Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Words, Words, Words: How are we using vocabulary strategies?

In both my honors and my general classes we are currently reading a novel.  With my honors classes we are reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and in my general classes we are reading Max the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.  Both novels are rich in vocabulary and figures of speech.  Each week as we approach new vocabulary terms, we use a new strategy to help us understand the words.  So far we have created vocabulary maps, used context clues, created linear arrays, and played "I know it!".  Many of these ideas came from the following site:  .

Our most recent vocabulary activity required the use of dictionary/vocabulary cubes.  This activity did take some prep time.  I copied the cubes onto card stock, in order to make them more durable. I then used clear tape to hold them together.  To make it easy to distribute the materials I placed the cube and the word cards into a small Zip-lock bag.

The students worked with a partner, taking turns rolling the cube.  As the students rolled the cube they had to do the activity they rolled.  The possibilities were to determine the meaning, etymology, part of speech, pronunciation, synonyms and antonyms,  and to use the word in a sentence.    Overall, this activity went well, but next time, I would require the students to complete the meaning for every word.

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