Chapter 5


Authentic Uses, Audacious Uses: Spelling and Vocabulary

“Ahh, yes, spelling and vocabulary! All the enthusiasm by a teacher in the world couldn’t make these two areas of grammar instruction more engaging for students. However, make real-world connections by having students take their smartphones and have them record how they would use new vocabulary and spelling can help them to understand real world applications. In addition, students can take their digital devices and find different places, both inside and outside of school, where new words they have learned are being used.”

Resources Noted in Chapter 5





Vocabulary Videos Created by Students



Evaluation Categories for the Vocabulary Videos:

Planning – Storyboard – 5 pts Storyboard reflects word and definition being used at the beginning and end of the video and video will accurately demonstrate the correct use of the word according how it was used in the novel.
Drafting – Video Production – 10 pts Video displays word and definition at the beginning and end of the video and depicts the correct use of the word as it appeared in the book. Everyone played a role in creating the video whether they were in the video, created something for the video or was the person recording the video.
Connections – 5 pts What is the connection to the text we are reading?

For example, How does the word relate to the short story The Outsiders? Why do you think the author made that word choice where it is located in the text?

Evaluating/Reflection – 5 pts After watching the video as a class, group participants wrote a short 3–4 line sentence reflection about how well they felt the production of the video went, the challenges they had with their particular vocabulary word, and what they could have done differently, if anything. I also ask them to reflect on their new understanding of the vocabulary word (and its meaning in the context of the book).

Student Example of a Vocabulary Table With Synonyms/Antonyms:


Word Cloud Tools

◆ Wordle
◆ Tagxedo 
◆ Tagul
◆ Wordsalad (app for both iOS and Android)