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Good writers purposefully and carefully select words. They are much like artists as they use language to paint pictures in the minds of their readers. As teachers, we strive to equip our students to use rich and interesting language both in speaking and in writing. Larger vocabularies means more success in reading and a richer life in general.

I have quickly learned that the playing field is not level and I need to strategically teach vocabulary if my students are to be successful. I teach lessons on word choice and encourage children to lay to rest overused words. (You know the ones…little, big, nice…). I have a math vocab wall that I consistently add to. I have a word collector that I use to record new and interesting words that my students and I find together as we read. And now, I have learned another way from “The Word Lady.”

When my class was learning about size words, Miss Jill used storytelling to engage my class. It was unforgettable. She told the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and she weaved different words for big throughout the story. It was a natural, authentic way to drive the concept home. What first grader doesn’t enjoy a great story?

Afterwards, my students and I used the free app, “Pic Collage” to create the following poster to cement their learning.

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Since then, I used the story “Thumbelina” to teach different words for small. I had a blast using the iPad app “Puppet Pals” to bring the story to life.

Thank you Miss Jill for another great lesson!

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