Build Your Vocabulary Using Powerpoint | Kim Poteet | Skillshare

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Build Your Vocabulary Using Powerpoint

teacher avatar Kim Poteet, heyteach101

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introductions

    • 2. Making a Slide

    • 3. Choosing A Word to Learn

    • 4. Why Use an Example Sentence?

    • 5. Choosing an Example Sentence

    • 6. Finding a Good Definition

    • 7. Adding Images

    • 8. In Conclusion

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About This Class

This class is designed for anyone who wants to build a stronger personal vocabulary. I will show you how to identify the best words to learn, how to choose a good definition, and how to accurately use the word, all within the context of creating a playful yet memorable, illustrated Powerpoint slide of the new word.  You can create an entire personal dictionary filled with your own new words, illustrated, defined and modeled. You can also use the Power Point slide show as a study tool to deepen your retention and understanding of your new words.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kim Poteet



Hello, I'm Kim Poteet.  After a variety of majors at a variety of schools and a five-year stint as a professional stagehand in New York City and Chicago, I earned a BA in English at UW-Madison, then went on to earn an M.Ed. in Adult Education at Auburn University and an MA in English – Rhetoric & Composition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. I have taught reading, writing, study skills and life skills to students in Wisconsin, Alabama and Illinois. I have taught young mothers, prison inmates, immigrants, farm workers, and college students and I deeply believe that everyone can and should learn. 

I joined Skillshare because I too wanted to learn - how to draw cartoons and other illustrations.  I use everythin... See full profile

