Just a quick note about a site that I found through one of the blogs that I follow. Since it is the Christmas season - the season of giving - I thought that this was a neat way of donating food to developing countries AND developing vocabulary as well!
Free Rice is sponsored by the United Nations World Food Program. I did check if this site was legit by looking at who owns the domain (I learned this from using the Reality Check program from Media Awareness Network - all secondary teacher librarians were sent a copy of this resource cd in the fall). Anyway, the Free Rice game is levelled based on your responses so if you keep getting the word meaning right, you get bumped up to a higher level. In any event, for every word you get right you earn free rice for the hungry.
This could be used with students as part of a community building exercise for your class. Students could be put into teams and challenged to play as part of a weekly assignment - there is an option for the game to accumulate scores. Weekly tallies keep track of the amount of rice each team earns (the more words correct, the more rice earned) - who cares if they cheat by using a dictionary? Perhaps teams/individuals could follow up by choosing one of the words that they didn't know and using it in a journal or blog post. They are working as a team toward a goal, working with vocabulary words and feeding the hungry.
I thought that I would share this with you as we make our way into the holiday break. Have a great holiday!