We have power in our words! Language is beautiful, meaningful, and complete. Teaching vocabulary, in my professional opinion, is essential. My journey through life provided me with love for words as they make their way to blank pages revealing stories of truth, history, love, and worlds unknown.
“Today, we will be reading nursery rhymes by Mother Goose,” said the teacher. All of the children were excited as they called out names of poems. As I looked around at all of them, I wondered if they could see me.
“I know you are all excited. I am sure your parents read you these at home, maybe at bedtime.”
I looked around as kids shouted out yes. I realized I was maybe the only one that did not know Mother Goose. I was feeling nervous. My parents don’t read to me.
As a young child, I found myself unsure about reading, language, and school in general. My parents were older, and they had moved her from their home in Kentucky. They were from large farming families and did not receive formal education.
Teaching vocabulary and helping students increase their knowledge of words is a deep dive. We are going to dip our toes in first to get started. Giving students a vocabulary list with definitions to write is not the way.
The first step to helping children with vocabulary is to use it! Talk it, explain it, provide examples and keep adding to it. We do not talk enough with children. The keyword with! The next step is to see things from students’ perspectives. How do students see the words?
- I have never seen this word before
- I heard this word before but did not know what it means
- If I see it in text, the content helps me understand it
Reading, reading, and more reading will help increase vocabulary. As we look at ways to continue to support growth, vocabulary is necessary for academic success.
Read to your children, no matter what age. Let children read to you! Challenge yourself to learn a new word each week. So fun to enjoy the beautiful words to create masterpieces large and small. Our children need these experiences.
Understanding language and being able to communicate effectively provides the tools needed in being the solution daily.