Vocabulary Acquisition Mighty Peace Teachers’ Convention 2014
For further conversation about any of these topics: Rick Wormeli firstname.lastname@example.org 703-620-2447 Herndon, Virginia, USA (Eastern Standard Time Zone) Twitter: @RickWormeli
Why English is Hard to Learn(Author Unknown) The bandage was wound around the wound. The farm was used to produce produce. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. We must polish the Polish furniture. He could lead if he would get the lead out. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. I did not object to the object. The insurance was invalid for the invalid. They were too close to the door to close it. The buck does funny things when the does are present. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. The wind was too strong to wind the sail. After a number of injections my jaw got number. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. The Native American took a bow after tying a bow in the string of his bow.
q p c d Which letter does not belong, and why?
“… long-cultivated dislikes and resentments, combined with a general expectation of coming apocalypse. He talked about these topics in a manner that managed to be tight-lipped and loquacious at the same time.” —Ian Frazier, New Yorker, 22 & 29 Dec. 2003 (as quoted in Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary)
Loquacious Synonyms talkative, voluble, communicative, expansive, garrulous, unreserved, chatty, gossipy, gossiping, blabby, chatty, conversational, gabby, garrulous, talkative, motormouthed, mouthy, talky, demonstrative, effusive, gushing; free-spoken, outspoken, articulate, fluent, glib, well-spoken, long-winded, verbose, windy, wordy So, what does it mean? Tending to talk a great deal; talkative.
The single best way to boost students’ vocabulary: Make reading inviting, compelling, transformative. Increase their time spent reading.
For great ideas on how to make reading motivating to students: Check out the work of: Kelly Gallagher, Donalyn Miller, Ruth Culhum, Cris Tovani, Steven Layne, Kylene Beers For research behind this idea, check out the work of Steve Krashen
It’s the same with writing, too: Increased time spent writing means increased vocabulary acquisition. ‘Great new book on students’ writing conversations: The Best-Kept Teaching Secret by Daniels and Daniels (2013)
“To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.” -- Thomas Huxley, 1854
Expertise aids metaphor genesis and understanding. ‘Put another way: Chance favors the prepared mind. -- Pasteur
Chess masters can store over 100,000 different patterns of pieces in long term memory. Chess players get good by playing thousands of games! • Experts think in relationships, patterns, chunks, novices keep things individual pieces. • Physics experiment in categorization… • Solid learning comes from when students make the connections, not when we tell them about those connections.
The Brain’s Dilemna:What Input to Keep, and What Input to Discard? • Survival • Familiarity/Context • Priming • Intensity • Emotional Content • Movement • Novelty -- Summarized from Pat Wolfe’s Brain Matters, 2001 The brain never stops paying attention. It's always paying attention.
Prime the brain prior to asking students to do any learning experience. Priming means we show students: • What they will get out of the experience (the objectives) • What they will encounter as they go through the experience (itinerary, structure)
Hmm. I wonder… ….which one is more loquacious?
Journalistic vs. Encyclopedic Writing “The breathing of Benbow’s pit is deafening, like up-close jet engines mixed with a cosmic belch. Each new breath from the volcano heaves the air so violently my ears pop in the changing pressure – then the temperature momentarily soars. Somewhere not too far below, red-hot, pumpkin size globs of ejected lava are flying through the air.” -- National Geographic, November 2000, p. 54
“A volcano is a vent in the Earth from which molten rock (magma) and gas erupt. The molten rock that erupts from the volcano (lava) forms a hill or mountain around the vent. Lava may flowout as viscous liquid, or it may explode from the vent as solid or liquid particles…”-- Global Encyclopedia, Vol. 19 T-U-V, p. 627
With hocked gems financing him, Our hero bravely defied all scornful laughter That tried to prevent his scheme. Your eyes deceive, he had said; An egg, not a table Correctly typifies this unexplored planet. Now three sturdy sisters sought proof, Forging along sometimes through calm vastness Yet more often over turbulent peaks and valleys. Days became weeks, As many doubters spread Fearful rumors about the edge. At last from nowhere Welcome winged creatures appeared Signifying momentous success. -- Dooling and Lachman (1971) pp. 216-222
Creating Background Where There is None • Tell the story of the Code of Hammurabi before discussing the Magna Charta. • Before studying the detailed rules of baseball, play baseball. • Before reading about how microscopes work, play with micros copes. • Before reading the Gettysburg Address, inform students that Lincoln was dedicating a cemetery.
