As our bellies bulge with excess calories this week as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday, I share an opportunity to fill our minds with new words. The author of Wordsmith.org, linguaphile Anu Garg, created a program that randomly displayed rare words and their definitions/etymologies daily for himself. He has been sharing his words with the world for 13 years.
You can signup to receive his A.Word.A.Day newsletter in your email inbox, or purchase his new book, The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words. One of my favorite aspects of this website is the fairly low-tech appearance of it. It doesn’t have any of the flashy Web 2.0 technology that we have become accustomed to on other useful sites, and that allows it to be easily viewable on any device.
I can think of dozens of ways to use this in my classroom, whether its a formal lesson or just as a warm-up activity. The power of vocabulary-building exercises has been proven time and time again, and we could all do a bit more with the help of the Wordsmith.