Why This is Important
Vocabulary is the students’ 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 an array of activities
- Build a large receptive vocabulary (words students understand when they are read or spoken to)
- Enhance expressive vocabulary (words students know well enough to use in speaking and writing)
Find words with same meaning using this synonym list. Say a word to your child and take turns brainstorming words that mean the same thing. For example, you may say, Prevent, and your child might say, Stop.
Alternate version: Find words with opposite meaning using this antonym list. Play the game brainstorming words that mean the opposite of the word that was named. For example, you may say, Capture, and your child might say, Free.
More Activities and Games
Use the Fry Sight Word List to find a list of vocabulary words by grade level.
Use this online list of most common prefixes and suffixes.
- Draw a tree on a large piece of paper or use craft supplies and items found around the house to make a tree.
- At the bottom of the tree, have your child write or attach a card with a prefix or suffix on it.
- Write or add cards on the branches with words that have the targeted prefix or suffix in it.
- Have your child explain what each word on the tree means, using the prefix or suffix as a clue.
- Example: My prefix is “mis-”, and it means “wrong.” So then misjudge means to judge wrongly, and misbehave means you behaved wrongly.
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.