Fourth-graders in Declo, Idaho, faced an unusual incentive scheme for reading: if they didn’t complete their work they could either forgo recess or have others kids draw on their face with marker. Several kids chose the latter punishment and, as you can imagine, this didn’t go over so well. It should be noted that the teacher had let the students choose these rules. From the Times-News:
When Cindy Hurst’s 10-year-old son arrived home from school Nov. 5, his entire face, hairline to chin, was scribbled on in red marker — including his eyelids. He also had green, red and purple scribble marks over the red, and his face was scratched by a marker that had a rough edge.
“He was humiliated, he hung his head and wanted to go wash his face,” said Hurst. “He knows he’s a slow reader. Now he thinks he should be punished for it.” …
As more and more schools look for better ways to motivate students, I am guessing this tactic won’t gain a lot of traction.