I've been doing a lot of work with word roots in my class lately, mostly because my kids keep calling me over during tests and asking me what certain words mean and then, when I explain, growling, "Dude, why can't they just SAY that then?" through clenched teeth. So I'm trying to teach them how to figure out what words mean without having to ask me. Thus the word roots.
On Friday I gave a test on a variety of different word roots, including biblio (book), phil (love), and mania (craving or obsession). Most of the test involved little more than matching words to their definitions, but I also included a few short answer questions to make sure the kids really knew what the word roots meant. I like to give questions that ask kids for their opinions -- for one thing this freaks them out ("wait, is there a right answer for this?") and for another thing, because there ISN'T a right answer they can pretty much get credit for anything as long as they justify their opinion.
And although I did not intend for the last question on Friday's test to be a source of mirth, many of the answers were indeed humorous. Behold:
Miss F. adores books. She loves to read books, she loves to talk about books, she even sort of enjoys writing reviews of books. In the summer when she's not teaching she works at a bookstore. She owns a lot of books (in fact she owns two copies of some of her favorite books) and rarely visits a bookstore without buying a new one. Would you classify her as a bibliophile or a bibliomaniac? Explain your reasoning.
I would consider her a bibliomaniac because of the word "maniac" which means someone who's crazy. Anyone who spends so much time with books has a big problem.
Bibliomaniac cause she is a maniac for books. You are a FEIND! [sic]
Bibliophile because she likes books so much like a pedophile likes kids. That is my reasoning.
I think she's a bibliophile, because at the beginning it says she "adores" and "loves" books. And I'm sure bibliomaniacs would probably try to work at a bookstore full time. A bibliomaniac would just be more severe than this situation. And because Miss F. doesn't own a TV, there's not much else to do, besides play with her cats that is.
Bibliomaniac because it sound [sic] like to me your whole life is about books because who loves books doesn't really go about liking books the way you do. You would probably marry a book if it's good enough (LOL)!
Bibliomaniac b/c her obsession over books and her being a phene. [sic] P.S. Ms. F. you are WACK for that! :)
Clearly a bibloid. As we all know, Miss F. has spent so much time with books that she has come to resemble them. Though slight at first, for example, black hair (the color of ink in most books!), symptoms will gradually become more pronounced until. . .we turn around one oddly quiet day to find only a monograph on the psychosomatic effects of neologisms in her desk chair, neologisms such as "bibloid."
Well honestly I didn't study but like a pedophile usually likes kids so a bibliophile would probably just LIKE books but a maniac is someone who is like a feighn [sic] for something so I think she is a BIBLIOMANIAC!
In this case, I would say that Ms. F. has a SEVERE case of bibliomania because all she does is spend time looking at books, talking with books, reading books, writing stuff about books, working around books. I wouldn't be surprised if she was teaching her cat how to read. She is obsessed with books basically.
I would classify her as a dork.
So. As you can see, it's not just the word roots. Clearly a quick lesson on how to properly spell fiend is in order as well.