Weight vs Wait: A Vocabulary Anecdote

A teacher of my acquaintance does “use this word in a sentence” exercises with homonyms.   Asking the kids to use the word “wait” in a sentence, the boys wrote about “waiting for someone” scenarios; the girls wrote about “losing weight”.

Second grade.

(ETA: She’s asking them to use the word “wait” verbally, so the kids are interpreting which homonym, wait or weight, to write about.)

9 thoughts on “Weight vs Wait: A Vocabulary Anecdote

    • The teacher told a group of us the story. I don’t have kids, she was just talking about the kids in her class – she asked them to use “wait” (verbally) in a sentence, and the boys went “Oh, waiting” and the girls went “Oh, losing weight”.

  1. it’s amazing how early they start them on these lessons. I substitute in kindergarten – the kids had an exercise where they had to write three-letter words, like “cat”, and then were given another three-letter word that had one letter different, in this case, “fat”. The sentence for fat was “Don’t eat too much food or you’ll get fat!” of course, these kindergarteners come in all shapes and the chubby ones are already self-aware that their being bigger is undesirable – she could have easily said “some people are fat and some people are thin”.

  2. It does start early. I’ve tried hard to maintain a body positive household, but my 7 year old (much more socially aware than her older siblings were -heck are), is definitely on the ‘fat is bad’ bandwagon. Before she used to glorify in her round little tummy, now she often comments about how she ate too much, and her tummy is fat. That is not talk she gets at home at all.

    Sigh.

    She isn’t yet talking about losing weight, though. At least that.

  3. Kids are definitely thinking about weight loss and “not getting fat” even as young as preschool. I taught preschool for five years and fitness was something a lot of them worried about. In my class of super athletic boys it was more the boys who worried about it. I had one kid, whom I adored, was always in a panic about eating sugar because he would get fat. I told him that he got so much exercise that as long as he wasn’t eating a ton of it a little sugar would be fine. He was almost in a panic about it sometimes.
    It worried me but most of all it made me sad. What kind of life is that for a kid? Constantly terrified that the Boogy man of Fatness was around the corner waiting to get him.

    I remember a little boy coming up to me and saying “You’re fat.” (And I am, very) I replied to him, “Yes, I am. Is that ok?” He thought for a moment and said, “Yeah” then he hugged me and went to play.

    That’s what I think it should be.

    I am fat. It’s not contagious. Honestly, I don’t want any of those kids to struggle with weight as I have, but I don’t think trading a weight problem for an anxiety-about-weight problem is such a great thing either.

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