Monday, December 16, 2013

"A Christmas Carol" Stave 1 Vocabulary Activity

I put this activity together, to work on the vocabulary from stave 1 of A Christmas Carol, with a couple of small reading groups I lead at a local private school, and with my own children (the 10 to 16 year olds, anyway) at home.

We used the Christmas Carol vocabulary for stave 1 from, but the activity would work equally well with any of the staves, or for the vocabulary from any book you happen to be reading through, near Christmas.

I started by sketching out a large-ish Christmas tree, on a 4 foot sheet, from a roll of paper.  Before coloring it in, I traced out a circle on the tree for each vocabulary word.

But, instead of printing the vocabulary words in the circles, I used their synonyms.

I printed the vocabulary words on the backside (upside down) of paper Christmas balls, traced out around a cup, slightly larger, than I had used for the circles on the tree.  I decorated the front sides of the ornaments with a couple squiggly lines, and marked them with the page number on which the word on the back could be found.

Finally, I gave them to my students (a different set and tree for each group) as a vocabulary race.  The goal was for each student to grab a Christmas ball, find its vocabulary word on the proper page of their book, and print out part, or all of the sentence it was found in, before matching the ball to the circle on the tree with the corresponding synonym (I had thesauruses on hand, in case help was needed).  They glued the ornaments to the tree by the tops, so when they were done, the tree was covered in quotes from the chapter...

...that could be lifted up to reveal the vocabulary words with their synonyms underneath.

The student who placed the most ornaments correctly on the tree was the winner, and got an extra piece of (candy) coal - as well as a hearty, "Bah! Humbug!" from everyone else.


Phyllis said...

This is a cute way to learn the vocabulary. My boys enjoyed learning the vocabulary from A Christmas Carol this year as we rehearsed the play. I was amazed at how well they learned their lines, even down to my 9 year old once they understood the vocabulary.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is a great exercise! I am a little worried that without our joint reading Anna doesn't acquire new vocabulary words - she simply "skips" them in reading unless they are very important to the story line - then she usually asks me about their meaning.