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Vivid Visual Vocabulary

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Keywords: Digital projects, Root Words, Vocabulary Building, Student-generated learning
Subject(s): Journalism, Science, Grammar, Spelling, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Business, Biology, Earth Science, Reading, Writing, Life Science, Podcasting, Early Learning, Geography, Technology, Civics, Speech and Language, Foreign Language, Chemistry, Physics, History
Grades 3 through 12
School: Pompano Beach High School, Pompano Beach, FL
Planned By: Sandy Melillo
Original Author: Sandy Melillo, Pompano Beach
This project will require at least one computer per group. Many schools have access to laptop carts or media center computer labs with internet access and Powerpoint or Keynote software.
Teachers divide students into collaborative groups and assign each group a set of root words. Each group will choose a “theme” for their group project like “sports,” a favorite movie or TV show, a cartoon, or a special interest. Students will take each root word and look up its definition, find a word that contains the root, determine the part of speech of this word, define the word, use it in a sentence, and find or create a picture within the theme of their project that illustrates the theme of their project. All of this information will be included on one PowerPoint or Keynote slide, one for each word. Students will develop a project using all of their root words and add appropriate music for their presentation. As students become adept at creating vocabulary slides, they may use this technique for other words and literary terms.
Those not familiar with using PowerPoint or Keynote may access handout or video tutorials from many online resources including Apple and You Tube. Projects can be shared with other classes, younger grades or used as presentations for Parent Night. Including them on the school web page not only is interesting for those who access it, but also is a source of pride for student creators.
• Students will used PowerPoint or Keynote to create a slide that includes:
- root word and definition
- a word that contains the root word and its definition
- the part of speech of the word containing the root word
- the word used in a sentence
- the picture of the word that follows the theme
• Students will combine slides into one PowerPoint and add music from an MP3 or created in
Garage Band.
• Students will present the project to the class.
• This project can be replicated using any vocabulary suitable for the class.
Using PowerPoint
Because PowerPoint is a program available on both PCs and Macs, it is probably most successfully used with this project, particularly if students wish to take their projects home to finish. It is important to note that projects created on Macs should not be save in pptx but rather ppt. It is then possible for students to move back and forth between PCs and Macs. Another important part of this project is that although an MP3 may be attached to this project, it will not work if presented on another computer unless a folder is created that contains both the PowerPoint and the MP3 of the music. These should be saved as project folders on the large drives. Even if the project is made into a PowerPoint movie, the original MP3 must be in the folder. If the entire project is converted to a QuickTime movies or a Windows Movie Maker movie with the music included, only then will the MP3 in the folder be unnecessary.
PowerPoint steps
1. Open PowerPoint and choose a slide theme.
2. Type in Title on opening slide
3. Text size and type can be changed by clicking on Format.
4. To insert a picture click on picture.
5. Choose a picture (or jpg) previously found and put into a photo collection (iPhoto, Picasso) or from your drive or desktop.
6. Insert and size the picture.
7. To add more text or change size, color, or font, click on Format.
8. To animate text click on Tool box and choose type and speed of animation within a slide.
9. For transitions between slides click on Transitions
10. To insert music or sound, click on Media
11. Choose music from iTunes, Garage Band, or an MP3 list.
12. Choose slide where music plays or begins.
13. Click on Tool Box and then on the name of the music.
14. Click on Media Options and choose the number of slides for music to play.
15. To time entire slide show click on Slide Show and then Rehearse Slide Show Timing.
16. Adjust timing if necessary.
17. While creating a PowerPoint SAVE after every slide, every action. SAVE SAVE SAVE
18. For a class project, save to a flash drive for later collaboration. When adding this slide to another
presentation you will go to INSERT and SLIDE FROM and ANOTHER PRESENTATION.
19. Click on the jump drive image and choose slide to add. Make any necessary music or timing
20. Save both Powerpoint project and the MP3 in a folder together for replay on any computer.

Each Monday I give my students 30 minutes to prepare their slides and on Wednesday they receive 15 more minutes to collate their presentation on a single jump drive and then each group gives a presentation which takes about 30 minutes all together as students take notes on the information. On Thursday they have a written vocabulary quiz based upon the information in their presentations. Because this is a weekly routine, students have become adept as preparing their slides quickly while still retaining their creativity in themes and music.

Vivid Visual Vocabulary was originally designed for Grade 9-12, but with the current status of all students K-12 as digital “native” and the ease of presentation software materials, there is little reason that this project cannot be implemented to some degree in all grade levels. The use of older student mentors would be a particular improvement to the success of this project, especially working with groups.
Most of my students are in 10th grade and those who take the state assessment test. Two years ago the school's lowest area of achievement was in Word usage and Vocabulary. Last year this was their area of best achievement. The reading teachers have expressed that reviewing root words has helped students achieve higher scores in this area.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Math: Geometric formulas offer many creative possibilities for pictures in the shape of certain objects. Math vocabulary could also be made into slides.
Social Studies: Just as Ken Burns moved generations of views with his historical slide presentations, social studies students could do the same utilizing vocabulary from different eras with appropriate pictures. Certainly the vocabulary associated with geography (i.e. latitude, longitude, tundra etc.) would be the basis of very creative presentations.
Science: Knowing root words is the basis for terms used in medicine, horticulture, geology, anatomy, biology, all aspects of science.
Foreign Language: Conjugating verbs is an integral part of learning a new language and would be much more fun in video than traditional “drill and skill.”

My students create slides as a presentation to review before their weekly vocabulary quiz. Each group turns in a worksheet with the information that will appear on each student's slide for an additional assessment. Compiling all of these presentations on a hard drives saves these projects for future midterm or final reviews and for presentations of student projects on the school morning show and web page.
Links: Powerpoint tutorials
root words
root words
Link to my website
Powerpoint help
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Tripods, Camera/Video Accessories, Printers, Hard Drives, Point and Shoot, Digital Cameras, Flip Video, Flash Memory Camcorders, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Early Learning, Speech and Language
Other Items: 5 netbooks, $300 each, total of $1500.00