The Crazy Dictionary Project: Word Invention And Multi-Year Collaborations

Words of 2023

Each year, as part of a unit around exploring Word Origins with my sixth graders, they invent new words and then donate one of their words to an ongoing project we call the Crazy Collaborative Dictionary — it started in 2005 and every single year (except for the Pandemic Year), students add to the project, collaborating across time.

Listen to this year’s student word creators reading their words, definitions and sentences. We add audio files to keep their voice connected to their words. The word cloud above is a collection of words submitted this year.

We’re in the process of adding this year’s contributions to the dictionary, and the dictionary itself is in the midst of some audio file movement, so not all links at the dictionary itself are working for the voice files.

Here is link to the dictionary (now hosted at my old classroom blog space_ and a link to the master folder with all audio files from across the years of recording.

Peace (and Words),

  1. This is a cool idea. Does the collection from 2005 have a comment section? Do former students return to see what has been added?

    I was think about you recently and wondered if you have contact with students who were part of your class 6- or more years ago who now would be HS graduates. I think it would be rewarding for teachers to have this information.

    A comment section on your long-term project might be one way to establish connections beyond one year in the classroom, or 2-3 three years in middle school.

    • Alas, no comment sections. The dictionary has migrated over the years (started over at SeedWiki, and then Wikispaces, and then another blog, and then here.) I agree, though, that such foresight would have been interesting …

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