Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Topic: Vocabulary

10-Second Review: Students create scenarios—brief descriptions of an event or character that illustrate a word—or the complexity of the meaning of the word.

Title: “Thinking Critically about Words.” E. Kahn. English Journal (March 2008), 14-15. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: George Hillocks, Jr., suggested that students write scenarios that both illustrate and raise questions about a word or concept. Here’s an example.

Corporal Jewkes is lost in the woods near a village that, unknown to him, is in enemy hands. The village is heavily guarded and the surrounding area is mined. He makes his way through the mines, of which he is unaware, and into the village. Not knowing what is inside, he enters the first house he comes to. It contains a gun emplacement, but the guards are asleep. Jewkes quickly kills the guards and takes the guns. To this point, should we consider Jewkes’ actions courageous? Why or why not? (Johannssen, Kahn and Walter 35).

Comment: One way to internalize the meaning of a difficult word. Write a story illustrating the word. RayS.

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in recent American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

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