Chapter 04

1. With the other members of your class, list 10 words from an article on an Internet news site. From this chapter, consider the different instructional strategies you might use to teach these words to students. In a classroom of students in grades 4–8, use one of the strategies to teach the selected words to a small group. How successful were you? Compare your experience with that of other classmates who chose to use a different instructional strategy.

2. Administer a spelling inventory (see Appendix C.10) to three students. Analyze their responses as to what reading/spelling stage is represented most often in their spelling. What instructional activities would benefit these students?

3. Develop a list of 15 words based on similar or related roots, affixes, or derivations. Invite a small group of students to sort the words as they think they should be sorted. Then have these students make statements about their findings. Present your list and your findings to your classmates. What were the students able to learn from the sorting activity?

4. Observe a word study lesson. Through discussion with the teacher and your direct observation, answer the following questions:
      a. What strategies are students being taught about how to spell new words?
      b. How are students being taught about syllables, affixes, and derivations?
      c. How is word study applied in reading and writing situations in the classroom?

5. Spend a day discovering the interesting words that students are naturally curious about. Can you categorize these words? How would you incorporate these concepts into the daily curriculum to encourage curiosity about words?

6. Prior to reading a short story to a group of students, ask them to guess the meaning of three or four words that you feel are especially difficult. While reading, ask them to determine the meaning of each word after it occurs. Are the responses enhanced with the additional contextual information? What does this experience teach you about the value of discussing words as they occur when reading aloud?