the ASK: I never seem to have enough approaches to teaching vocabulary. Here, I wondered how I could get students to construct deeper understandings of words by seeing them as “families.”

the TRY: I gave students a series of words that all had something to do with the concept of hubris. They had to investigate the words and somehow arrange them in a way that visually demonstrated their relationships to each other. Then, they each took a picture and annotated the image with the rationales of their thinking.

the LEARN: I learned that the more students see the relationships words have to each other, the more likely they are to add them to their vocabularies, rather than just define them for a lesson or quiz. I was also reminded that it’s so much easier to think about words this way when you’re organizing teaching around concepts and ideas.

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