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Ralph Fletcher, in his suggests that students record and celebrate interesting words they really like in their writer's notebooks. I have always thought this was a good idea, and designing this lesson gave me a new way to celebrate vocabulary: personifying it. For this notebook page, I ask students to think of interesting vocabulary words they know and really like, based on the meaning, based on sound of the word, or based on a personal experience with the word. My two favorite words are defenestrate (because of its meaning) and cacophonous (because of its sound). My teacher model (see below) celebrates these two words in a creative way, which I think Ralph Fletcher would agree when I claim, "This is an excellent way to celebrate vocabulary words uniquely in one's writer's notebook."
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In my classroom, once we have personified several language arts vocabulary words in the writer's notebook, I have students "reserve" a page where they will eventually personify three vocabulary words they learn, one from science class, one from math class, and one from social studies class. I usually give them a deadline of three weeks to finish this W.A.C. task. I, of course, have to remind them repeatedly that they have this task coming up, and I require them to share possible ideas about W.A.C. vocabulary words with each other during my language arts time. In my case, it is also helpful to let my science, math, and history colleagues know we are doing this; that way, they can prompt the students with "Do you think any of these new words might be personified for your assignment in Language Arts?"
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The lesson below has students create a two-page spread for the notebook: one page is for language arts vocabulary words; the other page personifies three vocabulary words, one from each of the other three content areas. We create the two-page spread in my language arts classroom, and then I can alert my three teaching colleagues that they have a new vocabulary processing tool they can use in their own subjects' learning logs.
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If you don't have PowerPoint, you can click for the PDF version, but you're missing out on the animations I've put in to maximize discussions among your students as they learn a bit more about personification and some great vocabulary words.
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Allow students to talk to each other about ideas they are having for personified vocabulary words. Then have students create rough drafts about personified vocabulary words from your Language Arts curriculum or that students find/like in the independent novels they are reading. I like to briefly take these small pieces of writing through the process, having students share in groups, offer suggestions, revise, then copy their finalized five or six sentences into their notebooks with their illustration. The kids do with this lesson really make the "Share your final copy" requirement lots of fun. I hear more laughing among students with this lesson than with most of the others assign.