is one source. I'm guessing she means the kids just can't site various wikipedia pages or unverified blathering of some blogger.

    You can access published books using google books - like you can actually see and search through the scanned pages of published books that your little local library doesn't carry. Same with history videos produced and aired by the BBC or History Channel. You can even use google scholar to access peer reviewed published research articles from various journals. There should be plenty to fill 21 note cards.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 10:57 PM on Mar. 16, 2013

  • That teacher sounds crazy. I've had several of those types before. Most of them are narcissists, which is what attracted them to that type of job where they have control over weaker people and basically get to do what they want. Maybe you should complain to the school principal. This would scar children for life. I had one teacher who assigned us to write a paper about anything we wanted and then gave me a low score because she didn't think it was written in my own voice. How the hell does she know what my voice would be? If I wrote it, then it IS in my own voice. Some teachers came into work drunk, too, smelling like alcohol. In college, it was the same. I'd get lots of lazy teachers who didn't even know their own assignments b/c apparently they copied another teacher's syllabus. They'd also complain about teaching 3 classes. Please! 3 classes is 3 hours/week and maybe 6 hours of work at most.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:16 AM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • Remember that you can get citations VIA the internet. It's still a book or article.
    You have to sort through the various things that come up on a search to determine what the sources are.
    But you can find articles VIA the internet, in other words. (Likewise books, including text.) Many of the articles (journal, magazine, newspaper, etc.) I've read in recent years have been in electronic format.
    A trip to the library could be worthwhile even with those two titles on the topic checked out, because they may have databases (indexes) that let you specifically search journals. If they have a good selection of periodical subscriptions, they will have bound periodicals (or a subscription to the archives in electronic format) & an index for searching those back issues. Heck, something like Smithsonian Magazine or even National Geographic Traveler would likely have info about the Silk Road. is free & could give you

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:18 AM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • citations (not full text or information) on that subject area...and remember to search for the specific spice or item, not just "silk road" (and even if the "whole article or book" is not about the Silk Road, all you need is 21 pieces of information about the assigned topic during that period, and a "general" book/article about that spice or food may include discussion of that time.) Those citations could give you more info to use in a Google search (check out Google Scholar searches to filter your results) and you could try to locate some of the promising ones on Google Books. You won't get the full text but you can search terms within the text & see what comes up. Even if the page isn't included in the Google Books preview, you can see the sentence plus or minus some words, and perhaps get the "fact" you need, or search again on another term you see in the sentence, to see more of the text.
    If your library has a subscription

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:27 AM on Mar. 17, 2013