Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fun with Words for Your Budding Wordsmith

Max just finished up a week-long online live grammar class.   Other than having some difficulties with our microphone, overall the class was a success and a nice wrap up for the grammar work we've done this year.  There were seven or eight children taking the class from all over the world!  One little boy was in Israel, one in Mississippi, a few in New York, etc.  Max enjoyed interacting with them while proofreading paragraphs and combining sentences.  It was a good situation all-around.  I let him handle the class while I went off and dove into exciting piles of laundry in an effort to make them smaller.  We both succeeded in meeting our goals.

The class was offered on (which stands for Curriculum in a Click).  They have a nice mix of secular or Christian classes, if that's what you are looking for.  I mentioned in another recent post that we'll be using part of the Connect the Thoughts curriculum (CTT) for next year which will be 5th grade.  This curriculum set is offered on Currclick, too.  Check it out if you're curious - it's a really neat curriculum.  You can read my post about it or go directly to the CTT website (psst.....I'm REALLY excited about this curriculum!)

So - back to words.  Here are some entertaining books to help round out a good look at homonyms, hyperbole, alliteration, figures of speech, similes, metaphors.  Gosh, I would benefit from a refresher course on these, too:

It Figures!: Fun Figures of Speech
Cartoons help seal the above concepts in writing.  Looks great!  By Marvin Terban.

Mad as a Wet Hen!: And Other Funny Idioms
Have you ever gotten this mad?  Do hens get this mad?  Also by Marvin Terban, as are the next few.

Too Hot to Hoot: Funny Palindrome Riddles
Riddles = laughter.  Usually.

 Guppies in Tuxedos: Funny Eponyms
We've never had much luck with guppies, but ours never sported formal wear, either!

A Little Pigeon Toad
Did you catch that title?  Clever......

How Much Can a Bare Bear Bear?: What Are Homonyms and Homophones? (Words Are Categorical)
There is a whole series of these by Brian Cleary.  We have a few of them and used them this year.  He uses rhyming wordplay and charming characters to teach.

In a Word: 750 Words and Their Fascinating Stories and Origins
Do you ever wonder where some words originated?

The Boy Who Loved Words
For a slightly younger crowd, but it looks good.  Maybe it's available at the library!

Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
I saved the best one for last!  Twenty-four five-star reviews on Amazon.  "Debra Frasier has created a masterpiece of clever wordplay in her hilarious and poignant story of the exquisite pain of schoolgirl mortification. One sentence using vocabulary words from A to Z runs along the bottom or side of each page ("Obliterate me, send me to oblivion--no one could outdo my stupidity"). Not just for word-worms, virtually any kid will identify with the occasionally confusing world of learning, and be reassured by the happy conclusion. Frasier's youthful artwork was inspired by her daughter's fifth-grade desk. "No fancy art supplies; just markers, notebook paper, pencils, glue, and scissors." The result is eminently inviting for grade-school children. (Ages 8 to 12)"


  1. Thanks for the book suggestions. I just ordered Miss Alaineus from the library!

  2. Great - hope it's a good read :).


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