We’re wordy people at our house. One of Emma’s new favorite things is to learn a new word and then try to use it in context throughout the day. Bring on the crossword puzzles, word searches, and punny jokes!
But let’s be honest. Teaching vocabulary can be boring (for the teacher and the kiddo). We’ve come up with five fun ways to tackle vocabulary at our house.
Emma likes to look up words on my smartphone. We use the Dictionary.com app on the phone. She can type the word or use the voice recognition and say the word. The app returns the definition. She can hear the word pronounced too. You can use the app or the Dictionary.com site on your computer.
Cut & Paste
When we were reading The Indian in the Cupboard, we had one chapter with a ton of vocabulary. I knew the traditional write the word and definition method wouldn’t work this time. Instead, I typed the words and definitions, printed them on strips of paper, and cut them apart. We used the dictionary to match them. When Emma found a match, she glued it onto a piece of cardstock. When we were done, she had the whole list of words and definitions.
There’s no reason that vocabulary can’t be a game. Simply cut a few notecards in half. Write the word on one half and the definition on the other half. Mix them up, lay them out face-down on the table, and see if you can match the words with their correct definitions. The player with the most matches wins.
Instead of writing a list of definitions for new vocabulary words, try drawing them. When Emma was learning the names of different landforms, we found pictures that she could color. She used these to create a landforms vocabulary book. She glued a different landform on each page and added a short definition to go with it. This helped her see the landform instead of just describing it with words.
Take turns acting out the new words. Kids have fun guessing the words the grown-ups are acting out. They also have to think through their own definitions to act out their words. This is one way to help them learn without them realizing they’re learning.
I’m sharing this post at the Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop hosted by Beyond the Cover.