Thursday, October 18, 2012

Malapropism Strikes Again

Yes, the English language is complicated.  I see my students struggle every day to conquer the twists, turns and peculiarities inherent in the language.  They work hard, but sometimes the results are inadvertently funny to listen to.  I try hard not to laugh but to model correct usage/pronunciation instead.  

Here is an example of an inadvertent malapropism from one of my students.  It was shared with me last week by my neighbor, Mrs. Cheerleader.  She and I share a student, Taxi Boy.  Taxi Boy LOVES to talk and talk and talk.  Mrs. Cheerleader had Taxi Boy and a girl, Quiet Mouse, in a reading group.  They read a non-fiction book about eagles and were discussing the information found in the book.  The text in the book was about how eagles catch their prey with their sharp talons.  Next to the word "talons" was the word "claws" in parenthesis.  Mrs. Cheerleader asked Taxi Boy and Quiet Mouse what talons meant.  Quiet Mouse wouldn't respond, but after some thought, Taxi Boy piped up.

"Talons!  I 'America's Got Talons'!!!"   

Mrs. Cheerleader had the hardest time keeping a straight face as she explained the difference between "talons" and "talents"!  When she told me the story after school, she and I laughed so hard we nearly fell over.   

Yes, indeed...America's Got Talons!  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

If It's October, It Must Be Pumpkin Time

This past week, I've been working on the nursery rhyme, "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater" with my first graders. They LOVE this rhyme!   I brought in a couple of small pie pumpkins and we cut them open.  I cut while they watched (of course!) and then we scooped out the pulpy strings and seeds.  I purposely did not make the pumpkins into jack o'lanterns because I wanted the kids to see what a pumpkin "shell" looked like.  I left the hollowed out pumpkins in my room for three days and let the students lift off the lids and peek inside the pumpkins.  We all decided that living in a pumpkin shell would not keep one "very well" at all!  We thought it would be very stinky and messy.

Last week, I found a few interesting activities to add to my Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater lesson.  I like the Itsy Bitsy book from Kidzone. ( Note:  If you haven't put together one of the Itsy Bitsy books, read the directions first.  It takes a little manipulation, but it gets easier once you've made a few.)
Thematic Itsy Bitsy Books

I thought the Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater puppets from First School were fun, too.  Puppets are always great activity to do with English Language Learners. 

Finally, I found some great graphic sequence cards on a blog called Montessori for Everyone.  I definitely will use the Pumpkin Life Cycle cards, but I see a lot more useful materials for future sequencing lessons. 

Have a great October!