There’s a better way to learn vocabulary words!
Instead of asking students to look up words in the dictionary, I send them to Vocabulary.com. You can take Challenges where Vocabulary.com will give you a number of different questions to help you understand the words you’re studying. And they provide much more context than just a dry definition – they include memorable definitions, example sentences, and tricks to help your remember the word.
For example, here’s their definition of paucity:
The word paucity means not enough of something. If you’ve got a paucity of good cheer, for example, you’d better cheer up!
One good way to remember the meaning of paucity is that it like “pauper,” as in The Prince and the Pauper. The prince had too much money, and the pauper had a paucity. There are a lot of words that mean “little” or “small,” but paucity is used when you mean specifically “not enough” or “too little.” People in LA don’t understand how New Yorkers can live with such a paucity of space. For what New Yorkers pay for a tiny apartment, Angelenos get a house and a yard.
Vocabulary.com has created vocabulary lists. You can either create your own lists or browse 10,000 lists that other folks have created. (Here’s a link to my list of Direct Hit’s core vocabulary words.)
Image source: pyramidtextsonline via Flickr
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