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1. Introductions: Hi. Welcome to this class. My name is Kim Poteet, and I teach adults to read and write and study better. One thing that all three of those skills require is words. And there are so many words out there that trying to learn new ones can be overwhelming. That's why I designed this technique and this class to teach you a fun visual method to learn new words and start your own illustrated personalized dictionary. Before I talk about the class contents, I want to briefly mention some of the benefits of learning new words, which is one of the most effective self improvement efforts. You can make so much payoff for just a little bit of effort. Learning new words builds confidence. Students have told me again and again that learning a new word they've chosen toe learn makes them feel smarter. Learning new words improves our ability to communicate as human beings were hardwired to want to communicate with each other, and we need words to do. Then learning new words improves reading comprehension, speed and focus. When you're reading and you come across a word you don't know you either slow down or you stop even if you start right up again, you've lost track of the ideas on the page. Our brains weren't very quickly. And if you keep stopping while you read, you're going to struggle to keep your brain focused on what you're reading. Brain's gonna go wandering off looking for entertainment elsewhere. Job satisfaction Learning new words increases job satisfaction, success and income. Long term research by the Johnson O'Connor Foundation found that no matter what job you're in, what career path you follow, the better your vocabulary, the happier you're gonna be in your job, the more successful you're gonna be at that job and the more money you make if you look at all these benefits of learning new words, more confidence, better communication, improved reading, success on the job, you can see what I mean. There's a huge payoff there for just a little bit of effort. If I have convinced you that that little bit of effort is worth taking, yea now you might be asking yourself, How can this class help? Here's what we're gonna do. I'm going to teach you how to choose a new word to learn, and here's our example, lugubrious, which I admit I chose just because it's fun to say, I'll show you how to find an example sentence that demonstrates how the words typically used and why that's so important. I'll help you choose a definition that is accurate and easy to understand. Sometimes you can be more confused after reading a definition than before. We'll look at ways to avoid that. Then we'll look at how to find the best images to use that will reinforce the meaning of the word for you. When everything is put together, you'll have created a slide that will be the first page in your own personal illustrated dictionary. And here's our completed example using the word lugubrious. The next step is to enroll in my class. I look forward to seeing you in less than one. Thanks for watching. 2. Making a Slide: in this lesson, I'm going to quickly go over some of the basics of designing a slide in Power Point. I know that many of you are probably more familiar with Power Point than I am, but I've learned is a teacher never to assume that everyone knows anything. As you gather the information to create your slide, I'm gonna have you put it straight onto the slide so you don't have to keep track of another piece paper. So let's walk through that process. I will choose a word that haunted me through grad school hegemony. So here I am in Power Point. Okay? The first step, you want to open a new presentation, which is what I've done, right? If you go to file new presentation, huh? Because I've been making some money slides lately. It brings up one of my often used backgrounds a chalkboard. I want to do something different. So I'm gonna go to the design tab, and I am gonna look at the variations here. You can choose any of these guys. All right? You could go over here to format background. Hi. Oh, and by the way, I'm using power 00.2016 For Mac, the basics are gonna be the same no matter which software you're using. But if you have questions on your version, the first thing I would do is put plug your question into Google. Okay, so here we are with format background, you can choose a color. You can play with it. You can do Grady in ville, all kinds of stuff. I'm gonna choose this template because I like it. Um, And if you see here, you've got what they call a placeholder, right? And I'm gonna put my word in here. I want to make it a little bit bigger, so I'm gonna highlight it, and then I'm gonna go toe home, which is where the font stuff iss and I'm gonna increase the text size. Let's say let's try 36 see if it will still fit. Now I'm going to stretch out the box. This is one of the things I want to show you. It's a lot of my students didn't know about that. You can shape the box. It's still too big. So I'm gonna make it a little bit smaller and see if we can get it to fit There we go. OK, so I've got my word. And now here's another place holder, right? You want to watch for the cross hair? See how it just went to the cross hairs if you want to move the box. So I want to move it kind of over into the corner here. And this is going to be my example. Sentence. Okay, so I'm gonna make it the size I like making the box of size of the content. All right, so I'm gonna stretch it out. There we go. Then I can move it, and it doesn't overlap. That's easier to catch if I need to change it later. Now, I'm gonna insert another text box, right? If you're in the home button, there is a place to insert a tax box right over here. Also, if you go to insert, you can do Where is it? Text boxer? It is text box right there. All right, I'm gonna go back to home because that's where the font is. And I'm gonna insert another tax box here, and I'm gonna put my definition all right now, I want my two fonts to match, so I'm gonna go down