Will Wonders Never Cease? Let's Pandiculate

article by Zoë Disher , 'Having a stretch Anatolian Shepherd' by Steve Slater licensed under CC BY 2.0

Learning intention:

I am learning to incorporate new vocabulary in my writing so that I can write effective and accurate texts.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify the main idea of paragraphs.
  • I can research new vocabulary.
  • I can use new vocabulary correctly in texts.


Essential knowledge:


After reading the article, group students in pairs or threes to identify the main idea in each paragraph. Hint to students that in this article, each paragraph has its own subheading.



Paragraph one main idea – defining the word

Paragraph two main idea – the benefits of pandiculation

Paragraph three main idea – animals that pandiculate


Discuss answers as a class, then draw students’ attention back to paragraph two and ask whether the author is for or against pandiculation. Ask students to find examples in the text to support their responses. Students should notice the fact the author says it feels so good (point out use of the high modality word ‘so’) and the general opinion that pandiculating keeps you supple, not stiff and sore. Students might also note the end of the article encourages the reader to pandiculate, saying it’s great.


Explain that students will create their own short article about a different uncommon verb. They will research one of the following below (or find their own, such as some examples from this Merriam-Webster list 10 Things You Do Every Day Without Even Knowing It):

Obambulate (wander)

Deterge (cleanse)

Prevaricate (lying by not giving a direct answer)


Students write three paragraphs following the structure of the original text.


Paragraph one – a definition and explanation of the word.

Paragraph two – an argument either persuading or dissuading the reader (depending on the verb they choose) to perform the action. Encourage students to use high modality words to help convince the reader, as well as other persuasive language such as ‘wonderful’ or ‘terrible’.

Paragraph three – something interesting students have discovered about the word in their research. e.g., Obambulate is related to somnambulist (a sleepwalker); deterge is related to the word detergent; give a real-life example of prevarication.


Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. View the NSW Education page on paragraphing for more information about how to set out paragraphs.