Why This is Important
Vocabulary is the child’s’ knowledge of and memory for word meanings. A strong vocabulary improves all areas of communication— listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Goals for Strong Readers
- Learn and use new words through various activities.
- Build a large receptive vocabulary (words children understand while reading or listening).
- Enhance expressive vocabulary (words children know well enough to use in speaking and writing).
Watch a favorite movies and/or television shows with your child with a focus on listening for big words to start using at home. Add these words into your everyday conversations with your child. Example: Do you remember how in Power Rangers they morphed, and that meant they changed into superheroes? Can you morph into your school clothes?
More Activities and Games
Use the Fry Sight Word List to get a list of vocabulary words to use with the Vocabulary Hot Potato and Vocabulary Checkers activities.
Call out a new or difficult word. Play music while passing the ball or another soft toy. Stop the music and have child holding the ball give a definition or example of the new word.
Write vocabulary words on sticky notes or small pieces of paper. Place the words on a checkerboard. Play checkers together. Give the definition of a word when you land on it. Use the word in a sentence to claim it.
Choose an ingredient from your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator. Brainstorm as many words as you can to describe what the item looks like, feels like, tastes like, and sounds like. Discuss recipes that use this ingredient.