A student who writes from a rich supply of words learns to express herself exactly as she intends. At the same time, she makes way for her reader to understand subtle shades of meaning.
Word banks are such great tools for helping kids expand their writing vocabulary. When a student is tempted to reuse a familiar word because she can’t think of any others, a word bank can prove helpful by reminding her of alternative words she already knows but can’t quite pluck from the edges of her mind. That’s the main reason we included 17 exhaustive word lists in our WriteShop I and II student books—lists such as texture, color, and emotions.
By using vocabulary games and activities, you help your kiddos increase their vocabulary of everyday words while they learn to sort and organize the vocabulary they already know. If your children struggle to find interesting words to use in their writing, take heart! They have bigger vocabularies than they realize. As they learn to mentally organize and file both new and familiar words, these words become easier to retrieve when they write.
So instead of making your kids memorize a bunch of artificial vocabulary lists, help them grow more comfortable with the words they know but may not use often by:
- making word banks available to them when they write;
- encouraging them to create their own word lists; and
- playing word-building games.
There are so many fun word games you can play with your children. The Thesaurus Game is a good one for starters. And visit our blog here on Friday. We’ll kill two birds with one stone . . . with an easy adjective-building game that results in word lists! As a bonus, you can play the game with children of all ages.