Monday, July 4, 2016

Combing Words to Explore Language and Meaning

      As a mother, I am going to say that my children are brilliant no matter what, but last night my daughter came up with a clever word that fostered much discussion in and out of the car.  She said she was going to 'underxplain' it to us and my husband and son and I look utterly confused.  She said she was going to explain it to us to understand.  She is five and very headstrong and was assertive when saying everything.  She made me believe the word existed with her definition.  However, the rest of us thought the word could have multiple twists and turns.  This is how the above graphic came to be.  In between making cherry wonton cups for the 4th of July, I made this poster.
      I like the idea behind this because it can be applied in the classroom in multiple ways.  Students could have a word bank or just words they come up with from a reading or unit and then they could combine them to make up words to see how the definitions could change/warp into something completely different.  Another idea I had was to come up with Shakespearean words and have students combine them and come up with definitions before seeing Shakespeare's actual words and definition combinations.  My friend, @JaniferKimberly, said it was very much like Faulkner which could be a good way to tie in his writing style if you were teaching it.  I could see this also work well with concepts that are hard to remember as well.  These new "words" could make it a class lingo that students feel connected to each other when using.  Last year my 4th period came up with the word "Brisk" to mean fresh or cool.  We were always dropping the brisk-bomb and it made us all smile on those rainy days.
       This could also be implemented in other classes such as foreign language and math in a whole new twist.  I could see where students would learn how to manipulate the language or formulas in a unique way to show understanding and creativity.  It could be a beginning activity to activate the inquisitive and creative learner.  I adore my daughter's creativity and zeal for language.  I think that this creativity and zeal can be translated in the classroom with simplistic ideas that get to the heart of the real matter- learning in new ways and never stopping to learn or manipulate our learning to come up with new ideas.  Below is another creation that my daughter did as a drew the above piece.  She insisted I write everything around it.

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