Are your students, like mine, vocabulary poor? Do they have a large "vocabulary gap?" Having a wide vocabulary is one factor that helps students in reading and writing. However, many students lack the vocabulary knowledge needed to take them to the next level.
Our rBooks and ReaL Books give students many opportunities with academic and target vocabulary, but students still need more.
More general knowledge.
WORD OF THE DAY
This marking period, I began introducing my students to NYT Word of the Day from their LEARNING NETWORK.
The words and their definitions are from Vocabulary.com. However, the NYT's LEARNING NETWORK takes each word to another level by including how many times the word has been used in NYT articles and a short excerpt from one of those articles that illustrates the word and its meaning.
I have found that the chosen articles also offer a slice of life that students can connect to and learn from as "teachable moments."
HOW WOTD WORKS
- Introduce the Word of the Day (WOTD) to students.
- Read and discuss the article excerpt. Have fun with it–I certainly do!
- Scroll down the Word of the Day page where students have a quiz question that can help assess understanding of the word.
Here are some examples from the LEARNING NETWORK WOTD feature that my students loved:
With pantomime appearing in 37 NYT articles over the past year, plus the entertainment aspects of the word and related mime, my students enjoyed this WOTD (as expected).
The selected article, "He's the Michael Jordan of Darts, He Just Has to Prove It" by Andrew Keh, not only helped students with the assimilation of pantomime and mime into their vocabulary, but also strengthened students' understanding of metaphors.
Scroll down to see the Pantomime Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus. The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation. Want another quiz question? Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another Pantomime quiz question.
Meek has appeared in over 60 NYT articles in the past year, with an article from the Neediest Cases column "Becoming a Confident College Student, With the Help of an Angel" by John Otis.
The article had the added benefit of addressing how students change in high school as they become less meek and start to figure out who they are as people.
Scroll down to see the Meek Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus. The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation. Want another quiz question? Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another meek quiz question.
Who would have guessed that such an old-fashioned word would have appeared in 318 NYT articles in the past year? Baroque needed some visuals to bring it home, which a quick Google search supplied.
The related article was published in the New York Times on January 19, 2017 in its "Party Coverage: Scene City" column "Matthew McConaughey and Bryce Dallas Howard Party for 'Gold'" by Taylor Harris. The article relates McConaughey's new film "Gold" to the after-party setting in a baroque-esque tea room at the Plaza.
Scroll down to see the Baroque Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus. The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation. Want another quiz question? Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another baroque quiz question, and perhaps this one will be a visual quiz of 4 architectural styles.
NYT WORD OF THE DAY IS FREE
One of my concerns with using the New York Time's Word of the Day LEARNING RESOURCES feature; however, I was assured by the NYT that ALL of their content directed toward students, Word of the Day among others, is free. So check it out and see how much fun you and your students can have with learning new vocabulary and expanding experiences.
Word of the Day can easily be inserted into your Do Now or Wrap Up time.
Have you ever tried the NYT's Learning Resources? Do you have another way you encourage your students to increase their vocabulary?