We’ve recently been playing two new word games in class to deepen our understanding of the Greek and Latin roots of vocabulary.
Try playing them at home. You’ll be impressed at what Lower Lab students can do!
The Chain Game:
— start with a word
— bicycle, for example
— find a word that shares a root with the previous word
— tricycle, for example
— keep going until you run out of words or get stuck
— bicycle ->  tricycle -> trident -> orthodontist -> orthography -> biography -> biology
— don’t repeat a word you’ve already used
Here’s an example from class:
pictures from lower lab.jpg
You’ll see Lower Lab students with very long chains of impressive vocabulary. I believe the current record is a chain 60 words long!
The Neologism Game:
— Similar to the Chain Game
— but with a twist
— the goal is to invent a neologism (a word that’s not in the dictionary)
— For example, start with a word like telescope
— invent a new word using shared roots along with a definition, telephobia = the fear of long distances
— We’ve collectively produced thousands of new words never before recorded. Here are some highlights of Lower Lab creativity:
gastronaut (referring to Jonah’s journey inside the whale)
gastrarchy (when people let their stomachs make their decisions)
zoarchy (a kingdom where animals are in charge and humans are kept on display)
Some students have even illustrated their neologisms:
Try playing these at home and let me know how it goes!