Embedding and Enriching
Language in the Creative
Gifted and Talented
Opportunities to support all children…but
especially G&T can be offered through
expanding, enriching and embedding…
and level of language
Language … a fundamental tool in the armoury of G&T children
Impoverished language decimates opportunities in life and curtails
creativity and potential achievements.
Enriched language is a powerful key that opens so many doors of
opportunity and empowers for life.
Continually develop inquisitiveness about language through…
• SODA activities ~ Synonyms/Antonyms ~ Creative Collective Nouns
• Conundrums…’Call My Bluff’
• ‘P’ words ~ Portmanteau ~ Palindrome ~ Pandemonium
• Lost for Words? Instead of ‘said’ and ‘went’
• Onomatopoeic words
• Using pictures to generate new vocabulary
• Word Trees words of anger ~ words of calm
• Etymology of Words ~ Kennings ~ Karmadharaya
~ Idioms and Cliches ~ BIG words for little words
• What can you do with the LONGEST word?
SODA (Start Of The Day Activities) Multi-syllabic word on board
INDESTRUCTABLE …… …… SAID
begged hollered sang guessed suggested replied hissed
whispered…bellowed howled…simpered murmured…screeched
bawled…whimpered sniffed… snarled commanded…begged
babbled…articulated demanded…agreed sobbed…laughed
Expect them to be used during creative writing.
Creative Collective Nouns
A prickle of hedgehogs.
A blithering of idiots.
A tilt of windmills.
A sulk of teenagers.
An undulation of hills.
A wiggle of Elvis impersonators.
A skulk of foxes.
A tangle of tricksters.
A fluff of clouds.
A stench of skunks.
A steaming of puddings.
A knot of stomachs.
An incantation of spells.
A fracturing of bones.
A penalty of footballs.
A rhubarb of pies.
A twist of ankles.
Whoops-a-daisy! The box of synonyms has been
dropped all over the floor…..sort them out!
fall weep cry coax tumble race
sob dash hurry gallop
persuade plummet influence
dive drop sprint howl enthuse
encourage wail scamper cajole
Antonyms…match the opposites
svelte microscopic modern long
cowardly narrow above ecstatic
found safe high weak near
famous wavy short raced unknown
straight melancholy lost low dawdled
stout wide titanic ancient dangerous
brave beneath strong day mountainous
cavernous early tardy far night
Brilliant investigative material.
Start at the far end of the alphabet…the
end children don’t use too much.
What’s a ZEUGMA?
• Find dictionary meaning.
• Then play ‘Call My Bluff’
• Give 3 plausible explanations.
‘Call My Bluff’
• The use of a single word (often a verb) or phrase to
link or apply to two or more nouns… when its sense is
appropriate to only one of them.
• A German built robotic machine used in the
pharmaceutical business for accurately balancing
chemical blends in certain medicines when going through
• Greek in origin, it’s a sneeze.
Use of a single word or phrase (esp. a verb)
to link or apply to two or more nouns
…when its sense is appropriate to only
one of them.
He held his tongue and his temper.
He arrived in a taxi and a hurry.
She opened the door and her heart to the orphan.
Past the winning post he rode his bike and his greatest ambition.
The men continued cutting down the rain forest and the planet’s
Try another! ‘Call My Bluff’ Williwaw
• The aborigine women in the Australian outback,, when attempting to get
their young off to sleep, would softly sing a ‘williwaw’ ….their version of a
lullaby….which alluded to Mother Nature calling the children to the land
of sleep and they must go.
• In the craggy Scottish highlands, at the time of Robert the Bruce (King
Robert 1), who was fighting Edward Longshanks (King Edward 1 of
England) for the independence of Scotland, men were said to give
warning of the English army approaching … by a ‘williwaw’…a high-pitched
wolf sound that sent chills down the spine.
• An Inuit word, describing the viciously cold wind that descended from
the snow and ice fields of the Alaskan Panhandle, greatly accelerated by
the force of gravity and feared by the British seamen in the 19th century
who came across it whilst sailing along the Alaskan fjords and Straits of
A viciously cold
wind of the
‘P’ words…Portmanteau Words
Lewis Carroll…nonsense language.
‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’…Humpty Dumpty‘ Well, slithy means lithe and slimy…you
see, it’s like a Portmanteau’ ……….blending together the meanings of two words.
(French…porter…to carry… and manteau…mantle…..a huge bag that has two sections)
• Galumph ( gallop /triumphant)…originally described the swagger
of the boy who slew the jabberwocky and went ‘gallumping’ back.
