Manure for the Mind!

Recently, the students have been investigating words related to our study of the American Civil War.  In our last post students explained what they understood about some of the words.  One of the comments we received on that post was from Old Grouch, our true Real Spelling friend from France.  Since one of the words investigated was <emancipation>, and the students had found this compound word to be made up of the bound bases <man> and <cip>, Old Grouch playfully replied using many words that share those two bases.

He began his comment like this, ”  I anticipate that they won’t need a mandate to participate in manufacturing a manual of these bound bases.”  What fun we have had with that!  The students have each made a list of the words in his comment that share the base <man> and the ones that share the base <cip>.  Then the research began.  How does knowing the meaning of the base element in a word help us understand the meaning of the word?

Some of the words really gave us pause to think, while others were more obvious in their meaning connections.  Overall, it was a very bright week in the classroom (light bulb moments were happening in proliferation!)  The following videos focus on the words with the base <man> .


One thought on “Manure for the Mind!

  1. Well Mrs. Steven’s class, I am once again astonished by the joyous discoveries you are making for yourselves and for those smart enough to read your blog. Amazingly I’d never considered the word “emancipation” before. Now if it comes up I will not make the error of spending any time being misdirected by the homographic free base for an adult male!

    You are such effective users of Etymonline. What a valuable resource.

    There was so much to enjoy in these presentations. One favourite bit right near the end of one of the videos was the way the moment of understanding manifests on the one boy’s face when you are discussing what the word “manipulate” means and how it relates to the meaning of “hand”. We get to hear a similar moment in Mrs. Steven’s voice when a student shares their investigation of “manual”.

    I have to tell you that I happen to be in Melbourne right now preparing for a 3-day workshop starting tomorrow with a group of 16 teachers. Many of these teachers have worked with this content for at least a year. I can’t wait to share this post after I have them take on some of these words themselves. If we were to be silly enough to treat it as a competition for clarity of analysis – I suspect your crew would win handily. Fortunately, a knowledge competition is quite absurd. Instead, we’ll just use your fine work as a way to support our learning.

    And finally, in your previous post, Mrs. Steven asked about more evidence for the base MIGR. I happen to know that this word was investigated on some time ago. I recommend that you see what you can learn from this investigation posted by a teacher in Beijing and the comments that follow. Here’s the link to that post

    We certainly have an amazing community of learners to learn with. If there were a contest for collaborative groups of scholars that include students, teachers and linguists I’m sure we’d win — hands down!

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