here and see what I had. I had sego print and 21. So I'm gonna make this the same thing. I'm gonna go down, up and drop down, and you can type in and it will bring it up. So I'm gonna say sego print and I'm gonna make a lemon make a little bit bigger cause I want the definition more visible. So let's go there and we can stretch it out so it'll fit. All right, so we've got the example. Sentence of definition. Now, to insert the last piece, which is a picture again home gives you the opportunity to do that. You click on a picture and picture from file, and it will bring up your images. Here's my lab tech from a previous slide, and that's way too big. So I'm gonna go to the corner and resize it, and I'm just gonna plug it up there. Okay? Another way is when you go into Google and do the search for images, Sometimes you can just copy and paste in a later lesson on talk about the search for images and how to choose good images and how toe what words to use to find them and so forth. But right now I just know that you can copy and paste. Sometimes the formatting doesn't work and you have to save it and then plug it in. It's a say file. Okay, so those were some very, very, very basic tools of power point. There's a lot more to play with. Um, and I hope you have fun. I hope you have fun doing that. And here's our final slide. A Gemini. The meaning is leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others. The example sentence. Eastern nations believe it's time to break the hegemony of Western culture, and I found three images that I really liked see in the next lesson. 3. Choosing A Word to Learn: Lesson two is all about choosing a word to learn. So how should we do that? How do we choose words that are worth learning and that we can remember and use quickly? One way to do that is to be like Malcolm X. Start with A and work your way through the dictionary. But most of us don't have that kind of drive or dedication. And no, I don't. I use research results whenever I can to help me make my decisions. And research tells us that the best use of our time when learning new words is to choose words that are already in our orbit words that we've seen or heard before, but whose meaning we don't know these air, what I call high priority words. High priority words are ones that you've seen before but don't know well enough to use. You may have a vague idea what they mean, but not enough to explain the meaning or use them yourself. These air the words to spend your time learning. Research also shows us that these were the words that are the easiest for us to learn. And remember, our new knowledge will be reinforced because the words are already a part of our world, so we'll keep getting re exposed to them and also there already vaguely familiar. So they're easier to remember. So think about this. Are there words your teachers of used that you don't know? Or your parents, your friends, your friends, parents or your boss? If so, choose one of those words to learn. If you don't know how to spell it, either ask. You can ask me on the discussion board or somebody else you can use. Spell check in your word processing program and see what turns up. Put your best guess into Google and see what turns up. If you can't think of any words that you've heard or read but don't know, you're welcome to use my list of college and grad school entrance exam vocabulary words. This list also includes words college students have chosen as their high priority words, and I've made a link to the list below. Look through it forwards you've seen around or heard before, choose one you'd like to learn again. Be sure to pick a word that's at least vaguely familiar that will make the next two steps finding an example sentence and a definition much easier. Once you've chosen your word, place it in the center of your slide. Big and bold. Your assignment for this lesson is to choose a word you recognize and want to learn, then posted in the comments below. If you want to please share where you heard it or what made you choose it, and a note for all you shy folks out there, please don't feel uncomfortable about posting your new word. Seeing your word posted will encourage someone else that it's OK to admit toe wanting to learn something new. So choose a word posted on the discussion board. And if you've got a story about where you heard your word or why you chose it, we'd love to read about that, too. And for extra credit, start your own list of high priority words. I'd love to see you share your list with us, but it's making the list itself That's most important. You don't need to look them all up and make flashcards and slides. Just keeping on going list and choose a new word toe. Learn when you can Weekly would be great daily would be awesome, but whenever you can is good, too. Anything is better than never 4. Why Use an Example Sentence?: Lesson three. I talked about why I include a sample sentence. Why do we need an example sentence? Can't we just find a definition and then create our own sentence? Not so much. The problem with doing that is that most dictionaries don't tell you enough to allow you to accurately use the word. A good example of this is the word cascade. Many dictionaries define the verb cascade as to tumble. While this isn't wrong, it leaves out the part about what kinds of things can cascade. If I tumbled down the stairs, did I cascade? If you look at the sample sentences, you start to see a pattern. Liquids and long hair. Typically cascade people don't. If you explore a little further into definitions, you find that to cascade means to fall in a wavelike motion. If you describe water cascading down a mountainside or curly hair cascading down someone's back, you can feel sure you're using the word as it was meant to be used. And that's a good feeling. So, to recap, I strongly recommend you use an example sentence toe. Learn new words two reasons. 