Entries Tagged 'Word Banks' ↓

Apple theme word banks for fall writing

Apple-themed word banks for fun fall writing projects!

EVERY fall, children love collecting leaves, acorns, squash, and especially pumpkins to decorate hearths, mantels, and dining room tables.

It’s the perfect time of year to add seasonal flair to your writing lessons, too! Once your children have finished collecting bits of nature, encourage them to come inside, warm up rosy cheeks and fingers, and collect words for an apple-themed word bank. 

Word lists (such as our popular fall-inspired word bank) can inspire young writers to create seasonal acrostic poems, stories based on outdoor field trips, or other pieces of descriptive writing. This week, help your kids appreciate the richness of autumn harvest time with a word bank of apple theme words. The one we’ve created below should help you get started:

Apple Theme Word Bank

Here’s a list of vocabulary words that focus on apple-picking, hay rides, and fall fun in the orchard! Let this word bank inspire your kids to write poems and stories.

autumn, harvest, farm, orchard, tree, leaves, bag, basket, bushel, crate, wheelbarrow, wagon, hay bale, horse, cart, ladder, barn, farmstand, farmer’s market, cider press, apple peeler

Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Winesap, York, Pink Lady, Cortland, Crispin, Empire, Rome Beauty, Honey Crisp, crab apple

skin, peel, core, seeds, stem, slices, juicy, sweet, tart, sour, red, crimson, pink, blush, yellow, gold, green, firm, fresh, crisp, crunchy, soft, mushy, mealy, plump, ripe, round, shiny, smooth, bruised, polished

pie, turnover, tart, cobbler, strudel, crumble, caramel, cinnamon, muffins, apple cider, apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, apple chips, apple-cider vinegar

gather, pick, collect, climb, reach, grasp, peel, cut, slice, bake, simmer, mix, stir, heap, pile, press, scoop, dip

Make Your Own Word Bank

As a writing warm-up, your kids can build their own apple season word banks. This will not only stretch vocabularies and reinforce spelling skills, but also help overcome writer’s block.

Guide younger children to create a word bank collage:

  • Gather glossy photos from fall magazines. (Cooking magazines are an excellent choice.)
  • Set up a fun workspace with cardstock, scissors, and glue sticks.
  • Choose a theme for each collage, such as “Apple Farm,” “Baking with Apples,” or “Apple Desserts.”
  • As you children arrange their collages, help them write several words around each picture—at least one noun, one verb, and one adjective.
  • Display these colorful word banks in a prominent place!

Apple-Themed Writing Days

If you feel inspired, why not spice up fall writing days with apple flavors and activities? The ideas are endless, but here are just a few:

Writing Activities Using the Apple Theme Word Bank

  • Give each child an apple and ask them to describe its appearance, color, and texture. Next, have them take a bite and describe its aroma, flavor, and the texture of its flesh.
  • Describe a real or imagined trip to an apple farm. What will you see and do?
  • Explain the process of making an apple dessert from start to finish.

Apple Basket

Writing Rewards

[Affiliate links in this post are for products we personally use or feel confident recommending for your family.]

  • Let your kids celebrate the end of a writing project by bobbing for apples. If you’re feeling casual, try the old-fashioned method with apples floating in a tub of cold water. For a larger group, tie apples to strings and hang them from a patio cover. Be sure to take lots of pictures while your kids try to get their first bite—it’s harder than it sounds!
  • Play a rousing game of Apples to Apples!
  • Make Laurie’s caramel apples! For a quicker snack option, serve apple slices with a bowl of warm caramel sauce, and let the kiddos dip away.
  • While the family enjoys tasty apple treats, take turns reading aloud the true story of Johnny Appleseed.

WriteShop Blog--In Our Write MindsDaniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna and a graduate of Hillsdale College. She and her husband fill their home with books on writing, literature, and computer science. Daniella also blogs at www.waterlilywriter.com.

Photos:  Jennifer Boyer (orchard), Shane McGraw (first bite), Sarah Hicks (basket), Scot Martin (child’s hand), & bigbirdz (apple basket) courtesy of Creative Commons

Independence Day (and summer fun) word bank

Don’t let summer melt into autumn without assigning a little writing to keep those important skills sharp. If you’re looking for some writing activities to occupy your children this summer, this jam-packed, colorful, patriotic word list is sure to inspire some great stories.

