I started class today by asking, "Why are left-handed people evil?"
It's a loaded question, but it has a purpose: to surprise students into thinking about etymology. In this case, I gave a quick lecture on the history of cultural bias against lefties contained in the word "sinister." (The Wikipedia entry on the linguistic history of left-handedness is a great place to start, although I'm surprised that "gauche" doesn't get a mention. You see, left-handers are also klutzes.)
I asked my 9th grade class to theorize an answer in their journals. The gist of my favorite response: as they write in pencil, lefties smear lead on their skin, and the lead leaches through the epidermis and, eventually, winds its way into the brain. The results speak for themselves.
Oh, and--of course--the lone lefty in my 3rd period class was born on the Ides of March.
Note to the clueless or the scold: graphite isn't plumbum, and southpaws aren't evil.