See Spot

(sometimes I spot things I just gotta share)

Scroll down...and down...to "Make a Morpheme Flip Book" 




Funny, clever, and vocabulary-laden video from Big Geek Daddy: The Three Little Pigs, told by comedian John Branyan in archaic language. Go forthwith! Harken to the oft-told tale. (See it also at YouTube).


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In 1958, psycholinguist Jean Berko Gleason created The Wug Test to find out how children develop a natural (untaught) understanding of English word formation principles, especially regarding inflections (two wugs; he is jibbing, etc.), a few compound words (a wughouse), and  a few very simple derivations (he is a jibber). Her research is 50+ years old, but it still stands as seminal and elegant. Read more about the wug study at this post from A Walk in the WoRds, and watch the video featuring fast cars. Or visit Jean Berko Gleason's webpage.


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Jolly Good Video! The History of English in Ten Minutes: A  fast paced and humorous look at how English came to be so...interesting. View entire video on YouTube OR see the video in ten one-minute segments, at The Open University

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Kindergarten Video:  Pete Bowers models how to use story context as the springboard for teaching word sums (e.g., wait + -ed >> waited)  with the suffixes -s, -ed, -ing. Pete is working with kindergarteners in Beijing, China. This video is part of a WordWorks newsletter that can be found at this link.  Explore Pete's website: WordWorks Literacy Centre.




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Dude! So, you might really want to, like, check this out?! Taylor Mali is a teacher, a poet, and a professional speaker. This three-minute video depicts one of his poems, Totally Like Whatever You Know, set to typography. In addition to the video link, here is the text of the poem. (Ronnie Bruce created the video.)

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Short, but provocative: Does this dog really know 1000 words? Could he learn a few more? It seems so! There are implications for how two-legged mammals learn words, too. See The Dog Who Knows 1,000 Words, an ABC video hit. Thanks to guest author Jan Hasbrouck for sharing this with us (see Jan's post on reading fluency and vocabulary).

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Thanks to Joan Sedita (Keys to Literacy) for sharing this video on morphemic analysis in context, created by students at Great Brook Middle School. Joan is also a Vocabulogic guest author who wrote a post on previewing vocabulary.

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Thanks to Lynn Kuhn for sharing this fun little video clip from I LOVE LUCY, showing Ricky Ricardo stumbling over the complexities of English pronunciation. It's a kick! Enjoy!

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Finally debunking the incredibly persistent "Cambridge" (not) myth about reading scrambled words. Watch this video and pass it on. PS. This blog (A Walk in the Words) is just lovely and worth some time. For a more technical response to the scrambled word post, read what Matt Davis at Cambridge has to say. Find out what elements of the globe-trotting post are reasonably aligned with research.

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Long Words, Taken Lightly 
(published by Rocket Boom, posted at YouTube)




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I recently viewed two fabulous, comedic, and yet morphologically explicit videos on teaching scientific terms (e.g., transparent, refraction, absorb). I cannot say enough about these brief and brilliant clips, created by Katrina Theilmann and Nick Mitchell. Also, scroll further down the page and see the video clip for the word family for the root sci, 'to know' (e.g., scientific, conscience), created by Real Spelling. Thanks to Peter Bowers for sharing this info with me, and for posting the videos on his WORDWORKS website.

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I've gathered together assorted quotes from research and literature, pertaining to word knowledge. Click the play button.




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At Authorstream, I found a public powerpoint on irregular past tense verbs (e.g., bought, gave) versus regular past tense verbs. Click the thumbnail below. 


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Here is the linguistics video on Word Formation Processes (this video was discussed in a prior post).

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Life (online) recently published a slide show with pictures of people like Jules Leotard, whose name became synonymous with dancing tights. See "People who became nouns" (and explore more eponyms at this link).

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Frequently in curriculum design, morphology is left out of the instructional sequence. In most cases, affixes and base words are not revealed; even worse, related words that share the same root are ignored. The following SAT-study videos are free and excellent, but they illustrate my point. For example, in the video for venturesome there is no mention of venture, venture forth, venture out, or even adventure. The teacher can add the element of morphology to the lesson.
Question: In the video clips below, which words could be even better understood (and remembered, and spelled) by adding morphology to the lesson (the prefix in- may mean 'not' or 'in, inside')?