For starters, they can use the word banks this very week as they journal or write stories about that great family reunion or how they spent their 4th of July. But there are also plenty of words they can use to write about summer events in general.

So what are you waiting for? Break out the paper and pencils. And when your writing session is finished, serve up some sliced watermelon or a plate of brownies!

Independence

America, United States, Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Philadelphia, independence, July, fourth, holiday, republic, democracy, land, country, nation, states, thirteen, original colonies, government, citizen, patriot, freedom, history, liberty, ideals, truth, beliefs, justice, heart, foundation, war, revolution, battle, army, soldier, veteran, musket, gun, fight

Patriotic Celebrations

Yankee Doodle, red, white, blue, statue, monument, band, banner, bunting, balloons, confetti, parade, grand marshal, flag, stars, stripes, fly, wave, snap pledge, salute, patriotic, loyal, free, brave, proud, grand, honor, defend, respect, march, cheer, clap, celebration, speech, poem, national anthem, song, hymn, play, baseball game, fans, stands

Fireworks, display, show, firecracker, sparkler, ground flower, pinwheel, Roman candle, rocket, skyrocket, flare, fountain, black snake, explode, pop, bang, hiss, sputter, burst, twinkle, sparkle

Family Get-togethers

Family, reunion, town, neighborhood, babies, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, neighbors, friends

Picnic, beach, park, patio, porch, deck, pier, lawn, grass, pool, sand, lake, ocean, shore, waves, folding chairs, lawn chairs, umbrella, bench, picnic table, swings, tablecloth, barbecue, grill, charcoal, smoke, spatula, tongs, platter, pitcher, cups, glasses, forks, knives, skewers, grilling, sizzling, dripping, melting, burning, swimming

Steak, ribs, chicken, kabob, hamburger, hot dog, frank, wiener, bun, mustard, ketchup, catsup, lettuce, tomatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles, relish, sauerkraut, onion, cheese, chili, cornbread, biscuits, corn on the cob, butter, salt, pepper, potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, dip, watermelon, peach, fruit salad, apple pie, cherry pie, chocolate cake, cupcakes, frosting, brownies, cookies, popsicles, homemade ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, sundaes, hot fudge, sprinkles, nuts, toasted, marshmallows, s’mores, peanuts, popcorn, drinks, ice, fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced tea, soda, pop, cola, juice, ice

Nature

Lightning bug, firefly, mosquito, fly, ant, bee, wasp, butterfly, moth, cricket, grasshopper, hummingbird, frog, tadpole, thunderstorm, lightning, rain, cloud, hot, humid, bright, clear, sun, sunny, breeze, dew, sky, stars, starry, moon

Reprinted from the archives.

Copyright 2011 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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Have you seen our other great word lists? Click the Word Banks link under Categories in the right sidebar and scroll through. We’ve got word banks for every season of the year as well as for several different holidays.

A cat weighs in on word walls

Humphrey the Cat belongs to author Nancy I. Sanders. he has his own writing blog, Writing According to Humphrey, where he shares helpful writing tips. From time to time, I’ll feature some of his articles here (with permission from Nancy, of course). Today we get to learn about “Word Walls According to Humphrey.”

Short of ideas for a story you’re writing? Does your brain feel like a sieve with all the ideas drained out?

Here’s a tip to help you brainstorm and get those creative juices flowing:

Make a Portable Word Wall

A Word Wall is used to help elementary children get ideas and learn words that are related to the main theme. It’s also known as a Word Bank. For instance, if children are learning about farm animals, the teacher posts a picture of a barn on a bulletin board. Then, she posts words underneath the picture such as cow, sheep, pig, hen, and duck. When children are writing and get stuck for ideas, they look at the word wall and choose words from the list that they want in their story.

I like to make Word Walls, too! I figure, why let the kids have all the fun? We kitties like to have fun, too!

You can make a portable Word Wall that’s as fun as it is practical. Get a file folder. On the front, decorate it with a picture of the theme of your story or book. For instance, I made a portable Word Wall when I wrote a story where I was the star. (I actually made my published debut in Clubhouse Jr.!)

