Recently, students were asked to find the circulation date of the challenging words they add to their weekly Wild Word list. Their words are compiled on a list in their Google Documents and then embedded in their individual Wordplayer wikipage. They created a Top 5 Word List that is regularly rotated for the latest Wild Words. Click to see a student example.
To kick off the lesson circa de words, I showed the video The History of English in 10 Minutes by Open University.
An factoid students thought was interesting was the first dictionary was 18 inches tall. Over nine years (1746-1755), Dr. Johnson wrote the The Dictionary of the English Language, scripting 42,773 entries. Some ‘wild words‘ noted, included: fopdoodle, pickleherring, and jobbernowl.
To better conceptualize the size of 42, 773 words in a foot and half tall book, I asked students to stack random novels from or classroom library, including a Webster’s dictionary, until they reached the mark.