The Word Within the Word Vol. 1 Home School Teacher Edition
Category Description for Word Within a Word
First impressions can be deceptive! If you picked these books up and thumbed through the pages, your first impression would likely underestimate all this program offers. These courses truly represent a challenging exploration of the interior of our language - in all its Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon root glory. Part systematic vocabulary study, part playful etymological analysis, part logic and thinking skill development, these courses require students to internalize the vocabulary while being responsive to the needs of academically gifted, highly motivated students. Each lesson starts with a list of 25 stems (a general name for all word pieces including prefixes, suffixes, and roots) that must be memorized (yes, I did say memorize). However, any similarity to most other vocabulary programs ends there. These stem lists are designed not just for simple memorization of roots, but example words provide an engagement point into a system of thinking; a way of building, analyzing, spelling, pronouncing, using, and choosing words. The system becomes the object of inquiry. Each part of the lesson provides a different aspect of the big picture. Stem Close-Up pages illustrate a primary point of the course - each stem appears in dozens or hundreds of other words. Sentence pages provide 25 examples of word usage. (I particularly like the selection of sentences from classic literature.) Notes pages demonstrate that words are vessels of insight and wisdom. For instance, here‘s a note on the word equivocates - “we see in the word an image of someone having problems with his mouth as he attempts to give equal (equi) voice (voc) to both sides of an issue!” Analogies pages are difficult, forcing the student to think clearly and search for relationships. Mystery Spelling pages (teacher book only) show spellings by stems rather than syllables which means that the spelling construction of a word becomes identical to the cognitive construction of a word. Mystery Questions (teacher book only) challenge students to sort answers by etymology. Ideas pages expand the learning to include both left and right brain functions - divergence, analysis, evaluation, intuition, emotion, aesthetics, and synthesis. Word Creation gives students opportunities to practice creating words in ways other than techno-jargon (i.e. I‘ve been googling around.) Even Tests are purposeful; they are cumulative with review sections as part of every test.
The Teacher and Student books are designed to be interactive and both are essential to the program. In addition to answers, additional sections (mentioned above) and overall course instructions are provided in the Teacher books. In general, the course can become what you make of it. I would recommend a teacher/student joint journey with lots of interaction and discussion. Although a student could learn much by individually working through the material, the excitement and enjoyment needs to be shared. Volumes 2 & 3 (please note there is no Home Teacher edition available for Vol 3) are both a continuation of all elements of Volume 1 and strengthening additions such as a greater range of creative and imaginative activities. These courses are designed to be part of a challenging Honors English course. Although incorporating elements with strong appeal to academically advanced students, these courses are also well suited for those wanting an exhilarating expedition into language. They could be used at any junior or senior high level. We have other excellent vocabulary programs that are less expensive but I know of nothing that provides the same enticement into a love affair with Words, Words, Words! - Janice