Thursday, February 21, 2008

Literal vs. Figurative Language and Preschoolers

I mentioned earlier that we visited a preschool on Tuesday that we have been considering for Ella in the fall. Today Kelli asked her whether she liked it or not. Her response was "a little girl had to go to heaven there for chewing gum". As a result, she said she definately didn't want to go to school there ever. I explained to Kelli...

While we were visiting the preschool, the director who was showing us around commented that Ella's chewing gum smelled very good. Ella said "thanks, it's fruity, isn't it?". The director then said that her daughter had just gotten her braces off and was "in heaven" because she was allowed to have gum and candy again.

Ella stopped dead in her tracks and said, "Why'd she have to go to heaven for chewing gum?" The director was suprised, but Ella wasn't going to budge until I fixed this.... or so I thought, by attempting to explain that she just meant her daughter was excited, it was just a figure of speech, etc.

We then moved on (perhaps to quickly) to the fact that the little girl had sucked her paci and her thumb and that was why she had to have braces. We're using braces and her teeth as the reason for not letting Ella have a paci anymore, so I thought we'd reinforce it with the director's daughter's braces story. Ella was very curious about it all.

I thought we had everything cleared up before the end of our tour that day. Ella said that she was excited to go to preschool with the other boys and girls when we got home that afternoon. I'm still not clear on whether or not she understands this particular expression, but early this morning Ella used the words "oh. my. heavens... I have to go to the potty" when she was playing after breakfast. Sometimes she gets that there are lots of expressions and figures of speech that are used to describe feelings, but when we least expect it she goes completely literal on us! I suspect we're in for all this and a whole lot more once the other three begin talking and thinking out loud the way E does.


Brandi said...

That is so funny, I don't think I would have been able to figure out what she was talking about though!

Amanda L said...

Did you tour Concord?