Bright Ideas Blog Hop: Vocabulary Building

I am very happy to be part of a great linky and blog hop that celebrates great ideas in teaching. There are over 140 educators that are taking part in this fabulous event.   I hope that you find some great ideas that you can start tomorrow!

I wanted to revisit and share some ideas that I have used in my classroom to help build vocabulary in my second grade class.

I have a word work center that students can go to when they are finished their work.  At this center, students can build words with letters and/or build sentences with words.  Here is one of my new English as a Second Language students on one of his first days of school and he was just trying it out.  Later I had him put the ABC's in order.

 Here we are using a "chunk" of a book.  It is a typed out copy of a book that we read without pictures so that we can visualize these images in our minds.  This student is highlighting the vocabulary from the story. (Book credit:  Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by:  Kevin O'Malley)

 The vocabulary is written up on cards and one is handed out to each student.  One by one the students come up to the front of the room and tell the class how to say the word and what they think it means.  They are also allowed to say they don't know in which case, the rest of the class can help.

Once the words are in the pocket chart there are many things you can do.  Sometimes I have a small print copy of the words and students get into A/B partners to sort the words. Then we all share what our sorting rules are. In this case, the words were so funny and the book is about a cool dude and a princess so I asked the students to come up and sort the words into which ones seemed like boy words and which ones seemed like girl words.  Here is what it looked like then:

Once we discussed it further in almost a little mini debate forum, the only word left on the right as being "female" was princess.

And finally, we often go on great word hunts through children's books to promote word choice in writing.  Students will find words they find interesting and add them to the chart. On our debrief, we discuss what these words are.  While we write each day, you will often hear me say "Great word choice!"

Today I introduced the Thesaurus.  Well holy smokes!  The kids loved the concept.  (It might have had a little to do with the fact that I told them that you can look really smart if you use a different fancy word to describe something that means the same thing as an easy word!)

We will be having more fun with the Thesaurus another day!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog and taking a look at some of the vocabulary work we have been doing this year.

If you would also like some ideas on Data Notebooks in Kindergarten, visit the next blog in this hop by Angela Griffith of The Daily Alphabet.

As a matter of choice, you may want to visit the link up below instead and choose just the topic you are interested in.



  1. I just HAVE to use my pocket chart more in class like this. There's just no room with all the artwork on the walls! Haha! This will be my new goal for next week.
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

    1. I love to use my pocket chart. I use it daily. It's also good for Making Words. Hey, why don't you do mini art projects and put them in your pocket chart . Lol

  2. I'm not in the classroom right now but I'm looking forward to trying these ideas with my own kids at home. Also, you should totally link this post on my new weekly vocabulary link party. :) Thank you! I'm off to pin this!

  3. Thanks so much Erin. I'd be happy to link up! Thanks for the pin!
    :) Shelley

  4. Great word work ideas! I like how you are developing vocabulary and word choice with your students!
    Conversations in Literacy


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