noah and the skwrole

my middle son Noah is in 1st grade this year, and some of the homework he brings home absolutely cracks me up – there is the usual mix of random backwards letters and numbers, the blend of lower and upper case letters, and a jumble of missing punctuation marks… perfectly normal for a 6-year old boy.

the children are encouraged to sound out the spelling for words to write sentences, so sometimes the letters he uses as he guesses how to spell things are quite funny.  I suppose part of this is the strangeness of the English language, with all the varying sounds the same letters can make and such.

noah at the apple orchard for his birthday last fall

several weeks Noah brought home an project he had completed, with the focus of the lesson being learning to infer from poetry.  after each line in the poem, the children were supposed to write down what they inferred from the line (and then from multiple lines as they kept going).  On the left is the line from the poem, followed by Noah’s guess – and his spelling – on the right:

I am furry.

………………Brown bare

and I can climb up trees.

………………Grisle bare

I have a long bushy tail.


I can jump.


I collect nuts.


Who am I?


I love it.  it probably makes perfect sense to a 6-year old boy.

2 skwrole in our front yard tree (from spring a few years ago)



8 Responses to “noah and the skwrole”

  1. 1 tzopilotl March 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    …a plague of cedulas, where are my scrolls? noah should be
    encouraged in his spelling, letters don’t matter but sounds
    do. here’s noah’s name, a verb meaning, deserving in nauatl,
    the first language of all, that was designed to be remembered
    as sound and never for writing. that seems to be the dark secret
    of language, it was powered by memory, alas no more, but out of eden they are still making children that way. icnoa(N)=
    ic-/where -no-/my -a/atl/water=deserving, which, when one thinks
    of the bible story, was all about water and all about deserving.

  2. 2 my2fish March 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    tzopilotl, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    we do encourage Noah, and quite frankly – I am usually quite amazed at how well he can sound out the spelling for words. they aren’t always the English spelling, but the letters he chose make perfect sense. our son was in fact named for the Biblical character Noah – a man of amazing faith and righteousness.

    cheers, my2fish

  3. 3 Baydog March 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    We have so many skworles in our backyard that it’s hard to keep the berdfeeter full of seeds!

    • 4 my2fish March 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      baydog – we have the same problem! except our skwrole was working with a pair of ducks! (you can just barely see the female duck’s head down in the grass in this picture.)
      skwrole and duck at the bird-feeder

  4. 5 Kir March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Great story, Thad. I love hearing about what kids are doing in school. I’m impressed that in first grade already teachers are asking kids to make inferences! Go, teacher!
    And Noah’s guesses (and spellings )DO make perfect sense. I’ll have to ask Jared to try to sound them out tonight. 🙂 I’m sure he’ll get them right!

  5. 6 Peter March 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    That’s awesome! It really is neat to look at language through the eyes of kids.

    Grisle bare is still making me laugh!

  6. 7 Bonnie March 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I had to think for a second but his spelling actually does make perfect sense, doesn’t it?

    Eventually he’ll learn all the proper irrationalities – glad you enjoy these early stages enough to share.

    PS I was out for a paddle today & thoughts of Sunfish were running through my head. It was too gusty for me to really consider it today, I was better off in my kayak, but there were a few moments when the wind let up & I found myself thinking “Mmmm, this would be fun in a Sunfish”.

    • 8 my2fish March 12, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      bonnie, for what it’s worth, I’ve been having several random thoughts lately, thinking “Mmmm, it would be fun to have some kayaks”.

      my oldest son did pretty well on his own in a kayak last summer, so I’m thinking 1 kayak for him, and me and my wife in a canoe with the 2 younger boys would be a fun way to get out on the water when I can’t get the Sunfish out to play.

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