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"Language Wise" Verbal Intelligence Activities
This activity will help the child learn to build a strategy for figuring out what words mean based on the context of the sentence in which they occur.
This activity will help the child learn to build a strategy of questioning that will enable her to discover the meaning of a word when the existing information is not sufficient.
This activity is appropriate for a mature six year old and older. The challenge is finding vocabulary that is appropriate. Experimentation may be necessary.
You'll need a good age appropriate dictionary for reference during this lesson. We suggest Webster's Elementary Dictionary. Although it presents itself as an elementary grades dictionary, it contains numerous entries of words that the average middle school child doesn't know. In all it has 32,000 entries. If you're dealing with a precocious child you might want to use a good unabridged dictionary. You might even learn a few new words yourself.
You will also need some paper and a pencil.
1. Tell the child that you're going to play a word detective game. Tell her the game will teach her new words. Explain that you are going to say a sentence and in it will be the word you want her to figure out. Tell her she can figure out the word by using the sentence it's in. Explain that you are going to start with a made-up word forpractice.
2. Tell her the word is 'smup'. Say, "The smup barked at the mail man." (dog)
Continue on with these practice sentences.
"We went on a smittle in the country." Explain that she needs more information. Say, "We went on a smittle in the country. We brought a blanket and a smittle basket." (picnic)
"I like plomet." Discuss the fact that she can't exactly tell what plomet is. It could be anything she likes. Explain that she needs more information. Say, "I like plomet. My teacher is very nice." (school)
3. Say, "Now we are going to use a real word that you don't know." The following is a short list of suggested vocabulary words with sample sentences. These will get you started and give you some examples of sentences that reveal meaning.
The man with the red polka-dot jacket, boots and a skirt looked absurd.
The bird was aloft among the clouds.
I'm going to give you two alternatives. You can go straight to bed or you can behave.
I want to eradicate the ants from this house.
My friends deluded me into thinking they had forgotten my birthday. But they gave me a surprise party.
The mountain climber was very tired, but he knew he must persevere if he was to reach the top of the mountain.
Oranges are the origin of orange juice.
The mailman brought me a parcel with a gift in it.
The car obscured my view of the robbery, so I wasn't able to describe the burglar.
I was perplexed to find an apple growing on an orange tree.
Refrain from jumping on the couch or you'll be in big trouble.
4. Now offer the child some practice figuring out what questions to ask when a sentence or two doesn't provide enough context information to unlock the word meaning. Warn her that these are a little harder.
Aren't you venturesome today.
Say, "Why can't you figure out what venturesome means? What's the problem?" Your child should say something like, Venturesome could be anything 'you' are today."
Say, "That's right, so we need to know what 'you' did to get the speaker to say she or he was venturesome. Well, 'you' climbed all the way to the top of a big oak tree to rescue a kitten that was stuck up there. What do you think someone is who climbs all the way to the top of a tree?" The child should say something like "brave."
Say, "That's right, and what you needed to know to figure that word out was what the person had done, what action he had taken to be called venturesome.
Now we're going to try another one.
That's a vibrant color.
This one is different. The color can't do anything. Colors can't move or show action. What do you think would help you figure out what vibrant means?" The child should say that seeing the color would help. When you elicit this answer, show her a very vibrant color. She will probably say that vibrant means bright.
FEELINGS AND ACTIONS
To offer experience at building meaning from a state of being to a verb.
To offer experience surmising the state of being based on the action.
Six and older.
1. Tell the child you're going to provide a word and he should think of something you would do if you felt that way
States of Being
OPERATING ON MEMORY
To give the child practice at using systematic organization and elaboration to improve on memory.
To show the child that connections are more valuable than arbitrary lists.
Eight and older
1. Ask the child how good his memory is. After he tells you what he thinks, tell him to try to remember a list of words. Tell him the words. Now ask him what the words were.
2. Now tell him that you're going to teach him some tricks to remember things. Invite him to sort the words into groups. Ask him what words might go well together. Make a list of the groups. Ask the child to explain the groups to you. (EX) These things all go in the kitchen and these things all go in the bathroom, and these things all go in the living room.
3. Now ask him to recall all the words.
4. Now ask him to write (or dictate to you) a paragraph using all the words. After he has completed this and reread it to you invite him to recall all the words.
5. Discuss how understanding the relationships between words can help you recall information. Use examples of school material that you may recall better if you understand the 'story' between the words. History works as a good example of this. Other examples might be:
chair, floor, toothpaste, brush, dish, window, fork, TV, mirror
Example of how the child might categorize the above:
things in a bathroomtoothpaste, brush, mirror
things in a living roomTV, chair
Create a list of things from the following as in the above for use in your lessons. Some suggestions are:
things at the beach
things in the woods
things in your room
things in a movie theater
parts of a house
kinds of breakfast cereal
kinds of desserts
bodies of water
types of transportation
a list of names