Then, open up the file folder. On the inside write any word or phrase that comes to mind about the theme of your story or book. For example, my Word Wall about me includes the following words and phrases: purrfect, pawsitively, paws/pause, nine lives, cat-a-tonic, cat-alogue, tuna fish, etc.

Keep adding to your Word Wall when you think of more words and phrases. Then, next time you sit down and get stuck writing, pull out that Word Wall and see how it helps jump-start your creativity!

Here you can see me with a set of color-coded word walls I made. One color has nouns like tuna and fish. Another color has adjectives like tuna fish. Did I mention that tuna fish is my favorite word to write about?

 . . . . .

WriteShop Primary by Nancy I. Sanders is filled with games, crafts, and tools such as Portable Word Banks—fun activities that help you introduce important skills to your littlest writers.

Word Walls According to Humphrey” ©2011 Nancy I. Sanders. Used by permission.

An Independence Day word bank

The 4th of July is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for some writing activities to occupy your children in preparation for celebrating Independence Day, this jam-packed, colorful, patriotic word list is sure to inspire some great stories.

Likewise, they can use the word banks next week as they journal or write stories about how they spent their holiday

Independence

America, United States, Founding Fathers, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Philadelphia, independence, July, fourth, holiday, republic, democracy, land, country, nation, states, thirteen, original colonies, government, citizen, patriot, freedom, history, liberty, ideals, truth, beliefs, justice, heart, foundation, war, revolution, battle, army, soldier, veteran, musket, gun, fight

Patriotic Celebrations

Yankee Doodle, red, white, blue, statue, monument, band, banner, bunting, balloons, confetti, parade, grand marshal, flag, stars, stripes, fly, wave, snap pledge, salute, patriotic, loyal, free, brave, proud, grand, honor, defend, respect, march, cheer, clap, celebration, speech, poem, national anthem, song, hymn, play, baseball game, fans, stands

Fireworks, display, show, firecracker, sparkler, ground flower, pinwheel, Roman candle, rocket, skyrocket, flare, fountain, black snake, explode, pop, bang, hiss, sputter, burst, twinkle, sparkle

Family Get-togethers

Family, reunion, town, neighborhood, babies, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, neighbors, friends

Picnic, beach, park, patio, porch, deck, pier, lawn, grass, pool, sand, lake, ocean, shore, waves, folding chairs, lawn chairs, umbrella, bench, picnic table, swings, tablecloth, barbecue, grill, charcoal, smoke, spatula, tongs, platter, pitcher, cups, glasses, forks, knives, skewers, grilling, sizzling, dripping, melting, burning, swimming

Steak, ribs, chicken, kabob, hamburger, hot dog, frank, wiener, bun, mustard, ketchup, catsup, lettuce, tomatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles, relish, sauerkraut, onion, cheese, chili, cornbread, biscuits, corn on the cob, butter, salt, pepper, potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, dip, watermelon, peach, fruit salad, apple pie, cherry pie, chocolate cake, cupcakes, frosting, brownies, cookies, popsicles, homemade ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, sundaes, hot fudge, sprinkles, nuts, toasted, marshmallows, s’mores, peanuts, popcorn, drinks, ice, fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced tea, soda, pop, cola, juice

Nature

Lightning bug, firefly, mosquito, fly, ant, bee, wasp, butterfly, moth, cricket, grasshopper, hummingbird, thunderstorm, lightning, rain, cloud, hot, humid, bright, clear, sun, sunny, breeze, dew, sky, stars, starry, moon

Copyright 2010 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

. . . . .

Have you seen our other great word lists? Click the Holiday & Seasonal Ideas link under Categories in the right sidebar and scroll through. We’ve got word banks for every season of the year as well as for several different holidays.

Spring word bank

Spring

by Karla Kuskin

I’m shouting
I’m singing
I’m swinging through trees
I’m winging skyhigh
With the buzzing black bees.
I’m the sun
I’m the moon
I’m the dew on the rose.
I’m a rabbit
Whose habit
Is twitching his nose.
I’m lively
I’m lovely
I’m kicking my heels.
I’m crying “Come Dance”
To the fresh water eels.
I’m racing through meadows
Without any coat
I’m a gamboling lamb
I’m a light leaping goat
I’m a bud
I’m a bloom
I’m a dove on the wing.
I’m running on rooftops
And welcoming spring!

