Daily Archives: January 21, 2015

In a Word

By Patrick Miggins

Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. - Henry James

An air is more lasting than the voice of the birds, a word is more lasting than the riches of the world. – Irish proverb

14066799200_36b69d17e3_zI have lately been using a learning strategy known as “Word by Word,” which challenges students to review their notes and understanding of a text and sum up a narrative in one single word, a word that best epitomizes the essence of the story. Taken on a notecard after reading, discussion, and more formal writing on the assigned text, this single word quiz, not surprisingly, has been the most popular quiz the boys have taken all year! The exercise is a hit because it is lively, it sharpens focus, and it enriches the group mind through sharing. The boys look forward to it as it allows each mind to shine amidst his peers, so long as the student can qualify his diction.  As a teacher, I enjoy getting to know the quality and cogency of the thinking of each student, and I am very often impressed and pleasantly surprised as they expound upon their winnowed word!  Continue reading In a Word