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.

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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.

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

#1 Leann Glasman on 10.21.09 at 10:04 am

I love the word bank idea. Wading through a thesaurus can be frustrating. Thank you for doing the brainstorming for us. We will work to add to your inspiring work!

#2 Amy on 12.31.09 at 11:35 am

YAY! I can’t wait to work on making some word banks!!! I LOVE words! Thanks so much for your blog, I am learning to teach my kids to write! woohoo! I’m so excited!

Amy in Peru

http://fisheracademy.blogspot.com

#3 Kim on 12.31.09 at 11:48 am

Oh, you found a word bank! Good! If you use the search box, you’ll find more. There’s a good winter one here, though it’s summer where you live (and warm most of the time, I imagine!).

http://www.writeshop.com/blog/2009/12/15/winter-word-bank-word-list/

Still, you get the idea. Have your kids create their own word banks that are appropriate for your particular environs and climate. Then, once your fabulous Synonym Finder arrives, have them look up synonyms for the words they’ve already added to their word banks. A great way to expand their vocabulary!

And thanks for sharing your renewed enthusiasm for teaching writing. I’m honored that you have found my blog inspirational and helpful, Amy.

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