What in the world is a word hoard?

A word hoard is a term guest author Megan Frazer Blakemore derived from –  Beowulf.  It’s a wTeachers Write Couldriter’s lexicon. Today’s challenge was to create word hoards that your characters might create.

So in this exercise participants keep lists of words in a notebook as a resource – this allows writers to flex voice because you are thinking about the specific vocabulary to describe the character, or words the character would use as a description of self.  This work also engages envisionment – which happily is a powerful comprehension skill that conflates to what we want readers to do – step into your characters shoes -where will your writing & reading take you.

The exercise is asking us to take a current work in progress, take three or four of your characters and create Word Hoards for them. I don’t have that right now – but I’m going to try it anyway:

Zoe – (age 9) curious, bossy, insecure, tender, precocious, awkward, funny, insightful, well read, timid, loud & sometimes silly

Zelda – (Yorkipoo puppy 1 yr. old) playful, nurturing, obedient, energetic,  bouncy, quiet, valedictorian of dogs

Max – (age 9) calm, empathetic,  poised, analytic, comfortable, lover of puns, coordinated, clear headed, good natured, honest

Interesting exercise because I could see how to do this with children, have them collect words in their notebooks – drawn out of read aloud lessons, guided reading, partnership work – it’d be a fantastic Independent Reading response too.  Then use them to develop their characters.  Interesting way to go about it – I’ve never done this before but I can see how this works.  Just by doing this a story is unfolding in my head – love this never would have thought of it – very original.


3 thoughts on “What in the world is a word hoard?

  1. Great idea. I can see so many layers to it connecting to reading and writing both creative writing and response to literature writing. I also see it as a vocabulary builder. The noticing, selecting, and discussing of words is a powerful way to master words. This is critical, because bottomline, one cannot think beyond the vocabulary one has ownership of.

  2. I love to just “collect” words that I encounter while reading usually. This is a very fun idea for students who are natural born collectors. My daughter, who has also become a word collector in the past ten years has grown her vocabulary significantly since she started really paying attention to words. Now she writes a newsletter and I am impressed by her command of vocabulary.

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