Sunday, September 27, 2009

I can't help but work word puzzles

Last Thursday my wife and I went to the Byam elementary school's open house. In the first room I noted a white board with lists of homophones. It was easy to think of ones that were not already listed, so that seemed too easy: I needed to think of one that was not listed and had not just two, but three spellings. The obvious ones like (to, too and two) and (there, their and they're) were already there. I came up with pour, pore and poor. Just now I came up with meet, meat and mete. My wife just came up with pair, pare and pear.

In the younger daughter's class the teacher was talking about the pattern: a_e where a consonant goes into the blank spot and creates a long a sound. The kids would group words by whether they make the long a, a short a or something else. "Make" would be long a, "have" would be short a and so on. Mentally, I decided that it would be interesting to find words that were only three letters long and satisfied the rules: "Axe"--short a, "Ale"--long a, there are lots of three letter ones so coming up with these two on the spot is looking less and less impressive.

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