Inspiring Student Words

The new year is a time of optimism… if we choose! We can dwell in daily frustrations or we can begin the year with a fresh outlook. Choosing a word for the year helps determine our perspective. The same is true for our students.

If you ask students to choose a word to guide their year, provide them with inspiration in the form of picture books.

Try one of these to get students talking about words: The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words by Stacey Abrams, or The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter.

Try one of these to talk about goal-setting: Because by Mo Willems, Jeremiah Learns to Read by Jo Bogart, Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges, or Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan.

After student words are chosen, use their words as the basis of an art lesson. How might the word be written on the page? How might they represent their word in images? How might they use line, colour, or pattern to emphasize the meaning of the word?

Through art, students tend to think more deeply about their word and how it may guide them. Displaying the artwork afterwards can serve as both inspiration and a reminder too.

One little word can make a big difference… give it a try!

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