Hello, world. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ll chart that up to the relative whomping that April often has for me, dust myself off, and get back with it.
I’ll also say this: my One Little Word? Shift? Boy oh boy, has that come in handy. Suffice it to say, I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks. I’ve done a lot of thinking, and I’ve actually done a LOT of writing. Just…not…here.
And some of that learning, thinking, and writing will make its way to this platform, but it’s still taking its time to percolate.
In the meantime, I did an exercise with my fifth graders that I haven’t done for several years now, but it’s one of my favorites. It ties up identity and language and grammar and fun, and it wraps them all together in one big bow.
We start by asking: what is our essence? What makes us, US? What sums up who we are and what we’re about?
Then we examine various suffixes that create abstract nouns:
After that, it’s time for word play. We say our own name out loud with each of these suffixes, altering for vowels, consonants, or pronunciation as needed. Which one feels best? Friends, I won’t lie. This part is FUN to watch! Almost as fun as…
Our last part, in which I ask each kid to send me an email with their new word, along with its dictionary definition. All of them start with “The quality of…”
For the record, I shared my own definition. Mrs. Levinitude: The quality of being fearlessly yourself and maybe a bit geeky and weird.
Boy, did they deliver! I won’t give you the words themselves because…names. BUT. Check out these dictionary definitions:
- The quality of entertaining people and making them want to watch you
- The quality of not being afraid of doing crazy things, being different and owning it and being very good at winning arguments
- The quality of being funny with no smarts at times or all smarts and no funny at different times
- The quality of being short but mighty
- The quality of being a math-lover, a reader and an awesome friend
- The quality of being silly but serious too, being smart and funny (witty) and cool (and being sneakily weird some of the time)
- The quality of loving Kirby and the preference of him over Lucas the Spider and much more
- The quality of being athletic
- The quality of using sarcastic humor when you speak, Like in stand up comedy!
- The ability to be weird and be proud of it
- The quality of being a little shy but sometimes brave (especially with familiar people)
Oh, man. My cheeks still hurt from smiling so much.
Now. I, for one, would love to know how YOU would “nounify” yourself, if you could. And…if you happen to use this with your kids, I hope it brings you – and them! – just as much joy.
Many thanks, as always, to the Slice of Life community for being a source of inspiration and a great landing place for all things creative.