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Improve Literature Lesson Plans
and Build Vocabulary

The best literature lesson plans can be obstructed and undermined by difficult vocabulary words. Students simply give up when an author uses too many difficult words.

So the study of vocabulary becomes a chore, and your literature lesson plans a bore. What you must do is make those hard words meaningful.

We invite you to try our Latin Word of the Week method of showing students the power of Latin and Greek roots. Students who study one Latin word per week will learn English words by the dozen.

Soon they will find new words intriguing, and they will seek out the roots themselves.

Start with the word VOCABULARY:

Our Latin WoW! concept is simple: Show them a word they already know, but also give them the Latin root. By the time you're half way through this list of derivatives, they'll say WoW! And they'll ask for another Latin Word of the Week!

vocāre, vocātus

vocare = "to call"
vocatus = "called"

See below how many English words come from this one Latin root. At the end of the list there are a few Latin phrases.

1. vocabulary (n.): The system we use to CALL things by name.

2. provoke (v.): to CALL FORWARD. Yes, your brother hit you, but you provoked him, didn't you!

3. provocative (adj.): Do you ask provocative questions? Do you wear provocative clothes? How do these questions or clothes CALL FORWARD?

4. evoke (v.): to CALL OUT, CALL forth, summon, produce. Ever watch a movie that evoked your tears? How about make a comment that evoked approval?

5. evocative (adj.): A painting may be evocative of winter, CALLING forth images of icicles and the feeling of a cold wind; the smell of food may be evocative of home, of mom's cooking and the comfortable corner chair.

6. convoke (v.): to CALL TOGETHER; Let's convoke a meeting of the best literary minds in the school and start a vocabulary club!

7. convocation (n.): a group that has been CALLED TOGETHER is a convocation, such as on graduation day.

8. vocation (n.): what you are CALLED to do for your profession. On the other hand, perhaps you have a religious CALLING?

9. avocation (n.): if you are CALLED AWAY from your job to practice a hobby for pleasure, that is your avocation. A doctor may love to sing in a choir, a teacher may love to sail, a diligent college student may enjoy playing intramural softball.

10. voice (n.): it's what you use to CALL your friends or to CALL out an answer.

WoW! That's ten already and we're just warming up! Here are ten more words for your literature lesson plans:

11. vocal (adj.): anything with a voice is vocal. Think of your vocal cords or your favorite vocalist. Are you a vocal environmentalist? A vocal critic of school policies?

12. revoke (v.): to CALL BACK, take back. Keep speeding in your car, and you'll have your licence revoked.

13. revocation (n.): the act of TAKING BACK. When a word is taken back or changed, such as the revocation of a law.

14. revocable (n.): an Olympic gold medal is revocable. So is the Miss America crown, your driver's license, or an unintended insult.

15. irrevocable (n.): but some words cannot be CALLED BACK. Words that cut too deep are irrevocable; so are some rights under the law. Have you ever said something irrevocable?

16. convocator (n.): one who convokes a meeting, i.e. CALLS it together.

17. advocate (n.): as a noun, one who supports a cause or defends another person. Are you an advocate of peace, of recycling, of using Latin roots in you literature lesson plans?

18. advocate (v.): as a verb, to act as an advocate. He advocated for better food in the cafeteria. She advocated for a later curfew.

19. advocation (n.): when a superior court CALLS for the review of a case previously handled by a lower court.

20. provocation (n.): the act of provoking, calling forward another person or thing. She kissed him without provocation. There was no provocation for the attack.

That's twenty, and I bet you can think of more! Here are some Latin phrases for your literature lesson plans!

21. magna vox (n.): loud voice or great voice. Ever heard of the company? What do they make?

22. vox populi (n.): the voice of the people, common opinion.

23. vox humana (n.): in music, a pipe organ stop that sounds like the human voice!

24. vox angelica (n.): in music, a pipe organ stop that sounds like the voice of angels!

25. vox barbara (n.): an unconventional word, a barbaric word.

WoW! them again next week with Latin WoW! Include another Latin root in your literature lesson plans.

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