Word Wonderings

I spent a fun hour or so at the Glenwood Heights Elementary Book Fair on Saturday. Neil and Winston came along — it was Winston’s second outing in his Pup’Prentice vest (completely adorable photo to come later). I was busy with kids and books, but Neil assures me our little Wonderdog minded his manners.

Even though the kids had heard Two Bobbies at school, they were rapt listeners as I read it to them. They asked great questions afterwards but my favorite question came from one of the third grade teachers. She complimented Mary and I on our word choice in the Bobs — she especially liked “ruckus” — and wondered if I had any suggestions for the students on pumping up their own word power.

Reading is the best way, I told her. And then my mind shut down. No more suggestions. Later, I thought of crossword puzzles and how they’ve helped me add to my own rhetorical repertoire but the challenge is that there aren’t many instances where I can use “etui,” or “ort,” or even “raj,” in my writing.

I’m curious –how would you have answered that teacher? What do you do to expand your lexicon?

No Responses to “Word Wonderings”

  1. Martha Brockenbrough

    Kirby, have you ever played the Dictionary Game?

    You take a word and write down its official definition plus several other plausible fake definitions. Then people guess. If someone gets it right, they get the point. If no one does, you get the point. And you go on from there.

  2. Kirby Larson

    Our family’s played it in a form called Balderdash — but same concept. Everyone always knows when I have a fake definition because I can’t keep a poker face. But it’s still lots of fun and a great way to build vocabulary! Thanks for reminding me!