Some mornings start out a bit slower than others –maybe its cloudy or windy and rainy or just that I haven’t pulled the shades up yet to let the sun begin to warm the day. Sometimes, we don’t need the physcial sunshine to warm our souls–it is often caused by student action. Last week a moment such as this occured, William entered my classroom with a face lit up with pride. He was dressed in his military outfit, brandishing dog tags and a new book called, Military Animals, that he’d picked up at the Book Fair the night before while he and his family attended Parent – Teacher Conferences.
This was one of those rare days when the other members of our group were either absent or had a special activity in their GE classroom, leaving William and I to alter the lesson plans to fit a one-to-one session. We took full advantage and took a Book Walk through this wonderful informational book on all types of military animals–including insects! As we read, we determined a common theme among the heros of war times and took a closer look at several of the words that highlighted the theme.
We searched these words on etymonline.com to seek their origins and history. We looked them up in dictionaries and between the sources evaulated which words described them best and with consistency. Here is what we learned:
military –> milit (-is) + ary
(one who marches in a troop)
courageous –> courage + ous
(inner strength, bravery)
loyalty –> loyal + ty
My personal favorite for the day was <veteran> because I struggle with spelling this word correctly–I often misspell it as <vetran> most likely because of its pronunciation /vetran/ and that I’d never connected the base of <veter> with other words. In looking this word up, we found a connection to the word <veterinarian>.
veteran –> veter + an
(from veteris “old” –old, aged, that has been in long use)
veterinarian –> veter + in + ar
y i + an
- “The entry in etymonline notes that <veterinarian> is an animal doctor, from Latin veterinarius “of or having to do with beasts of burden” , also, as a noun, “cattle doctor,” from veterinum “beast of burden,” perhaps from vetus (generative veteris) “old” , possibly from the notion of “old, experienced” …”
William and I had just enough time to discuss the suffixing rule of how a <y> can change to an <i> when adding a vowel suffix before it was time for him to go back to class. The really amazing thing about this day was not only seeing a student proudly supporting the Veterans of this country, but also his enjoyment of connecting words and meanings. He loves finding links to words and asks about them often.
I do believe a light has been ignited in this brilliant young mind!