From In the Middle of the Trees by Karla Kuskin.
Copyright © 1959, renewed 1986 by Karla Kuskin.

Welcoming Spring

Spring is here, and I’m loving it! Every week brings something new to my garden: The grass is thickening and greening up. Our silver maples, usually waiting till May, are in full leaf—just behind the birch trees, fruitless mulberry, and white alders. Daisies, sweet alyssum, and vivid impatiens dance in pots on my porch and patio. A consortium of snails meets on the front walk every morning. And a good drenching rain each week is keeping everything blooming and blossoming.

A Spring Word Bank

There’s so much to write about in spring. Even if your children have been weakened by a bout of spring fever, a word list filled with fresh, cheerful spring vocabulary will help motivate them to describe the season in all its glory. If you’ve enjoyed our other seasonal word banks, you’ll love this one too!

Seasonal Fun

spring, springtime, season, weather, March, April, May, galoshes, hat, jacket, rain boots, raincoat, slicker, umbrella, baseball, bike, kite, roller skates, sidewalk

Over in the Meadow

creek, gurgle, icy, pond, puddles, seep, splash, stream, trickle; copse, dale, earth, farm, field, furrow, garden, hill, loam, meadow, mud, mulch, ooze, orchard, row, soil, trees, vale, valley, woods; apple blossom, bulb, bud, cherry blossom, crocus, daffodil, daisy, flower, grass, grassy, iris, leaf, leaves, lily, maple, pansy, petals, plants, sap, sapling, seed, seedling, shoot, snowdrop, sweet pea, tulip, twig, violet; chard, lettuce, peas, fence, hoe, spade, watering can, wheelbarrow

Welcoming New Life

babies, baby, born, birth, new life, newborn, animals, birds, nature; downy, feathery, fluffy, gentle, soft, tender; bee, bluebird, bunny, butterfly, calf, caterpillar, chick, duck, duckling, eggs, fawn, finch, flock, foal, frog, hatchling, ladybug, lamb, polliwog, scarlet tanager, slug, snail, robin, tadpole, worm; barn, henhouse, nest

In Like a Lion, out Like a Lamb

airy, blow, breeze, bright, brilliant, brisk, cheerful, chilly, clean, clear, clouds, cool, drip, drizzle, fair, fresh, melt, new, rain, rainbow, showers, sky, sparkling, sunny, sunshine, thaw, verdant, vivid, warm, warming, wind, windy, blue, brown, green, pink, white, yellow

Feelin’ Like Frolicking 

blooming, blossoming, bobbing, budding, building, buzzing, cavorting, chirping, darting, digging, dipping, diving, flapping, flourishing, flying, frolicking, gamboling, gardening, germinating, growing, hatching, hoeing, leafing, leaping, nesting, planting, playing, pruning, romping, running, scampering, singing, spading, sprouting, sugaring, swimming, teeming, tilling, waving, winging

Copyright 2010 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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Share a comment: What does spring look like outside your window today? Pick 5-10 words from the Spring Word Bank that describe spring at your house, and list them in the Comments section.

Brrrr! A winter word bank!

Winter Word Bank with loads of seasonal words related to frosty weather, snow-day activities, and cozy comforts. Includes writing ideas.

Brrrrrr! Here’s an icy blast of words that will give your young writers a leg up when they’re crafting stories and poems about winter. Remember—using a word bank isn’t cheating! It’s simply another great tool to slip into your children’s tool belt of writing aids.

Try the activities below, and stay tuned for more winter writing ideas and prompts!

Winter Word Bank

winter, season, weather, December, January, February, scarf, hat, cap, beanie, mittens, gloves, sweater, jacket, coat, vest, shawl, leggings, boots, pajamas, robe, slippers, socks, booties, wool, fleece, heavy, wrap, bundle, blanket, comforter, quilt, patchwork, skiing, sledding, skating,  jingle, shiver, chill, breath, snowstorm, blizzard, rain, sleet, snow, snowflakes, snow bank, snowball, powder, drift, crust, ice, icicles, crystals, frost, cold, bitter, windy, nippy, gusting, frozen, frigid, sparkling, slippery, icy, crunchy, lacy, delicate, soft, fluffy, knee-deep, powdery, freezing, melting, blustery, cloudy, dreary, drippy, slushy, rainy, snowman, shovel, bells, sled, sleigh, skis, ice skates, snowboard, toboggan, hill, mountain, pond, rink, forest, woods, creek, river, lane, road, holly, pine, cedar, fir, balsam, scent, boughs, wreath, trees, branches, bare, dark, silvery, blue, white, gray, brown, clear, piney, bird feeder, cardinal, suet, berries, hibernate, knit, sew, snuggle, read, book, stories, hearth, smoke, chimney, coals, flames, fire, fireplace, blazing, crackling, glowing, warm, cozy, toasty, spiced, spicy, tea, cider, cocoa, mug, popcorn, sugar, vanilla, spice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking, aroma, waft