• Chortle (chuckle/snort)…onomatopaeic for a rich, throaty gurgle
Word, phrase, sentence read forwards or backwards…says the
ewe rotor level dad radar sos pip
don’t nod deer breed civic oxo pop
mum minim kayak toot nan wet stew
we sew was it a car or a cat I saw Derek, I like red
he did huh race fast, safe car never odd or even
In words, drown I redder refer solos
‘P’ words…Pandemonium words
In the 2nd half of 19th century ‘pandemonium’ came to mean chaos and
commotion. Encourage use in creative writing to create mood and vivid
uproar volatile explosive jangling
stormy thunderous nightmarish frenzy
furore jittery hurly-burly disastrous
raucous fevered tumultuous squall
seismic convulsive disquiet rumbustious
frisson cacophony rasping rowdy
Lost for Words? ‘SAID’
Nothing is guaranteed to bore a teacher more than the repetition of ‘said’ in a piece of writing.
Quietly does it…
assumed blushed cowered dreamed dithered
acquiesced dribbled drooled gulped hesitated
hummed lamented reflected whispered twittered
yawned sighed purred sniffed vowed quivered
Loudly does it…
wailed boomed exploded erupted cackled
bickered howled yapped bellowed objected
jabbered hollered hissed grizzled fumed
interrupted swaggered squawked roared rasped
Have a ‘Wall of Words’ which children can use in creative writing.
When used correctly, reward ! Competition…who can include the most?
Mood Speed Impediment
bumped frolicked ambled dawdled limped fumbled
squirmed gyrate pottered breezed flagged muddled along
lunged writhed meandered paced teetered hobbled
blitzed fluttered by strolled coasted tottered
forayed jaunted hot-footed it lolloped
duck and dived gushed sprang puffed and panted
snuck in trekked steam-rollered crawled on hands and
wriggled tiptoed warped loitered knees
swaggered stomped cantered dashed staggered laboured
gambolled trounced trickled doddered
flurried lingered propelled galloped slogged jostled
vaulted hopped scarpered scooted floundered shuffled
shillied and shallied catapaulted streaked buckled drudged
wafted rambled gushed darted surged wheezed wobbled
The formation of a word whose sound suggests the
meaning of that word.
Another ‘whizz’ topic for investigation or play ‘BINGO’
blip brrrr! splish splosh shoo! yuk!
buzz plop! crackle boing! zing sh!sh!
ping beep swoosh fizz glug glug zonk
pitter-patter click-clack vroom vroom!
achoo! woof! honk gurgle hush! coo
whoosh gush kerplunk! zap! boo hiss
chuff neigh eek! biff clank bong!
meow! swish flush
beep phew! oink oink! choo choo! moo
clomp clang psst! whoops aaarh! swoosh
whirr sizzle crunch squelch cuckoo ouch!
slurp chirp sniff tick-tock
Using pictures to
Whatever topic or theme for a story or
Poem, in Geography, History, Drama or
Science, use pictures to stimulate
language and build vocabulary.
Word Trees…anger and calm
apoplectic affronted cantankerous irate flaring flaming
pugnacious incensed rankled venomous vindictive
quarrelsome ruffled scorching resentful loathing
rampage gripe brusque crusty embittered offensive
huffy riled ranting fractious go berserk rancour
wrath malicious hot under the collar hopping mad fiery
furious bluster inflammable vexed snarling ratty
spitting mad truculent spiteful seething uncontrollable
assuage placid pacify conciliatory peaceful tame
unperturbed placate restrained sanctuary sedate
tranquil nonchalant halcyon coolness cradling sombre
composed becalmed convivial balmy appeased lull
truce settled serene serenity slumber relaxed
lulled sober soothing reposeful restive restrained
passivity passive solace warmth wistful gently
hopeful meek mild homely cosy diplomatic softly
ETYMOLOGICAL Investigations…Where do these words come from
originally? What do they mean? How did they get into our language?
Use in ‘Call My Bluff’.
sandwich buccaneer blitz
eavesdrop cadge flabbergast
marathon flamboyant scavenger
Idioms and Cliches
Choose a topic. Write theme in centre of huge circle. Put in
as many idioms and cliches about that topic as can be found.
All fingers and thumbs fight tooth and nail Putting a brave face on it
Bite your tongue Got egg on his face On tip of my tongue
Hit the nail on the head See eye to eye Watch your mouth
Cat got your tongue Pulling your leg Cost an arm and a leg
Two left feet Head in the clouds Hour-glass figure Doe-eyed
Parts of the body.
Having cold feet Two-faced Pins and needles in my fingers
Head and shoulders above the rest Memory like a sieve
A real brainbox A back as straight as a rod Tongue-tied
Have itchy feet He’s an old hand at this Learn by heart
Under your thumb Under your feet Stick your neck out
Eyes bigger than his stomach Eyes in the back of her head
Has not got a leg to stand on Keep eyes peeled Fingers crossed
Anglo-Saxon in origin….described something without using its
name…used a compound phrase instead which described its
appearance or actions.
Eg. ‘ Night- hunter’ for a wolf.
‘ Sea- raider’ for their boats.
‘ Death-bringer’ for their swords.
‘Sea –steed’ for a ship.
‘ Sky-candle’ for the sun.
‘ Battle-sweat’ for blood.
