This is a guest blog post from Timothy V. Rasinski and Melissa Cheesman Smith, co-authors of Daily Word Ladders Content Areas Grades 2–3 and Grades 4+.
With many moments to celebrate interspersed throughout the school year, we know teachers are always looking for ways to keep students engaged while having fun along the way! Word Ladders are perfect just for that, and St. Patrick's Dayis a great moment to try one out.
In our new books, we’ve created Word Ladders focused on content areas, such as science, math and social studies, as well as holidays and special days, which can bring on extra energy and excitement for learning.
Here’s a little more on why Word Ladders are so great. Being literate in the 21st century means having a strong vocabulary both in quantity and quality. Having students work with familiar words as well as introducing new vocabulary, aids in both expressive and receptive language skills—reading and writing. Daily Word Ladders activities meet both of these needs.
Here are some key benefits of daily Word Ladders:
Here are three examples of mini-discussions that can be used with the St. Patrick’s Day Word Ladder activity:
Question: Why might you use the word “corridor” instead of “hallway” in writing?
Possible Answer: If the setting in a scary story you were writing was a long passageway with many doors, it would make the place sound spookier.
Question: If balk means refusal of something you don’t want to do, what might you balk at?
Possible Answer: Something I would balk at, because I wouldn’t want to do it, is to clean up after my dog in the backyard!
Question: Halt means to stop suddenly, so when might you come to a halt at school?
Possible Answer: I would halt if I were caught running in the hallway so I wouldn’t get in trouble.
Here’s how the St. Patrick's Day Word Ladder looks in action with Melissa’s 5th graders in Mesa, AZ!
While walking under a ladder may be considered bad luck, a Word Ladder is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow—exciting and valuable!
Daily Word Ladders Content Areas Grades 2–3