Making Vocabulary Fun (with Freebies)!

vocabularyAs a kid, I remember being given a list of words. I found them in the dictionary. Wrote them on a page in my blue lesson book, and copied the definition. Bleh. We need to spice this up!

Here are some easy peasy ideas:

  • First, I strongly feel that vocabulary is best learned via reading matter that matters. Have your kids read. Often. So much vocabulary and spelling is easily “caught” (gathered from context, imprinted in the mind by repetition) while reading something enjoyable.
  • Get a good children’s dictionary. We really like this one. Teach your child how to use it, how to find words by using guide words and alphabetization. Then find your word, read the definition, and have your child act it out or create a sentence including the word.
  • Write your vocabulary words on a white board in a common location in the house. Give your child a sticker for each time you hear them use their new words throughout the day.
  • Write a short (maybe even silly) story, trying to include as many words as possible. Use a free template like one of these, to allow your student to illustrate their story!
  • Play Pictionary with your list, drawing items or scenes to guess the words.
  • For tactile learners, try using play dough to craft items in association with vocabulary words.
  • Use websites like this free one, to create your own worksheets, matching words with definitions.
  • If reading definitions is tedious, read them with an accent. No kidding. Our daughter is reading in her attempt of an English accent today. 🙂
  • Encourage intelligent viewing. There is children’s programming that dumbs the script down, and there are other choices which broaden the vocabulary. Pay attention to what your kids are absorbing (for a lot more reasons than simply word choice!).
  • Use nifty free sites like this one, which has some great tools especially for visual learners.
  • There is also this site which offers free spelling and vocabulary games and tools. Insert your own spelling list and it tailors the activities to reinforce them!  Here is a video:

Hope these ideas help! Got some nifty, tried-and-true ideas of your own? Share them in the comments!

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