Return to Headlines

Ironia Students Dress for Success in Schoolwide Vocabulary Parade


There are no falling leaves, harvests, costume parties, or trick-or-treating in the middle of winter. However, as Ironia Elementary demonstrated on Friday, you don’t need Halloween for students to explore their inner creativity. The Schoolwide Vocabulary Parade is an opportunity for students to learn new words by having students dress up in inventive costumes representing the word of their choice. Figurative language is also explored with students embodying idioms such as “head in the clouds,” “barking up the wrong tree,” and “night owl.” Students are not only being acquainted with new vocabulary words and terminology, they are also learning to understand how groups of words or phrases can mean something completely different than their literal definition. By becoming these unique characters, the students are literally and figuratively dressing for success in their vocabulary development.


The vision for the vocabulary parade was conceptualized and brought to life by Ironia teacher Mary Daly. She was inspired by the book Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform your Life as an Educator. “The book we read inspired ways to teach things in a way that is creative and out of the ordinary. The vocabulary parade doesn’t take much time out of the day and it’s just a lot of fun for students to enjoy while learning. The kids always come up with great words and our fifth graders usually focus on idioms. One of our students did hold your horses and she had no idea what that meant. This is a great opportunity for students to become acquainted with new words or concepts that they haven’t experienced before. The fact that they get to learn by doing is also really important.”


Ironia Elementary Principal David Kricheff looks forward to this event every year and the value that it brings to students. “I love that the kids get to play with vocabulary and develop a better understanding of words. They get to learn new words through the definitions on some of their classmates’ shirts as well as the way each student is dressed. This is the third year that we have been running the vocabulary parade and it has been a huge success. Every year we seem to get more and more parents who are attending. It’s amazing for the entire school community to come together to celebrate this unique learning opportunity.” Vice Principal TR Rathjen added “I think this is an amazing opportunity for students to explore different words and learn about genres. It gives students a unique opportunity to explore figurative language and learn these concepts through first-hand experience.”


We are grateful for this unique opportunity for students to learn by doing and look forward to seeing this tradition continue at Ironia in the years to come.