Sometimes students have the strangest ideas about writing rules. Oh yeah, it doesn't help that a lot of English rules are more suggestions. It makes writing just so much fun to teach!
Last week, the conversation about because came up with my desperate-to-pass-their-writing-exit-exam seniors.
"Miss, is it true that you can't start a sentence with because?"
I sighed. This is not the first time I've ever had this conversation with my hapless high schoolers.
"Nope. It's not true. That's something your elementary teachers told you so you wouldn't try to write sentences with because and then screw them up. You see, it's really easy to write a fragment when you start with because, but if you are careful, using it can create a good sentence."
Now, I don't know if it's really elementary teachers who perpetuate this idea, but someone is doing it. I understand that the teacher is probably trying to save them from themselves. Oh boy, do I understand that!
Once I show the students on the board how because can go bad fast, and how to fix it, they understood. I suspect that a few years back they might not have understood, but they get it now.
But it's during times like these when I wonder if I ever send students down the wrong path when I'm just trying to help.