Posted by: jockmackenzie | May 26, 2009

Year End Activity #2 – Class Dictionary/Yearbook

Creating a “Class Dictionary” combines a number of skills with the additional bonus that the end product is a mini-yearbook. Each student creates his or her entry by following a template that follows the format of an entry in a dictionary – root word broken into syllables, pronunciation in round brackets, most common to least common usage of the word, etymology, synonyms.

For our purposes, I will use a term I wouldn’t use with my students:
verisimilitude (věr’ə-sĭ-mĭl’ĭ-tōōd’, -tyōōd’) n. 1. The quality of appearing to be true or real. Jock’s example strove for verisimilitude. 2. Something that has the appearance of being true or real. syn. genuineness, plausibility

With the students, I had them add a picture – mostly for the sake of the memory, but we also looked at the line drawings sometimes seen in dictionaries.

A more likely entry would be like this:

P1510453 Jock Mackenzie (jok  ma ken’ zee) n. 1. teacher at West Park Middle School 2. man who enjoys golfing, fly fishing, downhill skiing, writing, and reading 3. husband of Janet 4. father of Jillian and Andrew 5. born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta 6. often heard saying “You may be too old to  be young, but you’re never too old to be immature.” or “I don’t understand all I know about that.” [Jock – Scottish, variation of Jack; rustic] syn. Jocko, Jockman, joke teller

The sky is the limit with variations and combinations. My class dictionaries were placed between manilla tag covers. We designed a front cover that gave the class and school name and the year and then listed interesting events, activities, field trips, guest speakers, etc. from over the course of the school year. The back cover was left blank and became an autograph page.

*** A handy addition to a Language Arts classroom is a book of baby names. I picked one up at a garage sale and used it extensively.

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