Welcome to Words Matter, Dynamic Literacy's newsletter. 
We have something special just for you.
Welcome to issue #40  of  Words Matter , our bi-weekly newsletter .  Please feel free to share with a friend! 
Here's the good stuff.
Helping Make Vocabulary-Enrichment Easier

I made money. 
I made mistakes. 
I made the bed. 
I made way. 
I made it public.

These usages of the verb made show how complex it is to learn the vocabulary in any language.  Certain words go together naturally and smoothly, and their meanings are determined in contexts that can be widely varied.

For example, the person who used to work at the coin mint might say, "I made money" when asked what job he had there. That meaning of made is different from "I earned a living."

A do-it-yourself woodworker might boast while showing friends through his house, "I made the bed", meaning something different from the morning riser telling that he tidied up where he had slept.   Yet a core meaning of the word made can be understood in every case.

(SIDENOTE: remind learners NOT to start the habit of reading just the first meaning in a dictionary!)

The different contexts in which we can use the word made are called collocations ("placements together").  The words money, mistakes, bed, way, public, and any others that naturally occur after made are collocations for the word made.  Its meaning is fundamentally the same but applied differently in each situation (earned, committed, restored , created, and so on).

A highly valuable vocabulary lesson with young children is to have them make lists or discuss with each other the various contexts in which a familiar word might be said or written.  Students then realize that a very easy, common word has different meanings and applications.   Different students with different backgrounds  have fun contributing and experimenting with words. 

For example, if you ask a group of people to think about the things that can be fast, you'll get initial answers such as runner and clock, but then as the brain wheels start turning, you'll hear lane or traffic, and then things such as food or color.

Encouraging learners to see how the familiar word fast changes or varies will make them aware of the richness of words.  As they learn new and more advanced words, their awareness that meanings vary within the same word will enhance their word power.

When young readers are ready to examine the pieces of meaning (the morphemes) within advanced words, they will be more likely to appreciate and understand how a word such as attract means "pull toward", no matter what its collocations or contexts are (attract a crowd, attract attention).  The complexity of vocabulary usage, impossible to learn from memorized lists, is then vastly simplified when the pieces of meaning are known. -- R.D. "Doc" Larrick
Enjoy this brief student video that comes directly from WordBuildonLine Elements Level 1. 
The Root TRACT
The Root TRACT

Please add our email address to your address book to ensure that you receive these emails and stay in the know. 

Jerry Bailey
President & CEO
Parents & Home Educators 
SAVE 10-25%
Take 10-25% off your purchase

Use coupon code NEWS16 to save 25% on WordBuild Books and CDs, and 10% on WordBuildOnLine

Only valid for prepaid orders.

Dynamic Literacy
888-696-8597 | Fax: 888-768-2906