A word bank is a place where a student can keep written words he’s learned or collected so that he can refer to them as needed. Useful for students of all ages, word banks serve several purposes:
- A storage place for writing ideas when the child is writing about a particular topic. He can gather from a word bank of themed words to create a story or poem.
- A vocabulary-development tool.
- A spelling resource he can go to during writing or editing.
Using Holiday-themed Word Banks
With fall in the air and Thanksgiving just around the corner, now’s the time to encourage your children to write seasonal and holiday-themed stories, poems, reports, and acrostics. As fun as this sounds, when your kiddos (old or young!) can’t think of what to write about, they often freeze in frustration.
Helping them draw from a rich word bank that’s chock-full of seasonal ideas can spark and motivate even the most reluctant writer. Here are two word banks perfect for this favorite time of year!
Autumn Word Bank
autumn, fall, season, September, October, November, leaves, colors, brown, gold, yellow, red, orange, black, gray, smoke, bonfire, burning leaves, crunching, jumping, tossing, raking, leaf pile, path, trail, hike, meander, woods, forest, orchard, tree, maple, oak, branches, corn maze, cornstalks, Indian corn, squirrel, chipmunk, blue jay, brisk, chill, cold, icy, frost, breath, pumpkin patch, hay, bale, pumpkin carving, nuts, chestnuts, cinnamon, pumpkins, apples, spicy, cider, hot cocoa, coffee, soup, stew, chili, fire, warm, roaring, crackling, inviting, cozy, crisp, blustery, welcoming, sights, sounds, smells, deep blue sky, clouds, rain, wind, storm, breeze, flannel, denim, corduroy, wool, fleece
Thanksgiving Word Bank
holiday, Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Mayflower, Plymouth, Indians, memories, grandparents, family, friends, football, dinner, ham, turkey, gravy, corn, pumpkin pie, crust, coffee, cream, sausage, stuffing, muffins, cornbread, rolls, potatoes, yams, green beans, vegetables, apples, cranberries, flaky, whipped, mashed, creamy, buttery, candied, sweet, rich, savory, golden, glazed, crisp, baking, roasting, cooking, steaming, serving, helping, sharing, table, platter, china, silver, tablecloth, lace, linen, candles, cornucopia, gourds, aroma, warm, food, faith, prayer, plenty, thankful, blessing, welcome, gathering, together, November, Thursday, parade
Making Your Own Themed Word Banks
When giving a writing assignment, have your student use prepared word banks such as the two above, or work alongside him as he creates his own. Here’s one idea:
Brainstorm with your child to assemble a fall word bank. Look at a book, magazine, or website containing colorful images of autumn or Thanksgiving. Ask questions to stimulate thought, such as:
- What do you see on this page that makes you think of fall?
- Name some fall colors.
- How do you think that icy windowpane feels?
- In this picture, what fall activity is the family involved in?
As you and your child think of autumn-related words, add them to your word bank. Older children can use a thesaurus later on to look up synonyms for some of their words, thus broadening their writing vocabulary.
Copyright 2009 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
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Word banks are such great tools for helping kids expand their writing vocabulary, which is why we’ve included 17 exhaustive word lists in our WriteShop I and WriteShop II student books—lists such as texture words, personification, and emotions.
And in each of our WriteShop Primary books, younger children are encouraged to make Portable Word Banks, including season words, color words, and spelling words.