Write Each Sight Word In Bleach…

Any parent of a new reader knows that sometimes it takes a little searching to find that magic “way” our children really “GET” our language’s highly illogical and very troublesome SIGHT WORDS.

A friend of mine posted something tonight on her Facebook Page that made many of us marvel at a new way to make learning Sight Words in the First Grade fun for our 6 year olds!


It was a worksheet that included an optional task to

Dip a Q-Tip into Bleach and to write the word

on construction paper (with a parent’s help.)


My friend posted it as a homework assignment slightly beyond her creative comfort zone.

It should NOT be lost on anyone reading the homework sheet that the homework specified that a parent needs to help if they do that one.

This is a good thing.

Because my bottle of bleach says to keep out of reach of children (and to read the back panel for even more precautionary statements beyond the All Caps Warnings on the front.)

But on a high note, THIS bottle of bleach DOES NOT contain any phosphorous!



funny homework-2


Interestingly, the back label describing recommended uses for this potent liquid only details the most boring applications throughout the household and kitchen.

funny homework-3
I think that label needs some expanding to include Dolch Sight Word mastery. :)

Anyway, we all had a good chuckle.

My friend’s son’s teacher does get an “I” for Initiative, a “C” for Creativity and a small”t” for Toxicity for sending home the worksheet.


I have no idea what my friend sent in or if she even initialed that little task block.

I recommended that she substitute paint or pudding or anything that does not require Poison Control’s intervention to complete the assignment, or that might require gloves to handle.


But, I made this sign for her.

Too bad she lives in Maryland.

I can’t even overnight it in time.


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If you want to read more funny stuff about the trials of early elementary homework, my friend, Bridget, who writes the hilarious blog Twinisms has started a virtual series about First Grade Homework now that her twin boys are bringing it home.

She hasn’t actually called it a series, but there’s  a lot to cover.

I kind of wish she got this assignment (times two for her twins).


My Word.


That would have been FUNNY, whether it was written in bleach, battery acid, turpentine, or Drano.


If we ever get a homework assignment like that, we’ll probably just substitute ketchup or mustard for any flesh-dissolving poisons the worksheet calls for.


And, then we’ll initial the little box.




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39 Responses to Write Each Sight Word In Bleach…

  1. Oh wow. Just goes to show that we all have bad ideas. And maybe this isn’t a “bad” idea to some. I’m all about stepping out of your comfort zone a little when it comes to play and learning opportunities, but this is too much for me. I agree that some pudding or lemon juice would have been better.

  2. Love that – as always – you took the everyday strange and saw the humor in it! We are in the sight word phase, too, but not keen on learning in a toxic, noxious fume, flesh-dissolving way. Hey, there’s an idea for a post for you, scientific mama! Ways to do change the color of the construction paper in an organic, non-dangerous way. (Please credit me for that when you do). Kidding about the credit, but that would be a brilliant lesson and we’re always looking for new ways to learn our sight words :-)

    • Chrissy- I was actually thinking about that- I wondered how it would be if there were a way to enable the color change using vinegar, baking soda and food coloring to achieve the same kind of color changing effect…something to tinker with if time avails… :)

  3. Honestly, with my 1st grader, I’d be willing to try it. Bleach is something we have at home and it’s cheap and I’d enjoy the science part of the experiment. Having said that, I would not make it a home work assignment. Many kids in 1st grade aren’t a good mix with something like bleach. And if it did go home to families, I would be sure to post some safety measures that might include wearing goggles. That teacher is setting him/her self up for problems, in my opinion. But… I know what we’re going to try this weekend. :)

  4. I give this teacher credit for being creative, but i have spastic kids who i have already had to call poison control on many occasion. One has already had an incident with bleach. I do not need an ER visit. LOL

  5. The teacher thinks outside of the box, I will give her that. However, I don’t think using potent, toxic, and harmful bleach for a homework project was the best idea she has ever had. LOL. I know Tyler would have spilled it on his hands, clothes, probably would have wanted to smell it, rubbed his eyes after using it, and the list could go on and on. If I saw that in Tyler’s homework folder I would have a WTH moment for sure;)

  6. At first I had no idea what effect the bleach would have on the paper, but once I saw your picture I thought it was quite pretty. I think that as long as the teacher specified that it had to be done with the help of a parent, then there really is no issue. :)

  7. I suppose my opinion is to be expected since I don’t even have bleach in my house….lol…. too crunchy granola for that. But I think this is insanity. Bleach is highly toxic and it is not good to even breathe the fumes. You never know who in your class (or their families) have additional sensitivities as well. And I guarantee at the very minimum, someone’s table or shirt got ruined. She is lucky if no 1st grader or younger sibling tried to swig it or got skin burns. If you are at work, you would be required to wear gloves, face masks, and have ventilation. http://www.educatingwellness.com/natural-health/dangers-of-bleach/ Did the instructor mention that the students should use these precautions? It is supposedly number one in accidental poisonings: http://blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience/2010/09/19/bleached-to-death-again/ Bad, bad, bad idea.

  8. If I were to even let my children do the bleach project (which I wouldn’t… to much potential for damage to my household… I can barely be trusted myself to work with bleach)… I would prefer that they use a bleach pen. But, I think there are a lot of other ways to get tactile learners to learn sight words, such as filling a cookie pan with salt and allowing them to write the words with their fingers. Or a Q-tip. Perhaps this helps with smell-oriented learners? I know that when I was in college that I ALWAYS remembered the notecards I wrote with a Sharpie better than the others. I also one time loaned a massive Biochemistry book to a classmate for one semester. When I got it back it smelled entirely of Bath & Body Works ‘White Tea & Ginger’ and the pages were crinkly. Turns out she sprayed certain pages that contained the stuff she needed to remember most. Weird.

    • The bleach pen is a very smart idea, Susana! My brother in law told me that he listens to certain songs when he needs to study because the music helps him recall information- The way we all process is fascinating. Love the bleach pen, idea- although, I’m not sure I love bleach at all. :)

  9. I have to chime in and say I wholeheartedly agree with Gretchen, but I didn’t have the guts to say it as straightforwardly as she did at risk of being ostracized for not writing a glowing review of another teacher’s assignment. Good on you, Gretchen, for your sensibility – as well as your backbone.

  10. That is insanity! I really would not have been able to find the humor in it, if my child had brought that home. That would have been the one homework assignment my kid would demand we follow step-by-step. I wonder how many people actually did it?!

  11. Love, love, love the gentle humor!
    Maybe this was another one of those assignments really intended for the parents with the child looking on? We get those, you know. Chalk could have done the trick….

  12. Hmm, working with bleach for a homework assignment is questionable – but so are hot dogs. Yet, I feed that questionable meat to my kids quite often…

  13. Sounds like variation on fingering in the sand. Ping me with the flick the finger in the forehead if am missing something, but wouldn’t plain old fashion water do do the same trick with plain old fashion construction paper.

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