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This is my Word Collection Board. It's a space in my classroom designated to displaying interesting word choices found in texts. When I teach writing I focus heavily on word choice. We discuss how adding adjectives or selecting "strong verbs" improve the craft and there is no better way to demonstrate this than with mentor texts.
When I am reading books aloud to the class I will often pause to point out an "impressive word choice." I'll share how the word puts more of a visual image in my head than a weaker synonym would. I then record the word onto a Post-It note. I write the word, the title of the book it was found in, and it's meaning. We stick the Post-Its onto the Word Collection Board.
I encourage students to do the same during independent reading times. They stick their words right next to the board. A few times a week I grab those notes from the wall and bring them to our writer's workshop minilesson and invite those friends to share their words. Before long they are bringing in words they find when reading at home.
Here's the best part. When a student uses one of the words from the board in his own writing, he adds a tally to a chart underneath. This encourages them to be on the lookout for new vocabulary and to always be thinking about the words they use in writing.
To create this board I...
- used my Cricut to cut out the letters for the title (you could use bulletin board letters or stickers)
- mounted the letters onto blue cardstock and mounted the cardstock onto scrapbook paper
- displayed them above a piece of black posterboard turned positioned horizontally
- framed out both pieces with colored ribbon to help define the space
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