Teaching Language Arts


“”Homo” means “same” and “nym” means “name.”  Blah blah blah. [Insert explanation for homonyms here].

Then we proceeded to go through examples that were difficult for them and some mnemonic devices.  (Principal and principle, pallet and palette, foul and fowl).

Then, Brain raises his hand.  “Ms. Kim, what about ‘burro‘?”  

Oh.  I guess for them, this wasn’t exactly a homonym.  They laughed when I told them it’s pronounced exactly like “burrow” (the provided homonym).



I was teaching proper adjectives and explaining the difference between a proper adjective and a proper noun is its use and not necessarily the way it looks.

Case in point:

“The Chinese [noun] invented gunpowder” vs “I love Chinese [adjective] food.”

This then segues into what the adjective forms of certain countries are and I give examples of each adjective..

We get to Brazil and the first thing out of my mouth is, “like, getting a Brazilian wax.”  I catch myself and smoothly transition to, “or Brazilian barbeque, you know there’s this place in Berkeley where they have the best brazilian barbeque called…” all while I try to choke back awkward laughter and a few girls titter in the background.  Thankfully the boys (even the older ones) all went, “Huh?” and there was no more discussion.


One response to “Teaching Language Arts

  1. strangely enough, part of my class reading today talked about homographs, homonyms, and polysemes… weird sense of deja vu. I’m learning about the same stuff your middle schoolers are..

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