Trading Spaces Tuesday!

Jan 7, 2014

Hi Everyone! It's Bex from Reading and Writing Redhead here. Thanks for having me post for Curious Firsties, Emily!

I was reading some other blog posts recently about vocabulary and it got me thinking.  Vocabulary instruction is so important but it sometimes gets the short end of the stick. I found this quote on a West Virginia Department of Education page and it sums it up nicely: "While wide reading increases a student's vocabulary significantly, teachers must realize that direct and explicit instruction in vocabulary must also occur daily in all classrooms. Students enter school with vastly different levels of word knowledge. Teachers must build word rich environments in which to immerse students and teach and model good word learning strategies".

A simple activity I did last year comes to mind. We were working on character traits and I asked my second graders to just tell me some words that would describe someone - any character. Here is what they came up with. ( By the way excuse my printing - I was not able to write in a straight line that day!)

I was a bit flabbergasted at all of the words they suggested. Some of them never in a million years would I even have thought of. We also had discussions about a lot of them. I asked some kids if they knew what their word meant. Some were able to explain - others had just heard or read and were repeating the word so I asked others if they knew it. Sometimes other students did know, and for a few I had to explain. It was a easy and fun way to work on character traits and vocabulary all in one.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes or post the list on your own blog. What other easy vocabulary activities have you tried?

Thanks again for having me here at Curious Firsties!


  1. I like this idea. It's one that doesn't take a lot of prep which is always good for me. I'll be interested to see what kind of words they come up with.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher


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