1st 1 definitions don't usually include all the details you need to use the word accurately . And 2nd 1 is that the images within the sentence and the context clues air gonna help you remember that word? That's why it's not a good idea to start out by creating your own sentence. Wait till you've gathered enough information and really learned the word before you start using in your own sentences. That way you're much more likely to be using your new word correctly. So now that you know why finding an example sentence is so important, let's go find one. 5. Choosing an Example Sentence: Lesson four is about going online and finding a good example. Sentence one that helps you remember the meaning and demonstrates how your new word is used . You want your example sentence to be one that you can understand. No. One known words that shows you how the words typically used. Does it reflect how you've heard it used, and then three shows you the meaning of the word, and I want to talk first a little bit about number three. Your example. Sentence needs to show you the meaning of your new word. The sentence you choose is Onley useful if it helps you link the word and its meaning. So let's take a look at frankly, frankly, is a made up word, and we're gonna look for an example sentence to help us figure out how it's used and what it means. Here's one. He's Justus, frankly, is my uncle and another. I wish he were less frankly, and even 1/3 he is so friendly. Well, that's no help. These air, not very helpful sentences to help us remember the words, meaning what we need are some clues that will show us the meaning within the context of that sentence. We need context clues. There are basically three types of context. Clues, synonyms, anti names and examples. Here's an example sentence with a synonym for frankly, he is justice. Frankly, as my uncle, they are both Ruto everyone. Now I have a clear idea what frankly means. It's like rude. Here's a sentence with an antonym or opposite context clue. I wish he were less frankly and more like my sister. She's kind of everyone she meets. So Friendly is the opposite of kind. And here's an example. Context clue. It confirms what we've already learned about the meaning of, frankly, he is so frankly, he interrupts everyone and acts like he's the only person in the room who matters. Any one of those three sentences contains enough information for us to understand the meaning of frankly rude, unkind, self centered. Don't forget, frankly, is a word I made up. You're not gonna find it in the dictionary. These sentences are all good examples of the kind of context clue you wanna have in your example sentence. So let's review what we want. In a good example sentence. You can understand it. It shows how the word is used and it shows you the meaning of your new word. So now let's go Sentence hunting. I use Google. I type in my new word and the phrase used in a sentence. Let's use my old friend lugubrious. First, I want to find some sentences that wouldn't be helpful. So you can see what I mean about those. Hey, this lugubrious work of art was set up in white marble after his death in ST Paul's Cathedral, where it may still be seen. I'm not sure what lugubrious could be any kind of work of art. All right? I don't really know. And then the next one, very near his end, he had the lugubrious curiosity to cause the coffins of his embalmed ancestors to be opened at the ESC. Auriol What? But that does not help me at all. I am no farther alone. So then let's go back to our search results. Hey, now I like words in a sentence. So let's let me look for that. Uh, there it is. Very 1st 1 Good. Okay, let's take a look at words in a sentence here. We've got one. In his first novel, The Mysterious Postman is the perfect example of a lugubrious character that one doesn't tell me much. It sort of ties, lugubrious to mysterious. So let's keep going. Although Claressa initially enjoyed the play, she later fell asleep during the lead actors Lugubrious monologue could be boring. For all we know, surrounded by dark clouds will isolated. Barn made the perfect inspiration for the poets lugubrious poem. Sort of sounds ominous. Dark here, we're getting to something. Sounds a little bit down. Just because I'm a bit down today doesn't mean I'm in a lugubrious mood. After his wife left him, he walked around in a lugubrious condition, right? And to ease the lugubrious atmosphere, he told a few jokes, despised his job. This is the one that I revised for my card, Um, so he always had a lugubrious look on his face. Because of you, my lugubrious heart will never love again. So I'm starting to get a sense that the majority of these words air about sadness and depression. So that's a sentence. That's the meaning that I want. And so I'm gonna look for a sentence that reflects that, all right, and that's gonna take. Franklin despised his job at the catch A plan. Right? You can copy that. You can revise it a little bit. You can change the names. You could change the catch. A plant you can change. Uh, you know, if he's unhappy at home, you could change it to home. But don't change much because the goal here is to get a sentence that models the usage. All right, we have our word and our sentence. Your assignment for this lesson is to share your sentence in the discussion board underlying your new word and make sure that your sentence has a clue so we can figure out what your word means and now on to choosing the definition. 