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Seventh-graders Dive into the Vocabulary of “Of Mice and Men”

Seventh-graders in Mandy Hayes’ English class brought the words in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” off the page in an early January lesson. Throughout their reading of the classic novel, students encountered a variety of new vocabulary words, including “aloof,” “discerning,” and “fawning.” Each student was assigned a word and asked to make a poster with the word’s definition, its part of speech, synonyms, and a sentence featuring the word. As a student presented, their peers added the definition and part of speech to their vocabulary lists. “The poster presentations provided a jumping-off point for students to discuss the words and identify nuances and multiple meanings,” Hayes said. “After this activity, students completed an assignment where they inserted the words into sentences. These sentences modeled proper usage and syntax and prepared students to incorporate the words into their own writing. Our vocabulary work helps to improve their reading comprehension and the clarity and fluency of their writing.”