Vocabulary is an important part of literacy. Vocabulary includes reading, writing, and verbal expression. These three elements make up a larger structure that is called literacy. Literacy has been important ever since humans first discovered writing. How can preschool educators help children learn the importance of vocabulary from an early age?
We live in the information age. Not all of the information we receive is beneficial. Valuable information can enhance a career, make a person more productive, and even save a life. Vocabulary is the element that determines cultural literacy.
Improving vocabulary is looked at by many as a tedious learning process. A broad vocabulary is necessary to succeed in our world today. It is no longer enough to just know what is happening in your city, state, or country, it is equally important to understand what is happening on a global scale.
Improving a child’s vocabulary from an early age will allow them to become more informed. It will allow them to successfully convey ideas to others, and it can also help prepare them for a successful career outlook. It is important for educators to focus on improving a child’s vocabulary early in life.
Children need to develop a love of reading early on. This is one of the most precious gifts a child can receive. Helping them build an elaborate vocabulary is more valuable than any toy, game, or bike purchased. As children get older, a strong vocabulary will help in writing a job resume and impressing potential employers. They will be comfortable giving a professional speech or presentation because of a strong vocabulary. This can make all the difference between success and failure.
Childcare providers and educators will want to make reading fun. Children should feel that reading is not something that “has” to be done like a chore, but that it is a “fun” thing to do. Often children think it is “cool” to use slang words rather than proper English. They make fun of children who enjoy reading. Educators must convey the message that ignorance is not “cool”. Failing to build a strong vocabulary can actually be a dangerous thing.
Hundreds of years ago, books were a luxury. They were expensive to produce and expensive to buy. Only royalty could afford books. The royals gained knowledge and with knowledge came power. With the invention of the printing press, the cost of books came down. Now we have the Internet, blogging, and Kindle and digital books on-line which increases our access to information that can improve our lives.
Adapted from Importance of Vocabulary at an Early Age.
Before a child can learn to read, he/she needs to have a good understanding of basic words and what they mean. There are 7 very easy ways that you can build a preschooler's vocabulary
and introduce early reading concepts. Here are some vocabulary-building activities that you can do every day that will help you teach children new words.
1. Love the Library
If you are looking for a great place to start building a preschooler's vocabulary and early reading skills, look no further than your local library. Make a library field trip often!
2. Synonym Substitute
An easy way to introduce children to new words is to use them yourself. Learn how to become a walking thesaurus and why when it comes to preschool vocabulary building - enormous is better than big.
3. Learning and Reinforcing the Alphabet
An ABC game provides children who are learning the alphabet with some reinforcement and confidence.
4. Use Descriptive Words
When it comes to increasing your child's vocabulary, more is better. The more words that your child hears on a daily basis, the more he/she will learn, absorb and eventually put to use.
5. Become a Label Maker
If you want your preschoolers to learn more words, then make it easy. Say them often, sure; but show them too. Build on their basic comprehension of well-known words by labeling all of these commonly-used items so they learn to recognize what the word looks like.
6. Become a Super Sorter
Seeing is learning when it comes to introducing new words. Teaching preschoolers how to sort and categorize will help their logical thinking and build their vocabulary. A good way to help preschoolers learn new words is to take what they are hearing and help them to visualize it.
7. Rhyme Time
The fat cat sat on the mat. The white kite flew at night. How many rhyming words can your preschoolers come up with? Rhyming is not only fun to do, but is an easy way to get children to think about how words can relate to each other.
By Amanda Rock, About.com Guide
Learning words and what they mean is the very basis of education. Before a child goes to a preschool they will be expected to know a number of words before any serious learning can begin. Thankfully, vocabulary is also one of the first things we start teaching our children. When a baby says their first word, that is their introduction to vocabulary. Here are some vocabulary preschool activities that can help boost children’s understanding of words, increase the numbers of words they are familiar with, their context and meaning.
Bean Bag Game
Throw a bean bag back and forth, and recite rhyming words
Start with the very basics.
Cat, bat, mat, pat
Can, pan, man
Top, mop, hop
Tin, bin, pin
Egg, peg, leg, keg
Run, bun, sun
Progress to bigger words.
Land, band, sand
This is a verbal game, so don’t worry too much about spelling discrepancies.
White can go with tight, might and bright, and even kite.
If they get stuck, continue, and explain the meaning of the words as you recite them.
Use thinking games to boost vocabulary.
What else in the room is red?
At lunchtime: Show me something else on the table that’s round.
The egg is yellow. Find me something else in the room or garden that’s yellow. Give them a paper lunch bag to fill with other things of the same kind she finds. Strictly no opening closets. Children will have to find whatever is out in the open at school or outside.
Story Telling PreSchool Activity