The Alphabet Play
Mrs. Hammermill……grade school teacher
…..is the a desk and a
morning. Such a lovely spring day, isn’t it children. The sun is out.
Flowers are popping their heads out of the ground. And I know all of want to be
out there playing. Recess is next, so you’ll be out there soon
enough. Today, today, children, we’re going to have a fun lesson. I’m
going to teach you the letters in the alphabet that can be said all by
themselves: letters that have their own meaning. Let’s start with you telling
[SHE LOOKS AROUND THE CLASS ROOM]
Somebody? Mary Ann, can you think of a letter. Sheilla? Tommy?
[SHE POINTS TO MARY ANN AND SMILES AS SHE HEARS THE ANSWER]
That’s right. Very good. “I” the letter “I”. “I” can mean “I” or guess what [SHE
SMILES AND POINTS TO HER EYES] It can mean “Eye”. “I” you can say all
by itself. Isn’t this fun?
Corbett? “O” Oh no, you can’t say O by itself. What? Well, yes that is right Tommy. You can say O if you say the letter K with it. So you can use O and K. Does anybody know what that means? It means “Okay” Okay you can go out to recess now. Okay, you can eat your lunch now. Okay? More now. Leonard?
That’s right “T” Now how would you say “T” in a sentence? Go ahead. “You had tea with your friend.” Very good Leonard.
“P”? Oh no. No you can’t say that letter alone. Of course not. No, no. Who? What did you say? Go ahead Tommy. With U. Yes, of course. Isn’t that clever. P with U. It’s phew: that doesn’t smell very nice. Very good. Well, lets start at the beginning. “A”
A is A isn’t it. This is “A” book. That is “A” pencil. “B”? There you are. That’s right Sheila. Bee is a bumble bee. And what else? Mmmm, right again Tommy. You will be there, I will be there. C now.
Leonard? Of course. I can see the blackboard. Very good. C U? Why yes. I can see you. Very good. Very good. “D” no. “D” can’t be said alone can it? E? No. “F”? No…what? What did you say Corbett? F U?
[SHE FLUSHES. HER LIPS
DRAW TIGHT. SHE STARES AT HIM]
Corbett, you go stand out in the hall. Go on now. You should know better than to talk like that.
[SHE WATCHED HIM LEAVE. STARES AT THE DOOR A MOMENT AND THEN CLEARS HER THROAT, SMILES AT THE CLASS AND CONTINUES]
Where were we now. “G” no Sarah, you can’t say “G” alone. “Oh Gee” no. G is short of Jesus, so that would be taking God’s name in vain. So you can’t say “G” all by itself. “H”? “I” yes. “H”? That’s right class. “H” you can’t say alone. “J” “K” “K” with “O” but only if “O” is first. Otherwise it’s an abbreviation. We’ll talk about abbreviations another day. “L”, “M” No, Betsy, you can’t say “Mmm it’s good” for m. It’s em and em isn’ mmm” “N” no. That’s right . And “O”? “O” only with “K” “P” we spoke about that. There now.
Sarah, you can go tell Corbett he can come back in.
[THERE IS A PAUSE AS SHE WATCHES SARAH GO TO THE DOOR AND THEN WATCHED CORBETT GO TO HIS SEAT]
I think you should apologize to the class, Corbett. What you said wasn’t very nice. What? “All you said was F U?” Oh my. Oh my. Do want to see the principal? What? Oh. Okay. That’s better. You’re sorry.
Now, let’s continue. We were at Q. Q you can’t say alone, can you? R, of course. Where R you going? Right? S, no. T, T, we talked about that didn’t we? U hmm. We all know who you are. Isn’t this fun? V no, W no, X no. There’s only one left now. Does anybody know which one that is? Jeannie? “Y”, yes of course why. Y are you doing that. Very good. “I or I don’t why I did that” very good. Z? Z no. So there we have it.
We’ve said all the letters in the alphabet you can say alone. Do you remember which ones they are? Do you? Good. Very good.
Now, we’ll do numbers. I was going to save this for tomorrow’s lesson. But it is really very short. It couldn’t be a full lesson. Here it is:. You can’t say number one or number two but all the rest you can say. That was simple enough. You can go to recess now.
Corbett, you can stay. I think we should have a little talk with the principal.