I admit it. I do not enjoy teaching vocabulary. Ever since I heard Ms. Laura Robb explain the frequency with which some struggling readers need to meet and remeet a word before they own it, I just got tired thinking about how to make that happen. I think this makes the strongest case for building vocabulary instruction around root word studies.
Last Thursday we did a little harmless vocabulary work, but I can't promise you that all of it will stick. I made copies of the "Sample Word Wall of Adjectives That Describe a Character's Personality." You may find it inside Laura Robb's Easy Mini-Lessons for Building Vocabulary. It's published by Scholastic.
Here's what we did:
1. Highlight the words that are unfamiliar to you.
2. Choose five of those words to define.
3. Identify five words that describe you.
4. Support your choices.
5. Watch a clip from "The Muppet Movie."
I showed "Rainbow Connection" to the end of the segment below.
6. Choose five adjectives that describe Kermit.
7. Support your choices.
8. Choose a character from your independent reading book
and five adjectives to describe him/ her/ it.
9. Support your choices.
A modification I made for my inclusion class is to put them in pairs.
They did all of the same work, but more.
Putting them in pairs made it more natural to say the words out loud to each other as they decided which words they did not know. Also, they chose five different words to define and shared their answers with their partner. I put some kids on the class computers to use dictionary.com instead of the paper dictionaries.
And if you are wondering who the title of this entry describes, it's not me; it's Kermit.