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Thursday, November 16, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

…or is expecting a First Grader to be able to spell the seven continents a bit much?

Filed under: Kids | |


  1. Spelling them!? I am surprised they even know them.

    Comment by The Misanthrope — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  2. Oh, wow. I know some college students that cannot even name them. There are first graders that are expected to know how to spell the continents and they probably haven’t learned how to write in cursive yet?

    Maybe this teacher needs to be medicated.

    Comment by S — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  3. Nope, not just you.


    Comment by Deb — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

  4. My wife the first grade teacher said, “no way!” That is simply ridiculous

    Comment by Clint — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 10:14 pm

  5. That is a bit much.

    However, when my oldest son was in 4th grade, his teacher had them spelling words that I don’t know how to spell.
    Examples: Schadenfreude and defenestrate (and yes, I had to look them up to spell them just now)
    That teacher is now teaching in Mountain Brook.

    Comment by Jan — Thursday, November 16, 2006 @ 10:35 pm

  6. Do you have a link for this, or is it a personal anecdote from your own child?

    And I say they should get a gold star just for knowing the seven.

    Comment by KipEsquire — Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 7:21 am

  7. Personal anecdote.

    She wants them to be able to identify them on a map and to spell them.

    Methinks it is a bit much.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 8:08 am

  8. Think on the bright side: if your kid is able to do it, then eventually he can move to Texas and write in “Shelley Sekula-Gibbs” for Congress!

    Comment by Mark — Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

  9. :)

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  10. I think it’s silly to expect.

    I won’t be surprised if mine are able to do it, but they’re them.

    Comment by Jay — Friday, November 17, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

  11. Obviously doesn’t go to a Montessori school- Montissori kids know all the continents, and most of the countries on the continents before they start 1st grade. They also know the names of most geometric shapes (such as hexagons, isoceles triangles, etc.). Preschoolers are at an age where they want to know the names of things, and they learn them easily if given a chance. For example, they learn insect body parts by singing (to the tune of ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes): head, thorax, abdomen (x2), antenna and exoskeleton, head thorax, abdomen. Or, they can learn all the words to the latest pop song. Same difference to them!

    Comment by Aine — Saturday, November 18, 2006 @ 9:00 am

  12. I don’t mind the identification, it’s the spelling.

    And yes, kids can memorize a song about almost anything, although I question the degree to which they actually understand what they are singing, which to me is a critical issue.

    I suspect you could get 1st graders to memories the names of the components of DNA via a song, but so what?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, November 18, 2006 @ 11:55 am

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