Valley Grange has some other words for thirds

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Thanks to the generosity of the Valley Grange, a tradition has been in place for a number of years in which grade 3 students in RSU 68 and SAD 4 and 41 each receive a dictionary through the Words for Thirds Dictionary Project.

ne-thesaurus-dc-po-21Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    A FULL REFERENCE LIBRARY — After giving every third-graders in RSU 68 and SAD 4 and 41 their own dictionary earlier in the school year, the Valley Grange has used leftover funds to provide each grade 3 classroom in the three school districts with thesauruses, rhyming dictionaries and related teacher workbooks. The first presentation of these books was made at SeDoMoCha Elementary in Dover-Foxcroft on May 15, starting with Linda Johnston’s homeroom as Valley Grange Program and Publicity Director Walter Boomsma shows the students how to use a thesaurus.

    “We had raised too much money and we decided as a group this is how we should  spend it,” Valley Grange Program and Publicity Director Walter Boomsma said on May 15 before he and Valley Grange Master Jim Annis made a presentation to all three third-grade classrooms at SeDoMoCha Elementary School. Valley Grange members decided the leftover funds would be used to purchase thesauruses, rhyming dictionaries and a workbook for developing dictionary/word skills for all grade 3 classes in the three districts where earlier in the school year the students were all given their own dictionary to keep.
    At SeDoMoCha Boomsma and Annis began by visiting Linda Johnston’s classroom, they also gave books to Jessica Dunton and Thomas Mowrey’s students. With the students gathered on the room rug in front of Boomsma they told him they all have been utilizing their dictionaries.
    “I use it to look up words I don’t know the definition of,” “I use mine for getting good words and words that are hard for to spell,” and “I use it to look up words for writing stories,” were among the responses given when the students were asked what they use their dictionaries for. Other pupils said their dictionaries can be a resource to look up states and numbers as well as the longest word in the English language.
    “We are here today because we have some books for the classroom, and we have three,” Boomsma said. He explained a thesaurus “is sort of like a dictionary because what it does is it looks like a dictionary but instead of definitions it has words the same as the words you look up. It’s not just words that are the same, it’s the words that are the opposite.”
    He had the students see how a thesaurus works by having them come up with synonyms for the word quiet, before providing some other word choices listed. Boomsma then read the antonyms for quiet to complete the demonstration.
    “There will also be two copies in the school library,” he said, as students other than just those in grade 3 will be able to take advantage of the Valley Grange’s thesauruses.
    Each grade 3 class at SeDoMoCha, Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford and the three elementary schools in SAD 41 will also receive rhyming dictionaries. Boomsma said these dictionaries include words with similar sounds to those the students are looking up, and should be very handy for poetry writing. He said the workbooks being given to the classrooms will help the teachers instruct students’ use of the thesauruses and rhyming dictionaries.
    “You have 20 days to use these books we passed out today, but you can use your dictionaries forever,” Boomsma said in noting the approaching end of school. He joked that the teachers could copy some of the exercises from the workbooks and give these to the students to do over the summer, which drew a mixed reaction from the third-graders.

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