Creating Background Where There is None • Before reading a book about a military campaign or a murder mystery with references to chess, play Chess with a student in front of the class, or teach them the basic rules, get enough boards, and ask the class to play. • In math, we might remind students of previous patterns as they learn new ones. Before teaching students factorization, we ask them to review what they know about prime numbers. • In English class, ask students, “How is this story’s protagonist moving in a different direction than the last story’s protagonist?” • In science, ask students, “We’ve seen how photosynthesis reduces carbon dioxide to sugars and oxidizes water into oxygen, so what do you think the reverse of this process called, ‘respiration,’ does?”
Important for all ages when moving content into long-term memory: Students have to do both, Access Sense-Making Process Meaning-Making
Word Morphology:Teach Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes! Mal – badly, poor Meta – beyond, after, change Mis – incorrect, bad Mono – one Multi – many Neo – new Non – not Ob, of, op, oc – toward, against Oct – eight Paleo – ancient Para – beside, almost Penta – five Per – throughout, completely Peri – around Poly – many Post – after Pre – before Pseudo – false
Proficient Readers Aoccdrnig to rseerach at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in what order the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoetnt tihnh is that the frist and lsat ltteer is in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can still raed it outhit a porbelm. This is bcuseae we do not raed ervey letetr by itslef, but the word as a wlohe. -- Sousa, p. 62
Some Great “Silver Bullets” from Janet Allen: • Vocabulary development is directly proportional to time spent reading. • Three avenues to effective vocabulary instruction: integration, repetition, and meaningful use. (Nagy et al., 1988) • Teach no more than 8 to 10 new words outside of reading per week. • Don’t ask students to write sentences with the vocabulary terms until they’ve studied them in depth.
Use words over and over in natural flow of conversation – model, model, model – normalize their use. Have students practice saying the words – even choral recitation – just to visualize themselves saying it. • Definition approach is ineffective by itself. (Baumann and Kameenui, 1991) • Relying solely on context clues is often ineffective, but knowing the definition with context clues can be very effective. (Baumann and Kameenui, 1991)
Concept Ladder(J.W. Gillet, C. Temple, 1986, as described in Inside Words, Janet Allen) Concept: Causes of: Effects of: Language associated with: Words that mean the same as: Historical examples: Contemporary examples: Evidence of: Literature connections made:
Dr. Janet Allen High School Superlative: “Most Likely to Be Loquacious with Vocabulary Ideas”
“Word Link” • Each student gets a word. • In partners, students share the link(s) between their individual words. • Partner team joins another partner team, forming a “word cluster.” • All four students identify the links among their words and share those links with the class. -- Yopp, Ruth Helen. “Word Links: A Strategy for Developing Word Knowledge,” Voices in the Middle, Vol. 15, Number 1, September 2007, National Council Teachers of English
Great Vocabulary Acquisition Ideas Shape spellings Restaurant Menu Wanted Dead or Alive Posters Taboo Cards Vocabulary Rummy Cards Competitive Conversation using vocabulary Word Walls Only 8-10 words per week!
Writing Concisely Avoid Redundancies and Saying the Same thing in different ways: more additions, absolutely certain/essential/necessary, advance forward, 2:00 a.m. in the morning, baby puppy/kitten, blended together, brief moment, deliberate lie, foreign imports, necessary requirement, old antique, orbiting satellite, preliminary draft, proceed ahead, raise up, refer back, repeat over, tiny particle, true facts, unexpected surprise, violent explosion, visible to the eye, while at the same time. Cut to the Chase: “A small number of people” – “three people” “His whole speech bothered me.” – “His speech bothered me.” -- William Brohaugh’s book, Write Tight, 1993, Writer’s Digest Books
Visuals and Graphics are Powerful! Examples: • Shape Spelling • Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle (ethos, pathos, logos) 6th grade study: Some students memorized dictionary definitions, and some drew pictures to portray words and their meanings. The picture drawing group outscored the first significantly.
