Word Within the Word Volume I teaches vocabulary with thirty lessons featuring Latin and Greek stems, word lists, activities, and tests. Also included are historical discussions and illustrations that offer students a greater understanding of the classical roots of the English language.
In the first volume we present an extensive discussion of the history of Greece in the Classical Period from 490 to 323 BC. There are maps, timelines, and scores of specially-taken photographs of buildings, sculpture and artifacts.
There are 500 word stems, both Greek and Latin, followed by 250 words made of those stems. The term "stem" includes all word pieces: prefixes, suffixes, and roots.
Volume 1 features Darius and Xerxes, Leonidas and Themistocles, Cimon and Pericles, the Spartans and the Athenians, the Peloponnesian and Delian Leagues, Athenian democracy and Spartan oligarchy, Alcibiades and Socrates, and finally Philip and Alexander of Macedonia.
There is an enormous amount of historical material, including descriptions of how the Spartans lived, the strategies of various battles, the functioning of democracy and the jury system in Athens, the practice of ostracism, the importance of the navy in Athens, the Spartan system of education, and the building of the glorious Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. Interspersed amongst the activity pages are vignettes of aspects of life in ancient Greece as depicted in vases, statuettes, and artifacts so that we learn not only about helmets and shields but also about hairstyles, musical instruments, and sports.
Word Within the Word, by Michael Clay Thompson, is our middle and secondary level, vocabulary-building curriculum that is like no other and of which we are very proud. It is a complex, demanding, erudite and witty curriculum and schools and districts that have tried it are typically expanding their use of it.
It provides internalized, maximum, meaningful impact at the time students take SSATs and SATs. The SATs now include an extensive grammar section and students having both Word and Magic Lens in their background have a substantial advantage. The program makes the costly, time consuming, quick-fix/quick-forget tutorials of junior and senior high school years, things of the past.