Literacy Linky - Vivacious Vocabulary

Hello, Hello - and Happy Saturday! Today I'm linking up once again with the girls from The Reading Crew for their summer blog party and a literacy linky!
This week it's all about vocabulary.  Vocabulary is sooo important for reading success.  Students who read regularly pick up all sorts of vocabulary from context, but others need more support - and sometimes you have to start with the basics!  Pretty much every elementary classroom works with parts of speech in some way.  Younger grades introduce the concepts of nouns, verbs, adjectives etc... while older grades focus more on choosing words to fit your writing (and we do this in second grade, too!)

I like to rely on three ways to get students noticing words and talking about them before they use them in their writing.  I'm talking books, songs and games! We'll start with the books (of course! "The Book Queen," here!)
This is a great series of books by Michael Dahl and Sara Gray that hits just about every part of speech - and capitalization, punctuation, contractions, and more! Each book focuses on one type of word and is filled with TONS of examples!  The pages fit a "theme" and the words on those pages have to do with that idea.

You can check out the books at Amazon by clicking on the image above, or even better - listen to them being read aloud online! (Click on the images to see the videos on YouTube.)




This leads to a perfect classroom activity: choose a theme/place/idea (you can choose it, or have our students choose it) and work to brainstorm words (whatever you're working on) to fit that theme. For example, are you working on verbs? Divide students into small groups or partners and have each group choose a place - school, backyard, playground, beach, jungle....anywhere (or have everyone choose the same place).  Now take a few minutes to list all the verbs you can think of for that place. You can have students share by telling their place and then acting out the words for others to guess. (You may want to have a list of the possible choices on display.)  You can take this one step further and have students choose one verb and try to come up with 3 "levels" - shades of meaning.  If you're on the playground, maybe you spin. That could be extended to twirl, twist, whirl, rotate.... Now put them in order by degree!

Books aren't the only way to work with words - songs can be really motivating, too!  My favorite grammar songs - of course! - are the classic Schoolhouse Rock songs!  You can find most of them on YouTube right now - and if you're not familiar with these beauties, do a google search and check them out! Here's a favorite of my kiddos EVERY year: (Click to see the video.)

And finally, another great way to give students practice with words before they use them in their writing is to put them in a game.  My students love to do "Find Someone Who Has" games, where students walk around the room looking for someone who matches the clue in each box on their sheet.
These games give students a chance to become familiar with words in a simple format.  After playing the game, I usually ask students to choose a few words and use them in a sentence, tell what each word means or somehow show what they know about the word.  If you're interested in these games, you can find them in my TpT store by clicking {HERE}.

So there you have it! Vivacious vocabulary with books, songs and games! Try them out in your classroom and see how many new words your students start using in their writing!

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