In September, I started teaching my granddaughter to read over Zoom. It’s one of the blessings of being retired. I have the time to build a relationship with Alice that I missed with her older siblings all the years I was working full-time at school. Alice has come a long way from not knowing all her letters and sounds to this week’s lessons using -nk.
-ank. bank. ank.
-ink. pink. ink.
-onk. honk. onk.
-unk. junk. unk.
Some of you may recognize this drill for teaching students word parts. Alice and I have been working with this pattern. She was ready to give it a try in a book called Stink Bugs.
We were reading along and Alice was decoding very well. She decoded rostrums which was pretty impressive. Did you know that a stink bug has a rostrum which is like a long straw for a mouth? It can stick its rostrum into berries and flowers to drink. When not eating, it tucks the rostrum under its belly between its legs. Pretty handy.
Next we read about the life cycle of the stink bug. The pictures were vivid. I was having a great time learning about stink bugs (which have migrated to Virginia only recently). Alice clearly wasn’t having as much fun.
“Excuse me, Grandma. I don’t mean to be rude, but why are we reading THIS book?” She was so earnest. I had to chuckle a little as I explained that we were reading it to practice -nk words. Then I mentioned that it’s good to read nonfiction because we can learn cool stuff. “But Grandma, stink bugs are gross and icky!”
What do you think?