Monday, September 28, 2009

For the Love of Words

William Safire packed up his pen and left us this past weekend. His passing will leave a gaping hole in the fabric of fine writing.

Every quarter, I dish out 32 words for my students to devour. It starts on the floor with sheets of butcher paper, colored pens and pencils, and an outpouring of adolescent ingenuity. These are not mere words that will be memorized and dumped after a multiple-choice test. No, these 32 words become a part of the daily vernacular, in class and out.

The posters, made in groups of three, never cease to impress me. I post them all over the classroom walls and refer to them often, and by the end of each quarter, most students have adopted their own pet words and go to great measures to work them into their teen lingo.

This quarter's favorite word? Palpable. I've heard it used at its best-- Mrs. Tenney's irritation is palpable when we don't shut up, and at its worst--Man, that fart was so palpable!

In honor of Word Master William Safire, I'm posting a few of this quarters' best vocab posters:

and my personal favorite:

First quarter ends this Friday. I'm brewing up a new batch of words for second quarter's word feast...

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