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Description of Word Voyage

We had a lot of big ideas, including that students should study vocabulary from their current readings. We also wanted to move away from rote memorization and focus on "teaching them to fish," giving students an attack strategy that could be applied to any word. From this came the consideration of Latin and Greek roots as the best tools for the job. Abundant research supports the study of roots, and most multisyllabic English words have them. So we set out to build a modern, active-learning platform to teach this old-school method. We created exercises for the students to drag roots to form word meanings and then drag "cousins" to build root families. The students get lots and lots of practice, which helps them move from the current habit of skipping unfamiliar words, to a new one: Slow Down Break It Down (also known as close reading, but don't tell the kids). It’s been a thrill to see them go after words like benevolent, contiguous, affably, incredulous, alleviate, imperious and declare that they are no big deal. They have discovered a whole new level of word power.

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