‘ The whale’s- way’ for the sea.
‘ Blood-ember’ for an axe.
‘Sun of the houses’ for fire.
Modern day possibilities…
‘Dream machine’ for a bike.
‘Squirrel highways’ for an oak tree.
‘Black coat of the road’ for asphalt.
‘Yellow hem of the sea’s blue skirt’
for sand on a beach.
Karmadharaya (from SANSKRIT)
A compound word in which the first half
is an adjective that describes the second
half, which is a noun.
blueberry gentleman foulmouth
highlight blackboard broadband
downtown highway blackberry
short-term redhead blacklist
sidestep downsize crazy-paving
whitewash blackbird overrate
overhang oversize overweight
loudmouth underpass superhuman
BIG words for
‘Big’ and ‘little’ are great words for the very young when building up their bank of vocabulary
…but the universe of ‘big’ and ‘little’ needs to then be greatly extended, because of the dynamic
creative influence it can offer in writing and when speaking.
quick~~ expeditious wrong~~erroneous think~~cogitate
improve~~ameliorate foe~~ adversary try~~endeavour
near~~adjacent bias~~prejudice noisy~~boisterous
left~~abandoned lack~~deficiency gossip~~confabulate
bold~~audacious home~~domicile sky~~firmament
secret~~clandestine roomy~~commodious gallant~~chivalrous
puzzling~~enigmatic renew~~renovate defer~~procrastinate
Another sort of BIG and little words
Sort into ‘BIG’ synonym words and ‘little’
Then sort again into size…largest to
Then choose one and try to find its
large phenomenal huge bounteous
spacious profuse immeasurable Titanic
bulky boundless vast substantial
abundant cavernous mountainous volcanic
considerable jumbo whopping monumental
immense significant Herculean Olympic
itsy-bitsy weasly elfin negligible
scrimpy scanty inconsiderable dot
diminutive micro titchy meagre
spartan trifling Lilliputian paltry
infinitesimal puny microscopic ant-like
miniscule trivial smidgen teeny-weeny
What can you do with the longest word?
Webster’s International Unabridged Dictionary
Break word up into ‘keys’ to find meanings…
1. Pneumon= lung, to do with breathing
2. oultra = beyond, exceeding
3. micro = minute, small by comparison
4. scop = watch, see
5. ic = like, the nature of
6. silico = flint
7. volcano = volcano
8. koni = dust
9. osis = disease
So…the meaning is: A lung disease caused by inhaling dust like silicon and
volcanic ash particles, so minute that, in order to see them, a microscope,
which exceeds the ordinary, is needed.
But what to do with it?
• Use in ‘Call My Bluff’
• Write (carefully) on board and find
as many smaller words as possible from it.
• Find other words that begin with ‘Pneum…’
and their meanings.
• It’s a sesquipedalian word ( a long word).
Find other sesquipedalian words…
(eg antejentacular…pre-breakfast / discombobulated…thrown into a state of confusion /
pugnacious…quarrelsome/ quotidian…everyday, commonplace / mendacious…dishonest)
Play the Sesquipedalian Game.
• Count the vowels…how many times do they appear? What’s the most
used ? What do you think is the most common vowel in the English
Is yours a Questioning
Do you ask the same level questions all
the time or do you ‘raise the tide’ for all
your children by asking higher level
questions some of the time?
The language of Bloom’s Taxonomy of thinking
skills…asking the right questions.
Lower Order Skills:
Remembering: recognise, list, describe, retrieve, name, find, tell, show, label,
collect, who what when why where
Understanding: interpret, summarise, paraphrase, classify, explain,
contrast, predict, examine, estimate, discuss.
Applying: implement, carry out, use, execute, demonstrate, calculate, relate,
discover, classify, solve, modify.
Higher Order Skills:
Analysing: compare, organise, deconstruct, interrogate, analyse, order, select,
deduce, infer, discriminate.
Evaluating: check, hypothesise, judge, assess, grade, rank, conclude,, convince,
recommend, persuade, summarise.
Creating: design, produce, construct, plan, invent, reorganise, substitute,
integrate, compose, formulate, rewrite.
Using Bloom’s questioning Language with Tony Ryan’s
‘Thinkers’ Keys’ eg The Environment
1.The Reverse Key: Name 6 things that cannot be destroyed
by humans. (LOS Remembering) (DISCOVER=MOS Applying / CONVINCE= HOSEvaluating)
2.The Disadvantages Key: Explain the disadvantages of
cutting down trees. (LOS Understanding) ( DISCOVER=MOS Applying)
3. The Variations Key: Tell us about the effectiveness
of different ways of cleaning up oil spills.
(LOS Remembering) (ASSESS =HOS Analysing) (DESIGN=HOS Creating)
4. The Brainstorming Key: Why should we recycle?
(LOS Remembering) (CONVINCE=HOS Evaluating) (ANALYSE=HOS Analysing)
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