Categorizing Games Any game in which students categorize items according to identified criteria. No one category can have less than three items. Individuals or teams can compete to be accurate and first. Examples: • Categorize the Greek gods and goddesses three different ways (domains/powers, relationships, chronological appearance, frailties, uses…) • “Word Sorts” • Sort these student essays (products) into “Proficient,” “Good, but in need of improvement,” and “Struggling”
In-Out Game: Students determine the classification a teacher’s statements exemplify, then they confirm their hypothesis by offering elements “in the club” and elements “out of the club.” They don’t identify the club, just the items in and out of it. If the students’ suggestions fit the pattern, the teacher invites them to be a part of the club. The game continues until everyone is a member. Example: She is in the club but the class is not. They are in the club, but the penguins are not. You are in the club, but the donuts are not. Give me something in and out of the club.” A student guesses correctly that the club is for personal pronouns, so she says, “We are in the club, but moon rocks are not.” To make it a bit more complex, announce the club’s elements and non-elements in unusual ways that must also be exemplified by the students, such as making all the items in and out of the club alliterative or related in some way. This can be as obvious or as complex as you want it to be.
Extreme Vocabulary(Making Words Their Own: Building Foundations for Powerful Vocabulary, 2008) • Distribute word pairs of opposites. • In partners, students place these words at opposite ends of a continuum drawn on paper (or hung as tent cards on rope), and in between the extremes, they place words that fall along the continuum of meaning. For example -- extremes of temperature: Freezing --- Cold --- Tepid --- Warm --- Hot --- Boiling • Once students ge the idea, try something more complex, such as inconsolable and carefree. Where would despondent fit? How about concerned, content, worried, and satisfied? As students discuss the proper positioning of the words and physically move the tent cards back and forth, students draw on visual cues and cement the definitions in their minds. If finding the specific words to go between the two extremes is difficult at first, provide suggestions that students study then place in the sequence. • Ask students to explain their rationale for their choices and positions. Classmates critique their decisions. Does “inconsolable---despondent--–worried--–concerned--–content--–satisfied--–carefree” work sequentially? Why or why not?
Learning is to Analogy as Teaching is to _____________ • Identify the relationship between two elements: “Light sprinkle is to torrential downpour” -- the second item is a more intense version of the first one • Determine what would constitute that same relationship in a completely different domain – In what other pair of items in a different domain is the second item a more intense version of the first one? How about: phrase/essay? smile/laughter? penlight/lighthouse? Battery power/nuclear power? bench/recliner? Seed/tree?
