Teacher issues challenge to each class: I challenge you to stump me with a vocabulary word tomorrow from the dictionary. The following rules will apply: I will be the final judge on if I adequately defined the word or not. Words must be adjectives (otherwise, you'll be asked the meaning of words that mean a Roman sandal worn between 100 BC and 90 BC in the Tuscan hills....). To particpate, students must have an index card with the word and its meaning written legibly. You may have the help of your parents to find your word to stump me with. I will recognize more vocabulary words than not. If I win, . . . If students win, . . .
Suggestions to teacher:
brush up on your etymology overnight! root words, affixes, will take you far.
appoint an honest scorekeeper
use the overhead or smartboard to write the words as you're thinking about the meaning - kids will attend to the visual
do not give in to student pressure to "give them the point" after they've heard your definition.
explain to the kids more than once that your definitions will NOT be dictionary quality, but will capture the chief idea, etc. of the word.