Saturday, July 18, 2015

Word Nerds Book Study: Chapter 5

It's time for chapter 5 in our Word Nerds Book Study! Chapter 5 is one of my favorite chapters because it gives so many neat ideas/activities that you can use in your classroom! This chapter seriously made me excited to get back in the classroom and start our first vocabulary cycle (although if summer lasted all year long, I wouldn't complain...)

Let's look at the very first sentence I highlighted in chapter 5:
In order for kids to actually want to learn new words, we must provide them with an engaging task! When I came to 5th grade 3 years ago, the biggest difference I found in teaching 11 yr olds as opposed to 6 yr olds was their attitude. You can put anything in front of a 1st grader and they are super excited about it! 5th graders don't work like that. You have to work reeeaally hard to build up their enthusiasm. This chapter does a fabulous job of providing the reader with some engaging tasks to use in the classroom. Below are a few of my favorites and a brief description of each. :)

{1} Vocabulary Square Dance- how neat is this?! The kids take off their lanyards and put them on the floor while the teacher begins the square dance song. Kids find a new lanyard closest to them and find connections to those words and previous words. Adorable and meaningful at the same time! 
{2} Counting Dude, Bragging Dude- possibly my favorite of all the activities. The two groups of students line up on different sides of the room and then pair up at the teacher's signal. Bragging Dudes creating a 7up sentence and Counting Dudes verify that it meets the requirements of a 7up sentence and offers assistance/guidance if needed. My favorite part is that if the Bragging Dude gets it right, he/she gets to do a silent cheer, pat on the back, or dance a football end zone dance. Fun! :)
{3} Chain Link- Students must link together by justifying how their vocabulary word connects to the person's word who is standing in the front of the room. Talk about higher order thinking skills! 
{4} Word Colors- students assign a color to a vocabulary word and explain why that color best suits that word. Again, students are using those H.O.T.S.!
{5} Word Illustrations- yeah, I use to have my kids draw pictures of the words, but this version actually has the word embedded in the drawing! I LOVE adding this crucial part! It takes it up a notch and increases the level of difficulty. 

The chapter includes many more activities, but these were my favorite. I love that the authors also include snippets of student conversation during these activities so you can really see how helpful they truly are. Grab your copy of the book here!

Missed a chapter? Go read them here:

I'll be back Monday with Chapter 6 thoughts. Chapter 6 is my absolute favorite chapter so I can wait to share my thoughts!!! :) :) 

Happy Weekend, y'all! 


  1. From reading your post on this book I went and ordered the book a few days ago and it came in the mail today!! I'm so excited to start reading it and be ready to include more vocabulary in my instruction in the fall!

  2. Hi there, I'm a 5th grade teacher in Nevada, and I just stumbled upon your blog! I'm going into my fourth year teaching 5th!

    I love the name of this book because I'm a total word nerd (in fact, my old blog name was the word girl). I do word illustration all the time as a vocabulary activity! I also do something like the square dance, but it is a line dance and I play My Achy Breaky Heart during it. heh!

    So glad I stumbled upon you. Seems like you have a lot of great tips here!

    The Whimsical Teacher

    1. Love this idea! Thank you for stumbling upon my blog. I'm glad you find it useful! :)

  3. These strategies can be applied to my Social Studies lessons so easily. Thanks for all the tips from the book. I'll have to get my own copy.

    1. I'm so glad you're finding useful info from this book study! You'll LOVE the book! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love how they end Chapter 5 with "Connected Words are Remembered Words". I'll be new to 5th grade this year from teaching K for 3 years. It's really helping me see what I'll need to do in order to have the kids engaged and excited about learning.