An approach to word curiosity across the school?

I am cross-posting the post below from Ms Marcelle’s EAL Blog in response to Allen Curtis Mitchell’s post. Are there any other people across the school interested in structured word inquiry? Structured Word Inquiry by Peter Bowers has been gathering a steady crowd of followers in the international school community and a number of people have been exploring it at ISPP, such as Anita Mathur, Emily van Dykhuizen and Alison Stanton. A Google Community has been set up for it.  How exciting would it be to set this up across the school across subjects and divisions? I have found developing students’ curiosity to how spelling works really WORKS! I am seeing potential here to work together on IDU’s, and vertical articulation between the primary and secondary.

In grade 5 students explored scientific words as part of the Body Systems unit. Studying the history or etymology of words develops students’ understanding and curiosity about how words are built and where they come from. It then becomes easier for students to make connections with other words and word parts, helping students develop good spelling and word identification strategies during reading. This is an interesting video about the history of words:

In our own discoveries in class today, we found out that the word /scap/ -ula/ (shoulder blade) could possibly come from the the Latin word ‘spade’ or ‘shovel’, as animal shoulder blades might have been used as scraping tools in primitive times.

Some students found the following word:

After breaking down this word and finding out what ‘pneumo’, ‘ultra’, ‘microscopic’ etc. meant, we decided to set the students a challenge: Could they come up with a new disease, using Latin root words, suffixes and prefixes? Here’s what they came up with. Can you guess what these diseases are?



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