Columbo Approach in the Classroom

A herd of children gathered around the tarantula habitat.  Something outrageous had happened.  “I went to feed the tarantula,” stated one child, “and now there are two!”

Someone broke into our classroom last night and left us a black tarantula!”

“Why would someone do that?”

“That’s vandalizing!” said another.

“No vandalizing is when you damage something.  It’s not robbing, either,  cause that’s when someone takes something.  I don’t know what you call this!” exclaimed another child.

The crowd turned to me.  “Do you think that the janitor put a tarantula in the classroom last night?” someone asked.

“I don’t think that he’d do that without telling us.”

“Then someone broke in!”  they chorused.

“Hmmm.  Think so?”  I asked.  “Are you sure that there was a break in?  Could it have been a break out?”  I amused myself with my Columbo approach.  I could sense some wheels beginning to turn in a few minds.

“What do you know about tarantulas?” I asked.

They began to regurgitate tarantula facts.  Suddenly, a light went on in the attic of one mind.  “They shed their skin when they grow!” exclaimed one child.

“My point!” I said with a smile.  “I think you discovered a break out, not a break in!”