By Terry Haley, OER Project Team
Stop me if I’m being sesquipedalian, but let’s face it: teaching and learning vocabulary is not always easy. How many times have you read past something like “she was unmoved by his fulsome reading of her accomplishments” and thought, well I don’t really know that word but it probably means angry. Or maybe happy. Sleepy? And when context clues didn’t help you still kept reading without looking up the word. We do it, and we know our students probably aren’t bounding off to find a dictionary—or whatever the digital equivalent is—so they can look up unfamiliar words every time they encounter one either.
Vocabulary is an essential part of understanding and making meaning of historical content, so we’re really excited to introduce our new OER Project Vocab view, which should help make the process of learning new words a little more seamless.
We’re rolling out this new feature in Big History Project, and you’ll see it in the coming months in all World History Project courses too (Origins, 1200, 1750, and AP®), as well as in Climate Project.
Here’s how it’ll work: From the lesson view (just select VIEW LESSON from the unit page), you’ll now see a list of vocabulary terms listed right above each article and video, as well as in those activities that contain historical thinking skills.
You and your students can just click on the word or phrase you need defined, and voilà! A list of all the vocab words in the lesson will appear on the right-hand side of the screen. This might even tempt your students to browse up and down at the other words they’re about to encounter. For each word we provide not only the definition and a sentence demonstrating its use, but also its other forms, synonyms, and antonyms, when applicable.
The vocab collection is searchable, and a search will show you and your students all the course materials in which that word is used.
Enjoy this new feature! It’s just one of the ways we hope to make the nuts and bolts of learning more painless so your students can gain the tools they need to build greater knowledge and skills.
About the author: Terry Maloney Haley is an OER Project editor who taught high school English and drama for eight years in California and Munich. He also wrote for television in days gone by, but prefers the rewarding nature of making high quality educational resources accessible to everyone.
Cover image: Composite image, collection of funny illustrations of rooster and hen. comic birds. © @n.style / freepik.com.