I had posted a few weeks ago about this idea, and got some wonderful suggestions for words to use from my blogger-colleagues! I know it's a common activity in schools, but I was really excited about it. My kiddos LOVE words! I really encourage them to ask what words mean, even if it means we can't get through a page of our story. :) I purposely read to them above their grade level so they can have experience with that higher-level vocabulary. They also have a kind of fearlessness in using them both in their speaking and writing. When we read Charlotte's Web, I would get to a part where Charlotte would use a bigger word and the hands would go up. And then Wilbur would ask "what does that word mean?"-I think it's one of the reasons they loved that story so much because he reminded them of themselves.
So I assigned each child a word and they wrote their own definition and a sentence using it. We had elegant, innovative, zany, charming. They all took turns walking down the red carpet and performing in front of their parents. It was a fun activity! Here are some examples: