Vocabulary….. Context….. What is required for learning words in context? The better a child reads, the better the child will recognize words in context. Rankin & Overholser. EE (Apr. 71), 266.
Vocabulary….. Development….. How increase students’ vocabularies? Expand on words; come up with words related in some way to the target word. Example: apostatized—abandon an organization or cause. Other, related words: ostracize, emigrate, secede, blackball, blacklist, boycott, exile, banish, deport, expel, expatriate, shun, etc. Ray (2004). Suggested by C Washburne, “Short Papers on Readiness, Reading Interests, Vocabulary Development, and Comprehension.” 533-551.
Vocabulary….. Introduction to Reading….. How use vocabulary to prepare students for reading a selection? Students given key words from article or story and try to compose their own articles or story by connecting these words. Then read actual article or story. MA Richek. RT (Feb. 05), 415. [Reactions: Solution to the problem of how to use a great many vocabulary words in a chapter, article or story. Good way to introduce the chapter, article or story. ] Students given list of words to be used in article, book or story. Each student given two or three words to become expert in. They teach these words to the other students. Then the class reads the article, book or story. MA Richek. RT (Feb. 05), 417. [Reactions: Another solution for what to do when the number of vocabulary words to pre-teach is too many. Students need to be shown how to “teach” the words, the meanings of which they have mastered, how to teach them in an interesting manner.]
Vocabulary….. Nouns….. What is the spirit behind the desire to learn vocabulary? George Eliot, 1856: “I never before longed so much to know the names of things…. The desire is part of the tendency that is now constantly growing in me to escape from all vagueness and inaccuracy to the daylight of distinct vivid ideas. The mere fact of naming an object tends to give definiteness to our conception of it. We have then a sign which at once calls up in our minds the distinctive qualities which mark out for us that particular object from all others.” LS Golub. EE (May 71), 450.
Vocabulary….. Stories….. What are some interesting vocabulary activities? Students find the stories behind the names of the body’s muscles. Makes vocabulary fun and the words memorable. J Blasingame, Jr. & A P Nilsen. EJ (Mar. 05), 59-64. “Root” of the day. Each day give students word roots, on which several words are based. JW Bloodgood & LC Pacifici. RT (Nov. 04), 253.
Work/Study Skills….. Handwriting….. What is the normal progression in learning to write by hand? “The practice of beginning instruction with manuscript writing in grade one and changing to cursive by the end of the primary grades has become almost universally accepted…. 75-100 minutes per week in primary grades; 45-60 minutes per week in intermediate and upper grades. EE Plattor & ES Woestehoff. “Toward a Singular Style of Instruction in Handwriting."
Work/Study Skills….. Handwriting….. What is another point of view toward the normal progression in handwriting instruction? Suggests beginning with manuscript and maintaining it throughout the grades. Cursive is not worth the time which could be better spent on other language activities. EE Plattor & ES Woestehoff. “Toward a Singular Style of Instruction in Handwriting.” 1009-1011.
Writing….. Assignment….. What are some interesting writing assignments? “My students’ work culminates in a persuasive essay to an elected official expressing their position on a current issue.” EP Gaunder. EJ (May 05), 31. When students complained about the cafeteria, English composition teacher made the cafeteria the assignment. Researched cafeterias in other schools, interviewed people to find out why things were done as they were and drew up a set of recommendations to present to the school board. F Barton. EJ (May 05), 75.Students produce magazines with a focus and publish them using the computer. They invite fellow students interested in the same focus to contribute articles. Use “Call for Manuscripts” as a model for inviting others to contribute. Use contemporary magazines for ideas on design and formatting. T Perry. EJ (May 05), 117-121. Students measure off a square foot outside, study the area using a magnifying glass from 20 to 30 minutes, take notes and then return to the classroom and write. R Webb. “Heaven Is Under Our Feet.” 1106-1108. Give students a wordless picture book and have them write the words of the story that the pictures tell. DJ Bissett. “Literature in the Classroom.” 1190. Students use pictures of people and places that “matter” as source for topics on which to write. R Reissman. N+ (Oct. 04), 12-15.
N+ = Notes Plus. EJ = English Journal. RT = Reading Teacher. EE = Elementary English.