What are the 7-WordWonders?
CONTACT: Paul de Vries, PhD, President, READ@Literacy3.org, 347-6-READER
There are seven ways to approach anything to read—especially the best book, the Bible.
1. Reading WordWonder = being able to read with understanding. Coaching the reader is fine, and we do it positively, with praise and encouragement. The ability to read is one of the most awesome gifts to give to a child, a youth or an adult. Reading empowers.
2. Comprehension WordWonder = being able to comprehend and put thoughts in one’s own words—that is an important reading wonder for anyone. Even seasoned readers will read a text and then mostly forget what they read. The skills of both comprehension and recollection need to be both developed and reinforced in each of our lives.
3. Vocabulary WordWonder = being familiar with the Word and with words is priceless! There is a reason why reading tests focus especially on vocabulary. IDEA: try starting with this Word-Wonder—get the students to talk about each Key Word, and then ask each student to tell a story or create a sentence using as many of the 10 Key Words as possible. Also, each student can find and circle all the Key Words in the hand-out sheet with the text—either before or after they read it aloud. Let it be fun!
4. Pattern WordWonder = being attentive to the patterns in a text—overt or subtle—helps the reader both (a) to master the depths of meaning in the text and (b) to master more and more of the infinite nuances of language that enhance his or her communications. The key patterns in a Biblical text may be the skilled use of grammatical-structures—such as questions, commands, or vivid adjectives—or subtly repeated thought-structures, ironies, unstated implications, repeated metaphors, and so forth. A focus on pattern-wonders raises word-skills for the student—while giving one more awesome tool for deep engagement with a great text.
5. Development WordWonder = being aware of movement from the first to the last sentence in a text is an essential word-skill. Mastery of the development word-wonder makes a person—adult, youth or child—a better talker, listener and thinker, as well as a more engaged and skilled reader. The text is going somewhere, and it matters that the skilled readers notice.
6. Creative WordWonder = being creatively engaged acknowledges the root fact that language is part of life—never detached. All kinds of creative response—such as short story writing, sculpture, spontaneous role-playing, painting, scripted drama, creative retelling in a contemporary setting, related games, relevant prayers, and such like—are part of the deeper truth that the Word always desires incarnation into matter and energy.
7. Reread WordWonder = being engaged in rereading a great text—especially the best text, the Bible—is a truly precious word-wonder. When rereading, please note both (a) what now seems new in the text, and also (b) how the light from the Word in this text should help guide people’s lives and decisions now. Especially right after one of the other 7-WordWonders has been fully explored, rereading is a new experience. And then if a day or more go by, rereading the same text can be remarkably revealing. The Bible is special. “It is the book you always want to reread,” as one of our teachers explained to her 2nd grade students. They understood.
Take your time!! It is OK to explore only one of 7-WordWonders in a 15-minute period.
building-up all three dimensions of literacy
Useful for homes, churches and ministries
1. To engage the Bible via mastering the 7-WordWonders
2. To teach literacy by fully employing the best book, the Bible
3. To empower for living, through the Word and words.
ü After-school programs = Plan 15 minutes on one of the 7-WordWonders each day, staying with the same Bible text for the week. Intersperse that learning fun with students doing their homework, and also generously mixing in the wonderful related ResourceWell.org materials.
ü Saturday morning programs = Take 10-15 minutes on each of the 7-WordWonders interspersed with plenty of the related wonderful ResourceWell.org materials.
ü Christian academies = Use 15 minutes each on one or two of the 7-WordWonders interspersed with related wonderful ResourceWell.org materials.
ü Neighborhood Bible studies = Select from the 7-WordWonders with adults, youth, or children. What people read unrelated to school or work improves their reading the most.
ü Summer Vacation Bible School = Utilize about 15 minutes on each of the 7-WordWonders interspersed with tons of the related ResourceWell.org materials.
ü Revitalized Sunday School—mornings or afternoons = Choose from the 7-WordWonders interspersed with plenty of the related ResourceWell.org materials. Making literacy and Bible-knowledge the dual purposes renews the original mission of the Sunday School movement about 230 years ago.
CONTACT: Paul de Vries, PhD, President,