Structured Word Inquiry (SWI): Give Me the Basics!
What is Structured Word Inquiry, or, as it is more commonly known – SWI? In a nutshell, SWI is an approach that uses a problem-solving strategy for learning and understanding word meanings and spelling patterns. Through SWI, we learn that words have a depth, belong to families and have a rich history.
How does SWI work?
At its core, SWI asks the learner to approach a word with a scientific mind set. It asks the learner to propose a theory and then test that theory. The learner uses four key questions to guide them through their word discoveries.
What are the Four Questions?*
- What does the word mean?
- How is it built?
(prefix + base + suffix)
- What other related words can you think of? [morphological – (shares spelling) and etymological (shares history)]
- What are the sounds that matter?
[grapheme (letter) / phoneme (sound) correspondences]
*From “Teaching How the Written Word Works by Peter Bowers.
What tools and resources are used?
- Etymonline.com – an online etymology dictionary
- Word Searcher – a site to search words with similar spellings
- Word Sums: prefix + base + suffix
book + ing –> booking
- Build a word matrix to delve deeper into how words are built/spelled using the Mini Matrix-Maker.
- Poster Presentation
- Slide Presentation