Building vocabulary has many advantages beyond improving writing. The ability to cultivate a well-developed vocabulary helps students to become a better reader and a better learner.

The real secret to helping your child develop a strong vocabulary is to teach the skill simultaneously with decoding.

Other ideas to help students build an impressive vocabulary include:

Read. Really Read.

As children read for school and fun (no skimming allowed) they should jot down unfamiliar words on a piece of paper. Next have them look up the words in the dictionary and make an association between the new word and the meaning of the word.

Try Context

Before going to the dictionary or thesaurus to find the meaning of a new word, encourage your child to figure out what it means by looking at the context in which they find it. Studies show that a strategy in which children self-evaluate how they have figured out what words mean, will reinforce the learning of those words.

Practice Pronunciation

Help your child create a new “word list” to increase their vocabulary. Each day select a new word from the list and then decide its part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.). Then talk about the meaning of the word and practice saying the word correctly a few times.

Teaching vocabulary isn’t always at the top of the priority list but think about changing that rank. Research shows that a strong vocabulary is the muscle behind academic success.

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Play Lemons for Literacy vocabulary game to build vocabulary and help struggling readers in need earn free literacy materials: