The 36 nonsense words included in this packet are made up of phonemes that occur in English words. Students with a basic grasp of phonic skills should be able to pronounce them. You can always pull these out to work on syllables or pronunciation in a small group. These would be great as a warm up for guided reading - students could write their definitions after your reading time.
There are many ways you can use this activity - your imagination is the limit!
This could be a year round rotation, where one word is put up each week and all students come up with their own definition. The class could even vote on the best definition for the word and add it to the class dictionary. To create the class dictionary, I recommend placing the Word Applications in sheet protectors and use O-Rings to keep it together. Who knows - your kids may come up with the next word to go viral!
To use this as a center, students should draw a card, sound out the word and then create a definition using the Word Application page. You can have students use the writing page to explain how they came to work for Mr. Webster and discovered their word and it’s definition. I’ve included a student direction page for this way of using the cards.
The pages in this packet have been differentiated for you. One version uses synonym and antonym and the other uses “real words that mean the same thing (or opposite) as your word” The students will be using a modified Frayer model to complete their word application and the writing lines provided are also meant to increase success at all levels. These cards work well as a center, for early finishers, or as a whole class activity. Choose which page will work best for your students, and have fun!
When introducing this activity, remind students who Mr. Webster was; some will probably have no idea about him. I’d also point out that all the words we use were at one point “nonsense” Shakespeare invented many words we use every day and the word “google” is a nonsense word, it’s only because of some very smart people that we have an idea of what it means and use it every day.
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