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National Thesaurus Day 

The man who created Roget’s Thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget, was born on January 18, 1779, a date loquacious scholars celebrate as National Thesaurus Day. (Thanks, Alex E., for the heads-up. I had no idea this was a thing.) Though my research failed to unearth the authority who had the power to make such a declaration, it seems like a nice thing to remember the retired doctor whose passion project helps us all sound a bit more erudite.

Care to celebrate the unofficial holiday in class this week? Introduce students to Roget, hand out a few actual thesauruses (or thesauri – apparently, either is correct) and lead a little word play. Maybe rewrite one word per line of a poem you just studied? Change up the words of a platitudinous pop song?

You could also view this winsome clip from Friends:

And then follow up with the Prevent Thesaurus Abuse team activity. Click here to download a free copy of the worksheet and answer key that encourages students to unpack overloaded sentences. While I appreciate Roget’s contribution to our writing toolbox, students also need to resist the urge to indulge in too much of a good thing.

What else could we do to mark the day? Leave your ideas for everyone in the “reply” box below!

Illuminate on, everyone.

 

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Mrs. McCutcheon
Mrs. McCutcheon
6 years ago

There’s a picture book to share about his life, too. I just bought it BECAUSE of this day!

https://www.amazon.com/Right-Word-Roget-His-Thesaurus/dp/0802853854/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515890431&sr=8-1&keywords=roget+thesaurus+picture+book

Laura Randazzo
6 years ago

Oh my gosh, Mrs. McCutcheon, that book design is wonderful! Loving this opening quote, too:
“The man is not wholly evil – he has a thesaurus in his cabin.” (Captain Hook as described by J. M. Barrie in Peter Pan) Thanks for sharing the link. Wishlisted!

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago

My students enjoy this activity every time. Lots of fun!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with for National Grammar Day on March 4. (wink, wink) 🙂

Laura Randazzo
6 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

Wait, Michelle…there’s a National Grammar Day!?!! Oy vey!

katieny1974
katieny1974
6 years ago

Too bad National Grammar Day doesn’t fall on March 5th for 2018 (M.U.G. Shot Monday). That would be funny!

Laura Randazzo
6 years ago
Reply to  katieny1974

Oh, kateny1974, every day is Grammar Day in my book. 😉

parsone
6 years ago

I had to add that book to my amazon cart. My kid is only two, but it looked so cool!

Laura Randazzo
6 years ago
Reply to  parsone

I know, right? Looks good to me, too, Parsone. 🙂

Patti B
Patti B
5 years ago

Love all of these ideas! I purchased the book and will start my class by reading the book. My HS students will get a kick out of it! I am going to show the Friends clip which is AWESOME! I will then follow up with the freebie! Thank you so much, Laura! YOU ROCK!

Laura Randazzo
5 years ago
Reply to  Patti B

Fun stuff, Patti! 😀

jennwilles
4 years ago

Hey, thought I’d share. Heard a good add-on for this. In Mike Rowe’s That’s the Way I Heard It series (https://mikerowe.com/podcast/), “Episode 133: “Call It What You Will”, is a 9 min. talk about Roget in the style of Paul Harvey. The beginning is a rather vivid account of his Uncle’s suicide, but I’m planning to start just after that.

Laura Randazzo
4 years ago
Reply to  jennwilles

Great suggestion, Jenn! I really like Mike Rowe, so I’ll be sure to check this out. Thanks for this. 🙂

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