October 8, 2012

Common Core Vocabulary Part 1


As I studied the Common Core one theme that seemed to reoccur often was vocabulary. Students are expected to "build strong content knowledge" across a "wide range of subject matter." They are expected to learn both "general knowledge" and "discipline-specific expertise." (p. 7 ELACC) Students are also expected to "interpret words and phrases" and be able to "read and comprehend complex texts independently." (P. 10 ELACC)


What does that mean to me as a teacher? It means I need to spend more time teaching my students how to understand words by context and provide them with opportunities to expand their vocabularies. This week I discovered a new book that I think would be perfect for introducing this concept.

How many of you have heard of Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis?


I actually love a lot of her books including: I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem and Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day. I love that her books introduce big words with kid friendly descriptions and fun illustrations.

My favorite part of Big Words for Little People is the introductory poem:
"I know some big words. I'll teach them to you. Although you are small, you can use big words too. Big words aren't scary. They're big fun to learn. I was taught once and now it's your turn."

Children can learn big words. We just need to give them the opportunity. Need more great ideas on books that teach vocabulary? Check out the following: Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy Series, the Geronimo Stilton Series, and Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. Do you have any favorite series that teach vocabulary?

I have also seen some amazing ideas about vocabulary instruction from other bloggers. I'm in the process of combining them into one lovely post. Stay tuned for updates. 

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