Common Analogous Relationships • Person : least related adjective • Math relationship • Effect : cause • Action : Thing Acted Upon • Action : Subject Performing the Action • Object or Place : Its User • Object : specific attribute of the object • Male : Female • Symbol : what it means • Classification/category : example • Noun : Closely Related Adjective • Elements Used : Product created • Attribute : person or object • Object : Where it’s located • Lack (such as drought/water – one thing lacks the other) • Antonyms • Synonyms • Age • Time • Part : Whole • Whole : Part • Tool : Its Action • Tool user : Tool • Tool : Object It’s Used With • Worker: product he creates • Category : Example • Effect : Cause • Cause : Effect • Increasing Intensity • Decreasing Intensity • Person : closely related adjective
SDA - Subtle Difference Analysis Identify words/concepts that are close in meaning, but not an exact match. Identify how they are similar and what makes them “just off” the match. Example pairs: Outstanding/Exemplary Confined/Restricted Elaborate/Complex Intelligent/Smart Child/Offspring House/Home Mature/Wise Late/Tardy Soil/Dirt
Important: • Students edit, not the teachers. • Shorten text and edit daily. • Assess students’ editing and revising. • If helpful, edit in waves. Emphasize the power of editing and revision: “Great books are never written; they are always re-written.” -- Michael Crichton
Taboo Cards Photosynthesis Light Green Water Sun Chlorophyll Plant Produce
Ides of March 44 BC Octavian Mark Antony peace Word Splash! • Students try to guide the words on pieces of paper into coherent connections. • Provide the learning experience. • Now students re-arrange the words in light of the new evidence and understanding. Julius Caesar 49 BC civil wars Senate Murder Rome army general
Socratic Seminar Pre-Seminar: A. Shared experiences, chosen for richness of ideas, issues, ambiguity, “discussability” B. Students reflect on material Group dynamics, ground rules, and courtesy are understood and accepted. Seminar: A. Teacher asks a provocative question. Opening, Core, and Closure Questions B. Students respond to the provocative question and each other. C. Teacher offers core questions that help students interpret and to re-direct, also evalutes and tries to keep mouth shut. C. Closing – connect to the real world of the student Post-Seminar Writings, Summations, Artwork, Reflection, Critique, Analysis
Debate Format 1. Statement of the General Debate Topic and Why it’s Important – 1 min. 2. Affirmative Position Opening Remarks – 3 min. 3. Negative Position Opening Remarks – 3 min. 4. Affirmative Position Arguments – 5 min. 5. Negative Position Arguments – 5 min. 6. Caucus – Students on both teams consider their arguments and rebuttals in light of what has been presented. – 3 min. 7. Affirmative Rebuttal and Questioning of the Negative’s Case – 3 min. 8. Negative Rebuttal and Questioning of the Affirmative’s Case – 3 min. 9. Closing Arguments Affirmative Position – 2 min. 10. Closing Arguments Negative Position – 2 min.
Meeting of Minds at Rachel Carson Middle School Portrayals of Dr. Sally Ride, Albert Einstein, Josef Stalin, Bob Dylan, Boss Tweed, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Rosa Parks. In the background: Advisors for each historical figure
Inquiry Method 1. Something arouses students’ curiosity. 2. Students identify questions regarding topic. There is usually one main question with several sub-questions that help answer the main question. These questions are submitted to classmates for review. 3. Students determine the process of investigation into topic. Their proposal for how to conduct the investigation is submitted to classmates for review and revision as necessary. 4. Students conduct the investigation. 5. Students share their findings.
Reading Notations P I agree with this. X I disagree with this. ?? I don’t understand this. !! Wow! (‘Elicits a strong emotion) CL General Claim EV Evidence for the Claim (These can be numbered to indicate their sequence, too: EV1, EV2, EV3…)
Help with Paraphrasing • Build students’ vocabulary and verbal dexterity. Post word banks. Use vocabulary immersion. • Provide repeated experiences with varied sentence combinations and word play. • Use repeated think-alouds of a paraphraser at work from both teacher and students. • Provide ample opportunities to assess paraphrasings of original text or experience. • Allow students to copy models -- They’ll outgrow them. • Take a page from the active listening lessons -- “So what you’re saying is…” • Provide repeated experiences with encapsulation such as creating newspaper headlines. • Play renaming and clue games such as Password, Taboo, and $25,000 Pyramid.
Change the Verb Instead of asking students to describe how FDR handled the economy during the Depression, ask them to rank four given economic principles in order of importance as they imagine FDR would rank them, then ask them how President Hoover who preceded FDR would have ranked those same principles differently.
Analyze… Construct… Revise… Rank… Decide between… Argue against… Why did… Argue for… Defend… Contrast… Devise… Develop… Identify… Plan… Classify… Critique… Define… Rank… Compose… Organize… Interpret… Interview… Expand… Predict… Develop… Categorize… Suppose… Invent… Imagine… Recommend…
The Frayer Model[Frayer, Frederick, Klausmeier, 1969] Essential Characteristics Non- Essential Characteristics < Topic > Examples Non-examples