RE: Terminology

Subject: RE: Terminology
From: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- MailAndNews -dot- com>
To: "Candie McKee" <kiruna91 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 15:13:41 -0400

>I was asked to create a vocabulary training session. What does this mean?
>Basically, it is a mini-vocabulary class. After reading several books on
>building vocabulary, I have found that most of it is very basic: Student
>memorizes word. I would like for this class to be more interactive (i.e.
>vocabulary jeopardy; Vocabble (akin to scrabble)). I have seen the use of
>cartoons, but I lack this rather involved talent.

I think you're on the right track, and have a good start with your ideas. Here
are some of mine:

1. You could also do a scavenger hunt: take them to a library and have them
find unusual words in print, without using a dictionary or thesaurus. You
could also do this online.

2. You could have the "students" write mock letters to a pen pal from the
class - base these letters on the pre-email way of writing. At the end of the
campaign, each person has to guess who the letter writer is by having them
define the unusual words that they used in the letters. You can either define
a set of words for each person to use in his/her letter or you can let them go
freestyle, requiring them to use at least 5 or 10 words they haven't used
before and didn't know the meaning of.

3. Have you seen "you lie like a dog" on Animal Planet? You could fashion a
game show after it. Give a person a word, have them look it up, and then have
classmates ask questions to figure out the meaning of the word. To throw them
off, have a second person who doesn't know the word, but who is quick-witted
enough to fake knowledge.

4. A Homonym Hunt: the first person to come up with a certain number of
homonyms wins a prize. (you could do a synonym or antonym hunt, as well).

5. The Incomprehesible Fairy Tale: take a fairy tale, and rewrite it using a
lot of "large" words and have the students try to figure out what the story is
about. You could then have them translate one into such language in groups.

I tried #5 when I taught freshman composition. It went over really well with
my class - we ended up with absolutely hilarious fairy tales. I hope I kept
some of the funnier ones, I'll go digging tonight.

Jeff Hanvey

"There is fiction in the space between /The lines on your page of memories
Write it down but it doesn't mean / You're not just telling stories"
-Tracy Chapman, Telling Stories

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