 


I created my own video list at VocabAhead (click on the Teacher link at the top of the website to learn how). Each student can create an individualized list, too.
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Web Site Story: West Side Story in the digital age. Clever use of language (by College Humor)

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I love, love, love this old piece from the New Yorker: In How I Met My Wife, Jack Winter (1994) utilizes an intriguing assortment of nonwords that are comprehensible if we already know the reciprocal (if we already know nonchalant, we can infer the meaning of chalant as used in this story). Many of these words have become obsolete--perhaps all of them once existed. To learn about a particular word, look it up (or look up the reciprocal) at the Online Etymology Dictionary.

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A colleague in Buffalo recently sent me a link to a motivational rap song introducing prefixes, suffixes and roots (video at WatchKnow).

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Working with alliteration, as in "Sally sells seashells at the seaside" can be fun  interesting and can also increase matalinguistic awareness. If you have not yet seen the alliteration video with Johnny Carson and Jack Webb, check out this prior post.  

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Content knowledge is necessary for comprehension. Word knowledge is essential, but not sufficient, in many cases. Read the prior post on inference and watch Daniel Willingham's video: Teaching Content is Teaching Reading.

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Keith Stanovich, Ph.D., discusses "The Matthew Effects" and "What Reading Does for the Mind" (video at Children of the Code). Based on Matthew 25 (The Parable of the Talents), Stanovich describes how those who can read more easily will read more often, thus becoming "richer" at least in terms of language. In contrast, those who do not read with ease do not read often and are prone to fall further and further behind, becoming "poorer" in a sense. Stanovich also describes how reading benefits cognition. In a nutshell, he seems to suggest that reading promotes critical  thinking, the mental lexicon and declarative knowledge.  He suggests that indeed, reading can make you smarter. 

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Teachers should can think aloud to make their reasoning transparent to the learners. A "think-aloud" is an essential important component of modeling and explicit instruction. This cartoon by Lev Yilmaz neatly illustrates the process (not for children, obviously).


This clever sketch summarizes Dan Pink's newest book:
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us





Ancient Aesop still speaks in this reader's theater of The City Mouse and the Country Mouse (read fable). Several talented first graders helped Mathew Needleman create the Vimeo. They get my vote for excellence and sheer charm and for integrating old (photo) technology with new. 


The student-friendly film at the bottom of this page shows how to construct a morphemic flip-book. The video was posted by MargaretArt on YouTube. With some modifications, a morphemic flip-book could be used at various grade levels. Flip-books could show prefix--base/root--suffix as in re-paint-ed or pre-script-ive. Alternatively, compound words could be illustrated with a flip-book (learn more).

The video illustrates a common misconception. The suffix spelled -tion should more properly be spelled -ion. Words ending with the suffix -ion are nouns as in act-ion, at-tract-ion, pre-dict-ion, funct-ion, vis-ion, in-fus-ion, con-fus-ion, etc. The reason we see the suffix -ion misspelled as -tion or -sion is because it is often connected to a root or base that ends with the letter t (as in educate-ion) or the letter s (con-fess-ion). Some lexicographers include another form of this suffix, spelled -ation, as in con-dense-ation and con-greg-ation, but this could be further deconstructed to con-greg-ate-ion. By the way, the Latin root greg (grege) is also seen in gregarious and in aggregate. It means 'flock, herd' thus to congregate is 'to flock together.' Note also that in this film, think is called a root. It may also be called a free base or a base word.

Note the word happy in the flip-book film. Happy is a base word and the root of happy is hap, meaning 'chance or fortune.' A lesson could include the related words happy, unhappy, happiest, hapless, mishap, perhaps, happen, happenstance and haphazard (but I would not consider this root to be of high priority). The film shows a child's less sophisticated level of linguistic insight yet I expect that most literate adults would also process happy as a whole word.  
Enjoy!