top of page

Word Histories


Now that you know a little more about word histories, check out this activity related to some of the key vocabulary or "juicy words" in All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman. 


Become word nerds with your students!

Step 1: My turn, your turn (word pronunciation)

Step 2: My turn, your turn (clap the syllables)

Step 3: Talk to me about the word...

Step 4: Let me tell you about the history of this word, or where it comes from...

(Adapted from Overturf, Montgomery, & Smith, 2013).


Students should ask the following questions:

  • Do I recognize that words can have more than one meaning?

  • Do I know the history of the word, or where it comes from?

(Taberski & Burke, 2017)

Juicy Word


Word History

Old English


The word play means to move rapidly, exercise, frolic, or make sport of


A play can be a performance.


To play can mean to take part in a game.

Act it out! 

Draw index cards related to the word play, and have students act out the history:

sing     kick a ball     run     dance     act

Word Nerds.jpg

...or write a 7-up sentence about where it comes from and what it means!


Beginner-Have the students complete as many parts of the Frayer model as they can for the word "play."      


Intermediate-Students can complete the Frayer model for the word "play" and use digital image searches to create a word poster.  (Optional: include images from the read aloud and have students create a "play"-web based on the illustration)

bottom of page