Monday, September 16, 2013

Living Books

Living books can be so enriching in our school in many ways besides the wonderful content we are reading. We can use passages from living books for copywork, spelling, grammar, dictation, and vocabulary. Today we made vocabulary cards that we can use in a variety of ways.

I see that the picture of the word cards isn't clear enough to read the words. 
The vocabulary words are intrigued, tantalizing, authoritative, perpetual, repetitions, queries,
 enthusiasm, participant, porcelain, scholar, persistent, reveled, reverie, and rebuttal.

We ran across a few words that the student struggled with in either pronunciation or definition while reading A Piece of The Mountain: The Story of Blaise Pascal. I typed up the words and cut them into pieces small enough to fit on some 2x2 inch card stock that I had. Taping one of each word on different colored cards will allow us to play 'concentration' with them.  Another activity will be to put them in alphabetical order. Over several days, we will write sentences with many of  the words and look up others in the dictionary. This student likes to read his words on video tape and play it back which gives another review. (This is fun for spelling words as well.)

Using words, sentences, and passages from books we are reading is a great way to make the learning more realistic and meaningful than using a workbook with unrelated words and exercises. Literature can definitely be used to teach more that one subject. This particular book is a biography of a mathematician and physicist so we are learning about history, math, and science while reading this too.
I would love to hear how you use living books in your school!


  1. Thanks for the great post. I found it through your yahoo group post on Basically Beechick. I have ordered the Pascal book to be purchased by my local library. I also intend to use some of your ideas for math games. God bless from Loriann in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada

  2. Hi Loriann! We are only on chapter 4, but so far it has been a great book. And it's written by a homeschool mom, so how cool is that? Let me know you enjoy it!