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Word of the Week

Maybe this has been around for ages but it works terrifically for me. It's called WORD OF THE WEEK. Each student takes a turn choosing a word from the dictionary on Monday morning - a word he/she does not know but understands the definition once she/he reads it. This becomes the Word of the Week, and it is posted immediately on an 8 x 3 inch card. Half-sheets of paper are passed to each student and before Friday, all students must write the word, define it, show its part of speech and pronunciation, write a sentence using it, as well as illustrate it in color. These are submitted to the 'chooser' on Friday and taken home to be 'evaluated.' I have made up a checklist to keep track of who does it and who does not, but they are ungraded. The evaluating student takes the role of teacher and is encouraged to make positive comments or indicate omitted parts on each paper, then record these on the checklist, to be returned on Monday. The card is transferred to an ever-growing string of them around the classroom, and students feel an amazing ownership of the words as they collect there. There is an incidental acquisition of vocabulary going on, just for fun. I always remind students that if you use a word three times, you 'own' it.


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