Wordstruck or wordstuck the power of words
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Wordstruck or Wordstuck : The Power of Words. Alice De Dominicis KMWP 2011. Inquiry:. How can we teach student what words are all about? What are some ways to make learning new vocabulary fun and multiply vocabulary at the same time?

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Wordstruck or wordstuck the power of words

Wordstruck or Wordstuck: The Power of Words

Alice De Dominicis KMWP 2011


  • How can we teach student what words are all about?

  • What are some ways to make learning new vocabulary fun and multiply vocabulary at the same time?

  • Why is word connotation important in vocabulary acquisition and what are some ways to teach it?

Context of teaching
Context of Teaching

  • High school Spanish Levels 1, 2, and 3

  • Demographics

  • English aptitude

  • Foreign language = vocabulary + grammar

What are words all about
What are words all about?

  • Words are a writer’s tools.

  • What are your favorite words?

  • Teachers need to model their own curiosity with words.

    Ralph Fletcher explains the importance of words, “A rich vocabulary allows a writer to get a richness of thought onto the paper. However, the writer’s real pleasure comes not from using an exotic word but from using the right word in a sentence.”


  • Dictionary use

  • What are some of the tools the dictionary gives us to help learn new vocabulary?

It s all greek to me greek and latin stems
It’s all Greek to me.Greek and Latin Stems

  • pandemonium

  • How do stems help you with defining the word?

  • panchromatic pandemic Pangaea

What do the experts say
What do the experts say?

“Knowledge of Latin and Greek word roots is potentially a very powerful aspect of generative vocabulary knowledge. As students learn meanings for the most frequently occurring roots in core academic vocabulary (such as –struct “build”) and in content-specific academic vocabulary, they may generate an exponential boost in their vocabulary growth.”

Templeton, Shane; Bear, Donald R.; Invernizzi, Marcia, and Johnston, Francine. Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students. (2010). Boston, Masssachussetts: Pearson Education,Inc.

Let s play with stems
Let’s play with stems!

  • Put together as many words as you can that you already know using prefixes, suffixes and bases (roots).

  • Write these on a piece of butcher block paper.

  • Now, see how many new words you can create and write these on your paper as well.

  • What are some new words you created and what do they mean?

Exploring words
Exploring Words

  • Choose one of your favorite words and look it up in the dictionary. Note if it has any Greek or Latin stems.

  • Create a concept map to further explore your word and portray all its possible components and uses.

Concept maps
Concept Maps

Definition Characteristics


Examples Non-examples

Playing with words
Playing with Words

Homonyms- Words that are spelled the same and sound the same but can mean different.

Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo...

The King Who Rained

A Little Pigeon Toad

Connotation of words
Connotation of Words

Word connotation is learned as we acquire vocabulary.

difficult ------- challenging

stingy -------- economical

headstrong --- determined

nitpicking ----- meticulous

childish ------- childlike

What i learned
What I learned.

  • What’s important to remember is that to be a good writer, you have to fall in love with words first, if not at least pretend.

  • A rich vocabulary will enhance your craft.

  • Play with words. Before you know it, your students will be the ones taking notice of new words and new ways to use them.

  • Language is not fixed. Like desert sand dunes, language shifts and changes throughout time. Be open to using words in new ways