Thursday, January 29, 2015


I use a straw in my morning coffee most days as I'm sipping that wonderful elixir as I drive to work.  Honestly, it reduces the spillage onto my work clothes! Sometimes, as I drive along, I think of how straws were the "sickbed" treat for kids with strep throat or the chicken pox when I was a kid.

I must admit that I rarely think of the other kind of straw except, perhaps, if I get around to decorating for Halloween or when I watch those clips about Pilgrim homes with thatched roofs around Thanksgiving time.
I mention all this as a prelude to my post about how confusing our English language can be for our students even if they are native English speakers.

As we read about the first little pig building his house today, one of my students looked puzzled.  "Why would he do that," he asked. "It would be hard to keep all those straws in a house."

"Ah, but straw is not a straw," I smiled as we began a little CCS inspired trip on Google exploring straw and straw homes of yore. I pondered if I might find some straw buried under a snowbank?

While I've read this story more times than I can remember, it takes on new perspectives and inspires questions and thinking when viewed through the eyes of a child. A straw IS NOT a straw; however, I wonder what might have happened if Pig 1 had lashed those heavy duty numbers they have a Dunkin Donuts?

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