Saturday, December 7, 2013

Children's Books that Teach Vocabulary

In two previous posts, Vocabulary to Teach High School Students and Vocabulary to Teach Kids I shared with you how to improve your child’s vocabulary whether he is in elementary, middle or high school. In this post we are going to talk about the books and worksheets.

For grades, K-2 it is important to focus word in the sight word list whether it is the dolch or the Fry sight word list. These list contain the words that are found in high frequency use the books this age group read and it will improve the quality or read fluency which means he is less likely to stumble over words while reading. To take a look at a partial list of the Fry sight word see post Vocabulary to Teach Kids.

I recommend the sight word reader series by Roxanne Lanczak because these books are specifically targeted to using sight words which makes it easier for us as parents not to play the guessing game on what books to use for sight words. Click here to see a list of sight word books. I also like the fact that the books are not too long and easy reads so that he, meaning your child, doesn’t get overwhelmed.

Generally speaking by the time he is in Grade 3-5, he is reading chapter books. It is crucial during this time that you pay close attention to his reading because the level of the books vary. For instance, the I Can Read series is good for this grade group, but their are 3 levels. Each has a varying degree of hardness. You will have to monitor it he is struggling to read the words by stubbling over too many words or that he goes through the book quickly which indicates the book is too easy. Either way you will have to adjust the reading  up a level if the book is too easy or down a level if the book is too hard.

In grades 6-12, he becomes so independent, but their is still a way to help them improve their vocabulary. This age group needs to learn greek and latin root words. As I explained in a previous, post because it improves his vocabulary and reading comprehension. The best way to teach greek and latin root words is through worksheets.

For example, let's look at the following words: recede, repel, reproach, recant or reduction.

go or move back or further away from a previous position
drive or force (an attack or attacker) back or away
the expression of disapproval or disappointment
say that one no longer holds an opinion or belief, esp. one considered heretical
the act of making something smaller in size, amount, number, etc.

When you look at the chart (see above), notice how each word’s definition has either again or back in the meaning? This proves the point that if the student knows greek or latin roots he will be able to figure out the meaning of words which are foreign or new to him. The words I used here for illustrative purposes are just the tip of the iceberg for the amount words that can be formed using the re- or red-.

In conclusion, vocabulary is important to understanding what is read and the speed.  Also, any child can benefit from an increase in vocabulary.

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