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What's The Best Word?- A Vocabulary Building Debate!

At the Young Readers' Club, readers recently found themselves in a interesting situation. Everyone of them had a different way to describe the reflection of an object in water. How does one decide which is the best way?

The Power of Words

As readers we get engrossed in a book if it is well written. A book is impactful when the writer chooses his or her words carefully to convey the intended meaning to the reader. This involves several rounds of editing before the book reaches our hands.

Children don't often like to re-read their work. Writing was effort and it is done. Going back to edit seems like a big, daunting task. It needn't be if we can divide writing into small chunks making it easy to edit and later see the difference between drafts. This also paves the way for vocabulary building as room now becomes available to experiment with different words.

The readers at the Young Readers' Club program had taken upon them a challenge to describe a picture in such great detail that anyone who reads it should be able to see the picture in its entirety in their minds. It was far more difficult than we had anticipated.

Reflection in water

Here is an excerpt of the conversation that followed:

"We can see the boy's reflection."

"The boy can see his own reflection in the still water."

"There is a perfect mirror image of the boy in the still water."

"We have already used the word 'perfect' before. If we use it again our description will become repetitive and hence boring."

"The image of the boy has been rightly formed in the water."

"Rightly? That doesn't convey the meaning. Is that even a word? What were you trying to say?"

"I was trying to say that correctly below him there is a reflection of himself."

"Hmm, about saying 'an exact reflection of himself?' "

"That would work. I support 'exact' instead of perfect."

"How about saying, 'specific image' is formed?"

"But what is specify about it? Could you specify?"

"The photo has been taken at a specific time, when this boy was walking there looking down at the time when the picture was clicked."

"When you add a little context, then yeah, 'specify' may work."

"Wow! We spent 10 mins debating over one word!"

"Yes, but we figured how different words convey meanings that at times can be very different from what we intend to convey."

Our little debate ended on that note:)


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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-12 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.

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