Thursday, May 10, 2007

Word Detectives

As far as I can tell, this week I've been hit in succession with a cold virus and a stomach virus. I'm looking forward to feeling better and getting out of survival mode. I'm sure that my whole family feels the same...I'm glad they didn't haul me out to the corner with the broken-down washer!

In recent weeks, I've read aloud to the children from historical novels set during World War II. We finished Escape from Warsaw and are currently reading The Winged Watchman which is proving to be quite captivating and well-written. I am also reading aloud The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won, an excellent pictorial history. The children have read other non-fiction World War II books on their own as well.

Two nights ago for supper, we ate grilled bratwursts and some chorizo (spicy Italian sausage which James alone could tolerate) along with sauerkraut and succotash made with corn and edamame. We noticed that we were eating foods common to Germany, Italy and Japan (stretching it with the edamame) and called it our Axis powers dinner. I know, we're bad.

We have continued with our beginning Latin studies which, surprisingly to me, has added more enjoyment to our read-alouds. The kids can earn a penny for any Latin derivative that they identify, defining both the Latin root and the English word. Sometimes the kids even catch derivatives that fly under my radar (or is it over?). I remember several months ago, reading from Caddie Woodlawn and beginning to explain the meaning of "portage." Before I got the definition out of my mouth, Sophie piped up, "Portage comes from porto which means I carry!" Well...Yes!

And today, while reading The Good Fight, Matthew stated, "Primitive comes from primus which means first." I had to say, "You might be right! Let's look it up" and read "Middle English primitif from Old French from Latin primitivus
from primus, first." I read the definition and asked, "Can you give me an example of a primitive weapon?"

"An atom bomb?" answered Matthew.

"Actually, an atom bomb is the opposite of primitive, because it is very technologically advanced," I explained.

Evan answered, "A spear."

"Yes, a spear is primitive," I replied, "because it is a simple weapon and it was one of the
first weapons used."

I learn something new every day!

2 comments:

Debbie Reese said...

When you read CADDIE WOODLAWN, did you note/discuss the ways that American Indians are represented? I've been thinking and writing about this on my blog the last few days:

http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com

I am a Pueblo Indian woman, former schoolteacher, now professor in American Indian Studies, researching/writing about the ways that American Indians are portrayed/taught in books, texts, video, etc.

scribbit said...

That's a classic I've never read--I obviously missed out.