Power words—strong words, such as compare, analyze or support—can have different meanings in different context. Patchogue-Medford Grade 4 teachers and students recently collaborated with visual artist Lucienne Pereira to explore specific power words. The students considered the different meanings of the power words and how these words impact their daily lives. To visually reinforce the impact of power words, Ms. Pereira guided the students in the creation of illustrated stories based on the words. The stories were compiled in a book for a permanent visual reference.
The project's 12 power words were selected by the school principal based on their importance in daily language and test-taking. Ms. Pereira selected several meanings for each power word. Working together, the students and artist brainstormed examples for each meaning. Next, the students worked with a partner to create a story depicting a power word. "The stories and illustrations were based on the students' own experiences," notes Ms. Pereira. "They wrote stories about video games, school activities, sports, friends, family, cartoons, vacations, winter, and more." The students were given a piece of canvas (18" x 24") to illustrate their stories. A different background color was used for each power word.
The students mapped out their stories on the canvas, creating illustrations and adding dialog (above). When all the pages were completed, a book cover and table of contents were created (below).
Once the book was put together, all the students on the grade level read the stories and learn about the power words and their different meanings (below).
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