Why Teaching Words in Isolation Fails

March 26, 2020

The only way to successfully gain increase in one’s vocabulary is to read. Reading is the horse that pulls the vocabulary cart, period.

 

This test is simply to demonstrate to teachers (all of us, perhaps) what literacy students may experience when we, as teachers, try to help them with vocabulary outside of reading.

 

New Vocabulary                              Guessed Definition

 

Abies:   _______________________________________________________________              

 

Barton:   _______________________________________________              

 

Calced:    ______________________________________________               

 

Deloul:   _____________________________________________________________               

 

Enfiled:   _____________________________________________________________                

 

Farer:   _______________________________________________________________              

 

Gault:   _______________________________________________________________                  

 

Hodden:   _______________________________________________              

 

Incarn:   ________________________________________________              

 

Jabble:   ______________________________________________________________              

 

Kreng:    ______________________________________________________________              

 

Lill:    _______________________________________________________________              

 

Mampus:   ______________________________________________              

                                          .

Nefast:   _____________________________________________________________               

 

Obrok:    ________________________________________________              

 

Pavid:   _______________________________________________________________              

 

Queme:   _______________________________________________              

 

Reboise:   _____________________________________________________________                 

 

Sarcel:   ________________________________________________               

 

Tantivy:   ______________________________________________________________              

 

Upscuddle:   __________________________________________________________              

 

Vouge::   _______________________________________________               

 

Wamus:  ______________________________________________________________              

 

Xancus:   ____________________________________________________________              

 

Yare:    _______________________________________________________________              

 

Zanda:  _______________________________________________________________    

 

 

 

 

All of the above words are from the Webster’s 3rd International Dictionary Unabridged        

 

 

 

This test is simply to demonstrate to teachers (all of us, perhaps) what literacy students may experience when we, as teachers, try to help them learn new vocabulary out of context.

 

New Vocabulary                               Guessed Definition

 

Match up the vocabulary on the left with the sentences on the right 

 

Abies:                                              She _______ the thread in the needle in         

                                              order to sew the hole in the sock. 

 

Barton:                                  The band-aide and ointment helped the

                                              wound to_________.

 

Calced:                                  They took all of the _________ from the

                                              sheep shearer and sent if off to be dyed

                                              to be made into sweaters and mittens

                                              and hats.

 

Deloul:                                              When Little Red Riding hood walked

                                               through the _________ on the long dark

                                               path to her grandmother’s house it was

                                               as if all of the  trees were watching and

                                               listening to her foot steps.

 

Enfiled:                                             The workmen all wore a warm _______

                                                when they worked outdoors in order to

                                                keep from getting chilled.

 

 

 

Farer:                                             The farmer had to cut a long _______in

                                             the ground so that the water from the

                                            river could get to his field of crops.

 

Gault:                                   Whenever the twins thought that one got

                                             something the other didn’t, they would

                                             ____________with each other for hours. 

 

Hodden: .                                       When he was young, the youth hoped

                                             that it would be his ________ to travel

                                             the world.

 

Incarn:                                 There were several buzzards feasting on

                                            the _________on the side of the busy

                                            highway.

 

Jabble:                                 The ______between the farm house and

                                            the barn was filled with chickens

                                            scratching the ground for stray seed.

 

Kreng:                                 The ________ could be ridden across the

                                            desert for days without needing water to

                                            drink.

 

Lill:                                                   The musician put her finger over the 

                                             ________ on the flute to change the

                                             tone.

 

Mampus:                             When the entire herd of horses took off all

                                            at once at a mad __________, the cloud

                                            of dust rose high up into the air.

 

Nefast:                                           He discovered that he did not need snow

                                            shoes to walk on the ________ without

                                            sinking in.

 

Obrok:                                 The ________we planted in the front yard

                                            was growing just like a fir or balsam.

 

 

Pavid:                                          When the gun went off, the runners ran

                                          very _________ down the track to the

                                          finish line.

 

Queme:                             The _________ old witch cast a nasty

                                           spell on the young princess.

 

Reboise:                            The ________had been to many different

                                          countries on his long journey.

 

Sarcel:                              He used the long handled ________ with

                                         the two tines to pick up the large steak off

                                         of the grill to turn it.

 

Tantivy:                             A very large _________ of people came to

                                         the political demonstration.

 

Upscuddle:                              The sunshine on that calm, serene, late

                                         afternoon day in late May made that day

                                         perfectly _________.

 

Vouge:                              The _________ on the surface of the river

                                         water was caused by the Pirranha in their

                                         feeding frenzy.

 

 Wamus:                                   Although she did like horror movies, she

                                        was so ________ that any unusual noise

                                        would make her jump.

 

Xancus:                                  There were three _________ under the big

                                         top at the Circus.

 

Yare:                                       If you hold the __________ up to your ear,

                                        they say you can hear the sea.

 

Zanda:                             He was _________, though the ones he had

                                       on his feet did not fit him well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only way to successfully gain increase in one’s vocabulary is to read. Reading is the horse that pulls the vocabulary cart, period.

 

Abies: The abies we planted in the front yard was growing just like a fir or balsam.

 

Barton: The barton between the farm house and the barn was filled with chickens scratching the ground for stray seed.

 

Calced: He was calced, though the ones he had on his feet did not fit him well.

 

Deloul: The deloul could be ridden across the desert for days without needing water to drink.

 

Enfiled: She enfiled the thread in the needle in order to sew the hole in the sock.

 

Farer: The farer had been to many different countries on his long journey.

 

Gault: He discovered that he did not need snow shoes to walk on the gault without sinking in.

 

Hodden: They took all of the hodden from the sheep shearer and sent if off to be dyed to be made into sweaters and mittens and hats.

 

Incarn: The bandaid and ointment helped the wound to incarn.

 

Jabble: The jabble on the surface of the river water was caused by the Pirranha in their feeding frenzy.

 

Kreng: There were several buzzards feasting on the kreng on the side of the busy highway.

 

Lill: The musician put her finger over the lill on the flute to change the tone.

 

Mampus: A very large mampus of people came to the political demonstration.

 

Nefast: The nefast old witch cast a nasty spell on the young princess.

 

Obrok—When he was young, the youth hoped that it would be his obrok to travel the world.

 

Pavid: Although she did like horror movies, she was so pavid that any unusual noise would make her jump.

 

Queme: The sunshine on that calm, serene, late afternoon day in late May made that day perfectly queme.

 

Reboise: When Little Red Riding hood walked through the reboise on the long dark path to her grandmother’s house it was as if all of the  trees were watching and listening to her foot steps.

 

Sarcel: There were three sarcels under the big top at the Circus.

 

Tantivy: When the entire herd of horses took off all at once at a mad tantivy, the cloud of dust rose high up into the air.

 

Upscuddle: Whenever the twins thought that one got something the other didn’t, they would upscuddle with each other for hours.

 

Vouge: He used the long handled vouge with the two tines to pick up the large steak off of the grill to turn it.

 

Wamus: The workmen all wore a warm wamus when they worked outdoors in order to keep from getting chilled .

 

Xancus: If you hold the xancus up to your ear, they say you can hear the sea.

 

Yare: When the gun went off, the runners ran very yare down the track to the finish line.

 

Zanda: the farmer had to cut a long zanda in the ground so that the water from the river could get to his field of crops.

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