Monday, May 13, 2013

Schoolhouse Rock Pronouns Fiasco

A couple of years ago my son Tim and his girlfriend Chelsie were cast in the play Schoolhouse Rock Live.  That's Tim in the front on the right and Chelsie is on the top on the left.


And here they are with Gess after the show.


They did an excellent job and it really reminded me what a great tool those songs and videos can be.  Gess has since memorized the preamble to the constitution and knows how a bill becomes law among many other things.  I really found Schoolhouse Rock helpful in learning parts of speech and grammar rules.

I personally liked how in the play a few of the songs were preformed more slowly making it easier for Gess to understand them.  Tim and Chelsie helped teach the songs to Gess that way.  One was Counting by Fives and the other was Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla which is their pronoun song.  Here is the fast version of that last song.


Recently I have noticed that Gess has been using pronouns so much she has ditched proper nouns all together.  She is always talking about she, her, him or he and I keep asking her who she is talking about.  This happened while we were visiting Tim and Chelsie at college and Chelsie noted that is reverting in speech patterns.  While that is true I could not figure out why Gess would be doing that.  Then, on the way home Gess and I were singing and she started singing this song.  That's when it hit me! She is taking this song literally!  If using nouns over and over again wears you down, well, why use them at all?! We now have been reminding her to use her "proper noun" first to build the context and that already seems to be helping. 

We are starting to work on paragraphs now and Gess doesn't seem to make the same mistakes in writing as she does in speaking.  Who knows, maybe it's not the song, maybe she just assumes I already know what she's talking about.  After all, I know adults who make that mistake all the time!  We are not mind readers people, context is important and so sometimes you have to use nouns, even if they are long and tiresome like Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla!

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