STEAL THESE IDEAS: Adopt-a-Word
Each subject area has its set of words that have special significance; for example, in history the words advocate, legislation, resources and economy might be found in most courses. As a way to bring these foundational words to life I’ve had students adopt-a-word using all or part of the following project. After you have done the project once, be sure to save some good examples to use as models for the next time.
by Joe Bellacero
Note: Words in bold may be adopted in an English class.
This project is appropriate for single or two-parent families.
Go to the Word Wall Adoption Agency and choose the right word for your new family.
You must do parts A and B below and four (4) of the activities from C to I.
This is your child, be a good parent and help it get along in the world by:
A: Knowing its qualities
- Part(s) of speech
- Etymology (history)
- Relatives (related words, e.g. If your word is “evocative” some of its relatives would be: vocal, vocation, provocative, convocation, advocate, revoke, provoke, invoke)
B: Introducing it to other words
- Set Up Play Dates: by finding at least four other words on the Word Wall that have similarities and explain how they are similar in any of the ways listed above
- Get it a Girl/Boyfriend word: by finding adjectives or adverbs that fit with it, or verbs or nouns that complete its thought, or a companion with “and” or a particle/preposition that comes after it, etc.
C: Dressing it with four (4) different sentence outfits that complement its personality (meanings)
And bring out its various features, including its inflections,
D: Finding or drawing a portrait of its meaning, preferably with you in the picture (a family portrait),
E: Showing a play date with its four other Word Wall Adopted words by making a story with them,
F: Creating a family tree of its origins and development,
G: Giving it a calligraphy or graffiti make-over for our Word Wall,
H: Putting it in a skit, song, or poem to present to the class,
I: Finding where it likes to hang out—finding it in context in three (3) places. Name the story, poem, novel, play or essay where you found it as well as the author, then copy out the sentence in which it appears.
We will hear about one word/child a day for the month.
Adopt it a brother or sister and raise it the same way.
photo: Calamity Meg