a date with a hippo a fun way to build vocabulary!

In an effort to connect reading and writing, we made a date with a hippo!


While a standard dictionary reveals the meaning of a word, wordhippo does SO MUCH MORE! Wordhippo is a great tool to help students widen their vocabulary by identifying synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, rhymes and word definitions. Wordhippo also models correct pronunciations in English and a variety of other languages. It's easy, simple and FUN!

Each student in my reading group was assigned an “old” word (common, over-used and tired) and then used wordhippo to find replacement vocabulary. The goal was to use more exciting words or phrases that would help student writing be more engaging to the reader. For example, Jack took "home" and turned it into abode and casa. Each new word was written on a different shade on a paint swatch.

I picked up the paint swatches at Walmart and Lowe's but they can be found anywhere paint is sold!
The kids had a good giggle using "wee" in a sentence!
We all agree "spruce up your room" sounds a lot better than "clean your room!"
Parents didn't enjoy the phrase "not getting any younger" as much as the kids did!

During our time together, we used each "new" word or phrase in a sentence...this allowed correct modeling through guided practice. Students then added new words and phrases to their word books they use throughout the day.

Students added the news words or phrases to their individual word books used in writing class.

It was fun hearing students successfully carry the new vocabulary back to class and into independent conversation! Within our small-group, we had great discussions--but there is potential to make this into a great station activity in the general education classroom.

Created By
Julie Bergstrom

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