Thursday, June 14, 2012

Word Collection Sheet

Week of June 10, 2012: Finding Inspiration
Thursday, June 14—Word Collection Sheet

A love for words is essential for a writer. I have to admit I am a word geek. I’m always looking for a more specific noun; a more active, vivid verb; or the just right attribute to describe what I’m writing about. I also love to learn new words, play with words, coin words, and discover made-up words. Some words I’ve discovered in the last few months include:

* Lollapalooza (I thought this was a new music-related word, but was wrong)
* Fall-tastic (seen at a local mall)
* Cock-a-roaches (said by a fellow teacher)
* mignon (from my online word-a-day source)
* F&G (from an email from my editor—the term means when actual pages  of a book are folded and gathered together)

I encourage my writing students to collect words, too. We search in books we’re reading for vivid verbs and words for said and make classroom lists.

We gather idioms that make us laugh and that make us think.

And we gather words that interest us, stretch our thinking, are unfamiliar, and/or that sound interesting. We use a word gathering sheet like the one below.

Of course, you don’t need a chart to track the words you discover, you can list them in your Writer’s Notebook. As you discover new words you will be inspired. And if you’re inspired, your writing will show it.

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