Word Bank Activities

Categories. Here’s a fun pre-writing activity! Copy the list of winter words to a Word document or Notepad. Then have your child copy/paste words into different categories. Alternatively, she can write the words by hand, crossing them off the list as she transfers them to her paper.

The older the child, the more detailed or specific the categories can be. This is not an exact science, so allow freedom and flexibility. Here are some ideas:

General Categories

  • Indoor winter words
  • Outdoor winter words

Specific Categories

  • Adjectives
  • Activities and outdoor-fun words
  • Weather words
  • Clothing words
  • Baking or food words
  • Comfort words
  • Warm and cozy words
  • Cold words
  • Other ____________________

Synonyms. Older students can add to their Winter Word Bank and build up their writing vocabulary by looking up some of the words in a thesaurus and adding a few interesting synonyms to the list. If you need a good thesaurus, I highly recommend The Synonym Finder. It’s my all-time fave!

WriteShop winter word listsUPDATE: The Winter Word Bank is now available as a full-color e-book download from WriteShop. In addition to winter word lists, the e-book contains over 100 printable vocabulary cards and ideas for using them to build writing skills. Only $2.95!

 

Looking for Christmas word lists? Check these out!

Copyright 2009 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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Share a comment: What are five of your favorite or most descriptive winter words? Or, What new winter words would you like to add to this word bank?

Christmas Word Bank, Part 2: Ho! Ho! Ho!

Here's a jingle-jolly Christmas word bank for creative writing activities, acrostics, and poems about holiday cheer and celebrating around the tree!

Last time, I gave you a Christmas word bank centered on the birth of Jesus and the traditional Christmas story. Now you can enjoy yet another holiday word bank (or several, when divided into categories), perfect for those jingle-jolly creative writing activities, acrostics, poems, and more!

Christmas Word Bank: Ho! Ho! Ho!

Here Comes Santa Claus

Christmas Eve, December, holiday, yuletide, North Pole, elf, elves, workshop, Christmas list, letter, sleigh, bells, ring, jingle, jolly, beard, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle, reindeer, Rudolph, red nose, snow, chimney, fireplace, hearth, sack, stocking, stocking stuffers, coal, toys, doll, train set, candy canes, puppy, mittens

Deck the Halls

Shopping, crowds, stores, traffic, city, village, town, mail, cards, envelope, package, wrap, tie, exchange, presents, gifts, boxes, wrapping paper, tags, ribbon, bows, stickers, tape, gleaming, shiny, sparkling, glowing, twinkling, blinking, red, green, silver, gold, white, clear, decorations, cards, candles, votives, walnuts, nutcracker, Santa hat, mistletoe, holly, ivy, poinsettias, berries, pears, wreath, garland, Christmas tree, fir, pine, trimming the tree, tinsel, glitter, tree skirt, tree-topper, lights, ornaments, baubles, bulbs, stars, snowflakes, pine cones, popcorn strings, tin soldier, cranberries, angel, glass, ball, icicle

Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

Christmas dinner, feast, roasting, carving, ham, turkey, goose, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, chestnuts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, creamed onions, plum pudding, mincemeat pie, gingerbread house, decorate, icing, frosting, candies, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, fudge, fruitcake, eggnog, punch, stollen, sugar plums, figgy pudding, platter, bowl, china, goblet, glass, centerpiece

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful!

Friends, family, grandparents, children, cousins, relatives, giving, gathering, visits, reunion, traditions, Advent calendar, Christmas story, church, stained glass, nativity set, carolers, carols, music, singing, happy, festive, merry, greetings, joy, peace, tidings, Noel

Copyright 2009 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

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Stay tuned! A frosty, freezy Winter Word Bank is coming next week!

Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell courtesy of Creative Commons

Christmas Word Bank, Part 1: Jesus Is Born

This Christmas word bank is rich with vocabulary that will inspire children to write poems and stories about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Here’s another holiday word bank to help inspire your children to write.

This time, as they write poems and stories about the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of Jesus—encourage them to stretch their vocabulary by drawing from the following word lists that focus on celebrating Christ.

Christmas Word Bank: Jesus is Born

Christmas, Bible, Word, Scriptures, story, first, Advent, nativity, angel, visit, appear, prophets, prophecy, foretold, virgin, Mary, Joseph, tax, Nazareth, Bethlehem, City of David, journey, crowds, travelers, weary, donkey, innkeeper, room, inn, stable, manger, cave, crèche,  crib, hay, straw, birth, born, wrap, swaddling clothes

babe, baby, infant, son, Savior (or Saviour), Jesus, Messiah, Christ the Lord, Christ Child, Emmanuel, Redeemer, king, Holy Family

night, star, alleluia, angels, heavenly host, shone, shepherds, flock, sheep, lamb, tidings, miracle, awe, holy, humble, sacred, divine, glorious, glory, worship, pray, kneel, bow, behold, rejoice, praise, presence, King Herod, Egypt, flee, wise men, magi, kings, camels, following, bearing, bringing, gifts, gold, frankincense, myrrh, spices, costly

world, sin, salvation, save, comfort, love, faith, hope, joy, wonder, peace on earth, holiday, light, bright, shine, family, church, Christmas Eve, midnight, service, Mass, Advent wreath, candles, carols, hymns, songs, spirit, heart, celebrate, gift, goodwill, community, poor, needy, helping, inviting, giving, donating, sharing, serving, blessing, remembering, keeping, treasuring

Copyright 2009 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

. . . . .

Also see Christmas Word Bank, Part 2: Ho, Ho, Ho! for more holiday word bank fun!

Share a comment: What writing assignment might you give your children that would call for them to use this word list?

Photo: Waiting for the Word, courtesy of Creative Commons

Fall and Thanksgiving word banks

Word Banks for Fall and Thanksgiving Writing Projects

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:

  • Inspiration!
  • 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, pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, pumpkins, apples, hay, bale, corn maze, cornstalks, Indian corn, nuts, chestnuts, squirrel, chipmunk, blue jay, deep blue sky, clouds, rain, wind, storm, crisp, blustery, brisk, chilly, cold, icy, frost, breath, sights, sounds, smells, aromas, wafting, swirling, cinnamon, spicy, cider, hot cocoa, coffee, soup, stew, chili, fire, warm, roaring, crackling, inviting, welcoming, cozy, 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.

Find more Thanksgiving writing activities here and here for great ways to apply these new word bank ideas!

Copyright 2009 © Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

. . . . .

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.

Photos: Art G. (forest), Giulio Mola (leaf), Christopher Cornelius (mug), Liz West (pumpkins), courtesy of Creative Commons

Wake up those tired words

Do your kids regularly fill their sentences with ho-hum words like big, happy, nice, walked, and said? Here’s a fabulous idea for a pocket word bank to help children choose more concrete synonyms instead.

Thesaurus.com is a perfect place to begin gathering synonyms.

  1. Enter a word your kids tend to overuse.
  2. Browse the various lists and pick out a handful of reasonable synonyms.
  3. Type them up using a large, clear font.
  4. Print out the words and cut them into strips, laminating them so they hold up longer.

A “Good” Illustration

Let’s use good as an example, since it’s often overused (good friend, good snack, good worker, good child). With a few synonyms at their disposal, your children can choose much stronger, more concrete words instead, such as:

  • honorable
  • marvelous
  • pleasing
  • competent
  • virtuous
  • skillful
  • healthy
  • wholesome
  • reliable
  • friendly
  • kindhearted
  • gracious
  • obedient
  • well-mannered

Now they can describe a kindhearted friend, healthy snack, skillful worker, or obedient child. Not only will their writing improve, their vocabulary will grow too!

Pop over to Cheryl Sigmon’s website to check out a closeup photo and make a Tired Words pocket chart of your own. In no time, you’ll begin to see more descriptive, lively words spilling from your kids’ pens!

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