Multiple meaning words and words in context are always a problem for my students. One way I have tried to attack this issue is to utilize technology to increase my students' engagement with words.
My students love to create avatars in Voki. For this assignment, were asked to think of different ways to choose a vocabulary word and to think of different ways to utilize that word in a sentence. They were to try to look at the word from a variety of different parts of speech and / or contexts.
For example for the word Vertical, students could look at different parts of speech:
- They could use vertical as an adjective. “The vertical mountain slope looked dangerous to the climber.”
- They could use vertical as an adverb. “The horse slept vertically without falling over.”
Or students could look at the word Vertical in different contexts:
- They could use the word vertical in the sense of height.
- They could use the word vertical symbolically as in moving up the corporate ladder.
- They could use the word vertical mathematically to describe a line or direction.
- They could use the word vertical to describe a position.
The avatars students created and the backgrounds they chose had to reasonably represent the the context or point of view in which they utilized the word.