Monday, January 23, 2012

Ah, the South

Teaching phonics to children who speak with a southern accent is a real trick.  For example, there is absolutely no difference in pronunciation between 'pin' and 'pen' here.  They are one and the same to many of my students.  Using 'pen' as a spelling word was a favorite mean teacher trick of mine when I taught first grade.  At least 80% of students would spell it p-i-n.  That's what they say, that's what they hear, that's what they write.

Today, my kindergarten groups are reading a book about looking outside to see the weather.  One sentence reads "I can see the hail."

At the first read through, one student immediately YELLED out "THAT'S A BAD WORD!  YOU SAID A BAD WORD!

And try as I might, I absolutely could not convince this child that hail was not, in fact, a bad word.  Because to a southern child, hail is the place you go if you don't make it into heaven.

We have to continue reading this book for the rest of the week.  Oh, hail.

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