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Unit Plan Contents:

1. The teacher gives basic information on how English words have been formed by borrowing from many sources. Examples should be given of words coming from classical sources, with examples being given about how different combinations of roots and affixes have been used to create many words. Digital Hyperverbicopia pdf provides an example. An excellent Internet resource can be found at http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/ling008_a.html. See also http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa052698.htm?once=true&

2. Each student in the class chooses or is assigned one classical (Latin or Greek) root. Many sources are available for listing of such roots and their basic meanings, but it is highly recommended that the teacher use Webster’s New Explorer Vocabulary Skill Builder (Federal Street Press, Springfield, MA, 2000), also available in paperback as Merriam Webster’s Vocabulary Builder by Mary Wood Cornog (Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA, 1994). This well-organized volume presents over two hundred classical roots, along with information on four English words derived from each. (Note: perhaps 5 % of the entries are for prefixes, which would better be used in a later affix assignment.) A Root Assignment Sheet based on roots in this book is included to be used in assigning specific roots to students. Of course, many classical roots appear in more than four English words. An excellent resource for other cognate words is NTC’s Dictionary of Latin and Greek Origins by Bob and Maxine Moore (NTC Publishing, Chicago, 1997). Another good listing of classical roots and affixes can be found at http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/KSD/MA/resources/greek_and_latin_roots/page_1.html

3. Each student is to consult with both old (dead tree) and new (reference software and Internet resources) sources to assemble the following information in relation to the root and four cognate words provided: meaning(s) of root; meaning(s) of each of four cognate words; quotations using each of the four cognate word (preferably, depending on sources available, one from old and one from new tech sources); examples of use in sentences created by students; identification of affixes, if any, giving meaning and language of origin; pronunciation; ideas for visualization. Students will use 4 copies of the Student worksheet.doc for collecting the information. Numerous Internet dictionaries for research are available, but http://www.onelook.com/ is recommended because it accesses more than 600 dictionaries. Another very expansive site is http://poets.notredame.ac.jp/cgi-bin/wn.

4. After assembling the information, the student is to come up with a plan for a PowerPoint presentation of roughly 15 slides. Several, of course, should be on the root itself, with the rest on the four cognate words. Students should be reminded that words often have several meanings and that all of the main ones should be presented. It is suggested that a plan for the rough content of each slide be made up before actually creating them. See PowerPoint root-lev for a teacher-developed model presentation on the Latin root “lev”. Students should be mindful that their computer presentations should be designed to teach other students the information that they have gathered. PowerPoint offers opportunities for visual and aural communication, as well as animation and other “bells and whistles” to assist in creating interesting and compelling presentations. See Student Examples.

5. Each presentation should be evaluated two-thirds on the basis of research and content communicated and one-third on the quality of the multimedia presentation. See attached Evaluation Questions.

6. All students should be given a list of all the Digital Hyperverbicopia roots, including the root, its meaning and the four cognate words, to be presented by their classmates. The audience is expected to take notes on the meaning of the words. Testing on those will help assure close attention to presentations and note taking.

7. Another assessment activity would be to ask students to explain in their own words how words have developed in English using Greek and Latin roots and affixes. They should also demonstrate how developing knowledge of roots and affixes helps their mastery of words new to them.

8. The ultimate proof of mastery of new words is when a student uses them in their writing and speech correctly and creatively. In assigned writing, student should highlight such new usage as “neologistic impressions,” for which the instructor will award bonus points.

9. “Digital Hyperverbicopia” assignments should be made once a marking period in view of the many roots and cognate words used in English. As the year progresses, similar assignments should be made on affixes, especially prefixes.

10. A very important part of this assignment is the honing of student research skills in reference materials—in books, software and on the Internet. The more dictionaries, usage books and quotation collections available, the better. Please consult the bibliography. It should be noted that the quickest way to find a quotation using a word is from a larger dictionary (Webster’s Third International, the Oxford English Dictionary, both available in CD-ROM editions) or Microsoft’s Encarta, but students should be rewarded for searching other paper or electronic quotation collections (for which, see http://www.online-pr.com/OnlinePRwordquotationcheckers.htm and http://www.quotationreference.com/.) The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is also available on CD-ROM.

11. Assessment can include vocabulary and root tests after students have seen each others’ PowerPoint presentations. Teacher led discussions, augmented if possible with American Heritage’s Talking Dictionary, used on a large monitor, can help students develop the habit of mind of recognizing roots and affixes as cues to helping make educated guesses as to the meaning of words they do not know.

12. One class period is needed to present the background of the assignment and to get students going. Students need approximately five class periods to do the research and complete their project. Another two periods are needed to view each others’ presentations.

Overview & Essential Question
Objectives & Standards
Lesson Unit Plan
Teacher Commentary
Digital Hyperverbicopia
Student Worksheet
Student Project 1 - 3

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit

Digital Hyperverbicopia

Subject: English
Grade Level: 9 - 12

Lesson Plan Author:
Robert H. O’Sullivan