Surfing the Net with Kids: Vocabulary Activities

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Surfing the Net with Kids: Daily Vocabulary Activities

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Surfing the Net with Kids


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February 18, 2001

Dear Readers,

Welcome back. This week the Surfnetkids newsletter passed
100,000 subscribers! Like the tortoise, I have been working
toward this goal for five (long but fun) years. Thank you
loyal readers and sponsors for helping me get here.

Now for a piece of Surfnetkids trivia. Who was the very FIRST
Surfnetkids newsletter sponsor in September 1996? This forward-
thinking company bought SIX MONTHS of sponsorship on my
newsletter BEFORE the very first issue was even produced! I
think my subscriber list was around 100 readers at that time.
Answer: Cyber Patrol, who remains a sponsor to this day, and
can be checked out here.

If your company is interested in reaching my audience, ad rates
can be found online

Today’s Daily Vocabulary Activities topic is accompanied by the following games:

Surfnetkids Word Games

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Daily Vocabulary Activities

It used to be that only the newspaper was daily, but now you can get a daily serving of vocabulary-building word activities on the Web, in your e-mailbox, or even on your pager or cell phone. Today’s sites feature a new word, idiom, word game or quotation every day.

Cobuild Idiom of the Day


An idiom is an expression who’s meaning can not be understood from the meaning of the individual words. Today’s entry was “to the marrow — If you say that you are chilled to the marrow or frozen to the marrow, you are emphasizing that you are very cold.” It can also be used to emphasize the intensity of someone’s beliefs, such as “communist to the marrow.” The black triangles (from none to three) indicate how commonly an idiom is used.

The Mavens’ Word of the Day


Random House’s Mavens tackle the etymology (history and origins) of words and idioms in this daily column for high-schoolers and adults. On the question of whether “Wassup?” is a word or a contraction, Maven Enid responds “There’s a better label for this kind of word, and this one gives us some insight into how a term like this comes to exist. We call it a “pronunciation spelling,” which is a put-together spelling intended to express normal, casual, continuous, rapid speech. Some of these spellings, like “gonna,” “gotta,” and “lemme,” have become frequent enough and conventionalized enough to have found a place in dictionaries.”

Quotes of the Day


Quotes of the Day provides four daily quotations from an eclectic collection both contemporary (Steven Wright: “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”) and historic (Tolstoy: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”) This daily dose is but one part of a large quotations site with a search engine. You can also access random quotes from a variety of collections such as Dave Barry (“Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television’s message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth *and* fresher breath.”) or Twentieth Century Quotations (Albert Schweitzer: “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”)

Word Game of the Day


Got two minutes? These daily puzzles for high-schoolers and adults come in five formats, playing with definitions, synonyms, antonyms, word ladder transformations, slang, even some history and geography. The games require a Java-enabled browser and are based on reference material from Merriam-Webster. Some are a little slow to load, but the game play is very quick and very addictive. Visit the two-month archive at the bottom of the page to play previous games.



Each day a new word is served via the Web as well as via the free email edition. “More than just the definition: anecdotes, origins, quotes and current events make the meaning of the Word-of-the-Day come to life in an interesting and entertaining way.” From ablution (“the washing of one’s body, or part of it, as part of a religious rite”) to Zeitgeist (“the spirit, attitude, or general outlook of a specific time or period”), all previous words are available in an alphabetic archive.

Surfing the Calendar

Galileo’s Birthday
Feb 15, 1564
National Engineers Week
Feb 18, 2001
Presidents’ Day
Feb 19, 2001
George Washington’s Birthday
Feb 22, 1732
More Calendar

Related Book
(in association with

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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Copyright © 2001 Barbara J. Feldman

Surfing the Net with Kids

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