Students who write from a rich supply of words learn to express themselves exactly as they intend. At the same time, they make way for the reader to understand subtle shades of meaning.
Word banks are such great tools for helping kids expand their writing vocabulary. When students are tempted to reuse a familiar word because they can’t think of any others, word banks can prove helpful by reminding them of alternative words they already know but can’t quite pluck from the edges of their mind.
That’s the main reason WriteShop I and II include 17 exhaustive word lists in the student books—lists such as texture, color, and emotions.
By using word games and activities, you help your kiddos increase their vocabulary of everyday words while they learn to sort and organize the vocabulary they already know. If your children struggle to find interesting words to use in their writing, take heart! They have bigger vocabularies than they realize. As they learn to mentally organize and file both new and familiar words, these words become easier to retrieve when they write.
So instead of making your kids memorize a bunch of artificial vocabulary lists, help them grow more comfortable with the words they know but may not use often by:
- making word banks available to them when they write;
- encouraging them to create their own word lists; and
- playing word-building games.
There are so many fun word games you can play with your children. The Thesaurus Game is a good one for starters, as is this easy adjective-building game that results in word lists! As a bonus, you can play the game with children of all ages.
For even more tips, check out these ideas for expanding writing vocabulary with your children.