There is nothing that makes me happier than when I am sitting at a conference, and I think to myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" I love when that happens because the idea sticks with me, and I can instantly brainstorm how to begin using the light bulb moment. My moment came at #Allwrite13 as I was listening to Jeff Anderson speak and his session was entitled WRITING WORD SHOP: integrating vocabulary throughout the day. He is the author of 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know. Excellent resource book that I refer back to throughout the school year to guide my writing practices.
He began his session with reading aloud the summary of the chapter book: Three Times Lucky. I instantly recognized the story, and he asked us to turn and talk: What do you notice about the text? Then he showed us the summary using the Elmo, and he continued the conversation asking us to list the powerful verbs in our notebook. Finally and my moment when I literally said to Sarah, "Why hadn't I though of this?" He did a mini book talk about what an amazing story it is and if you hadn't read the book-there it was a book talk all rolled into a vocabulary lesson. What power instead of "book talking" using the summary as a mini lesson and turning around and passing the book to a student for their next JR book to preview.
He extended the lesson by asking us to build a 4 block and asked us to sort the summary into 4 categories, and he did not give the categories to us. After several minutes, he listed the different sorts. Again, what power in a class coming together to share their thinking about vocabulary. In a classroom, I can envision doing this activity with our first read aloud-asking students to do the same activity. Sharing with them the process and then reading the story to them. Once I have modeled WRITING WORD SHOP, I will pass the book on to a student and let them decided if they want to read it.
I am constantly searching for ways to save time and make vocabulary lessons powerful! Eureka I have found it!!
On a side note, I have no idea why I am starting to get arrows in my post. Notice the one above-any suggestions on how to correct this?