6. Finding a Good Definition: in this lesson, we're going to examine what makes a good, useful definition. A good definition makes sense. The first characteristic of a good definition is that it just makes sense. If it doesn't make sense to you, it's of no use to you in learning your new word. Let's look at our friend hegemony. Remember our example. Sentence for hegemony was. Eastern Nations believe it's time to break the hegemony of Western culture. We can tell that hegemony is a noun because of the determine, er the in front of it. So I looked for definitions that we're now. Here's what I found social or cultural predominance or ascendancy, predominance by one group within a society or milieu. What I'm not feeling much further along in my understanding of the word. There are a lot of potentially unknown words in that definition. If you don't know what the words in the definition means, the definition is useless to you. So here is the second definition I found leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others, much better, so choose a definition that makes sense to you. The second characteristic of a good definition is that it doesn't use a different form of the word. Say your word waas amiability. If you found this definition, the quality or state of being amiable, you'd still be clueless unless you knew what amiable means. So you look up amiable, you find that it means having or showing a pleasant, friendly manner. All you need to do then is take that meaning for amiable and plug it back into your original definition. That will give you a much more useful definition of amiability, the quality of and instead of the original, being amiable we have having or showing a pleasant, friendly manner that makes sense. The third characteristic and the final one of a good definition is that it matches the context and meaning of your sentence. Here we got two sentences using Cascade in a way that doesn't match our previous definition of falling. In a wavelike motion, the politicians statement about his past triggered a cascade of questions from the media. The lottery winner realized being rich came with a cascade of troubles that included greedy relatives. This is a new pattern for Cascade. You can tell it's acting as a noun here because of the determine er A that comes before it . So let's look at some noun definitions. Cascade could mean a small waterfall or a process where something typically knowledge or information is passed on. Looking at the phrases containing cascade from our two example sentences, a cascade of questions, a cascade of troubles. Neither of those two meanings seem to fit. So I go back to my search results and look for a definition that makes more sense with the sentences I chose. And here's what I found. 1st 2 are similar to the ones we already looked at, but the third one's more useful, something falling or rushing forth in quantity. A cascade of sound cascade of events, a cascade of curls that one fits nicely into the context of my sentences. So that's the one I'm gonna choose for my slide. So now it's time for you to look for a good definition for your new word, go to Google, plug in the phrase define and then your word. Look at several definitions and find one that matches our guidelines. Remember, a good definition makes sense. It doesn't just use another form of the word, and it fits the context of your sentence. Once you've found a definition that works for you, copy it. Go back to your slide and paste it in. Now all we need to do is add some images and our slide will be done. 7. Adding Images: Our final lesson is about adding images to your slide. This is where you can really be creative and have fun if you think about it. Our brains have been processing and depending on images for way longer than they've had to process words on a page. So we're doing ourselves and our brains of favor when we add images to anything we're trying to learn. Images give our brain something to hold onto. When the words don't want to stick. Take a look at the difference between the lugubrious slide without images and with images. For me, and for most of us, the images definitely make a difference. So even if you don't think images matter, give him a try. Now I want you to go back to Google and this time do an image search. You're looking for strong images that represent the meaning of the word to you. That's the key to choosing images that will help you remember what the word means. Look for strong images that represent the meaning to you on the main Google search screen. Go up to the upper right hand corner and click on images. Then put your word into the search bar and click enter when I want to point out, Here is the image toolbar. You get to it by clicking tools. There are a lot of choices. You can choose a certain size or color of image, or how recently it appeared online. Under time type gives you choices like photograph line drawing or clip art usage rights. Deal with copyright. So if you're making slides that anyone else will see, click on this tool and choose labeled for reuse to save an image. Once you've found one that will help you remember the meaning of your word. Right. Click on the image. Choose, save image as and then save it where you can find it. Then, when you click on insert picture in Power Point, you choose picture from file finding selected and pop it into your slide. Sometimes you choose a word that's widely used as a name, like a band or a product. If that's the case, try searching under synonyms for the word. If you're coming up blank for synonyms, you can always do a search using the term synonyms for your word. Another time that can come in handy is when your word is really abstract or hard to represent in images. Try synonyms or phrases from your example sentence or your definition. And finally, I just want to repeat one more time the power of images to help our brains understand and remember. Ah, no, I see. 8. In Conclusion: So now you have your completed slime. Congratulations. And thank you so much for taking my class. Some final reminders. I want you to remember to post your final slide on our discussion board. I'd love to see it, and I know it will help other students as well. If you like the class, please take a moment to give me a thumbs up in a good review. If you want to know when I publish another class, you can click. Follow under my name and you'll be notified when my new classes go live. If you know someone who wants to sign up for a premium membership to skill share, please share my unique enrollment link with them below. They'll get two free months of membership and I'll get a small bonus. Finally, remember to have fun. I hope you've enjoyed the class