Terms come to life in #039;Parade of Words#039;

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2003

Quick, define the word miscellaneous.

Can you picture it in your mind? What about arachnid or flashlight or brilliant?

Fourth-grade students at Ironton Middle School showed off their skill at defining words with a "Word Parade" Friday. Each child chose a word, researched its meaning and then wore a costume that depicted that word. One by one, each child got to parade in front of the other students, say their word and then define it.

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Middle school teacher Alice Brown said she got the idea for the "Word Parade" from a book she discovered this summer during a professional development course.

The book "Miss Alaineous," written by Debra Frazier, tells the story of a little girl who misunderstood one of her spelling words (miscellaneous) and, without researching its definition, came with the wrong definition, which she presented in class, to the amusement of the other students. The little girl, Sage, later made light of her mistake by dressing as "Miss Alaineous," her incorrect word definition, during a "Word Parade" in her class.

"I wanted the kids to learn new words and the definitions for them," Brown said of her own word parade. "I'd like to do this every year."