Apples can be red ,yellow and green- An undervalued teaching point !
Recently I came across a post by a teacher teaching primary classes.The post was a comment on how she went about teaching her children some apple facts.Well, nothing too new in that! However what caught my eye was one of the facts on the kiddie work sheet.The fact was...Apples can be red ,yellow and green .There seems to be on the face of it nothing special about it.However, being in contact with kids from varied backgrounds for so long now my attention was caught.
Generally the statement found on most such worksheets is : An apple is red in colour .I am sure, we don't want our children to grow up with the rigid and misinformed idea that An apple is only red in colour, for, that is what is implied by the statement An apple is red in colour .Till some time back (in some cases even now) bread is white in colour used to be another such example.
The list of such incomplete and half baked facts fed inadvertently to children is endless, and gradually they become fixed ideas and sometimes attitudes in the grown up child. Maggie substitutes for the word noodles and all noodles are junk food regardless of the fact that healthier options in the form of wheat noodles dressed with healthy and not overcooked veggies is ok to eat.The word cold drink substitutes for any aerated drink when a cold drink is simply what it means literally A drink which is cold ,could be a milk shake too! Use of the word Mobile (without adding the word phone to it) for a phone which is portable is another such misnomer.
This is a pointer to the fact that mostly when we parents teach children or even communicate with them when in casual talk we rarely pay attention to our choice of words and language.In whatever language we are talking to a child, the teacher and in fact we all grown ups around the child have to be very particular and sure about its accuracy .
Also, the more versatile the usage of the same word by grown ups is, the more eloquent and expressive the child will become gradually, be it in academics or otherwise.