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Reading comprehension is the single most important skill needed to be academically successful. And we all know that reading builds vocabulary and studying vocabulary improves reading skills.
There are many different ways to study vocabulary. Following are just a few:
- Through great literature – whether as a read aloud or reading independently (ambleside online has some awesome reading lists)
- Repetition – read through your list multiple times, write the words down, use flashcards, repeat the words aloud, and keep the words visible
- Memorization – draw a picture, replace words in a familiar song, create associations
- In Context – look up unfamiliar words, look for examples, write your own sentences, use the words in real life, and learn about prefixes and suffixes
The English language is always growing and constantly changing. According to Google, there are 171,476 words in the English language. Do your students need to know all of these words? No, of course not, but they should know how to decode words.
Enter, Morphology! According to Vocabulary.com the definition of Morphology is “the study of how things are put together, like the make-up of animals and plants, or the branch of linguistics that studies the structure of words. In morphology, the word part morph- means “form” and -ology means “the study of.” So, those who study how something is made or formed are engaged in morphology.”
WordBuildOnLine is based on morphology, the study of units of meaning – roots, prefixes, and suffixes. There is no memorizing word lists and both children and adults think it is fun! It requires 5-15 minutes a day. Which will work out well for us since we lean toward the Charlotte Mason way of of life. While I haven’t had the chance to use this program yet because I just heard about it the day before Thanksgiving 🙂 it is definitely something we will be looking into.
This year we have been covering vocabulary through our reading. Whether we are reading aloud or independently we keep a small notebook with us and jot down any words we come across that aren’t familiar. We first try to figure out what the word might mean based on context then after we have finished reading we look the word(s) up, write the definition(s) in our vocabulary notebook, and if needed we will go back and reread the passage(s) where the word(s) was found. Some days we may have one word and some days we have had as many as 9! We are also using Word Roots level 1. My children are older, but I figured we better start at the beginning to make sure we have it covered.
Here are some other fun resources for studying vocabulary:
Hang Mouse Word Game – Hangmouse is an amusing online game. The game is quite similar to the old fashioned game that asks the player to guess the letters in a word. The player gets only a limited number of guesses before the stick man is revealed and the game is over. In HangMouse, however, the little mouse is trying to get the cheese. If the player successfully guesses the word, the mouse gets the cheese. If the player does not guess the word, the cat wins. This game is great entertainment but also helps to build vocabulary skills and spelling practice.
Multiple Meanings Around the World Vocabulary Game – Students travel the world by identifying words with multiple meanings – and master vocabulary skills as they play! In this skill-building game, players try to get from the U.S. to Australia by drawing question cards and correctly recognizing, interpreting and defining words with multiple meanings. Extra-tough challenge questions could earn players a double roll…if lost passports and wrong turns don’t stop them first! Includes an 18″ x 18″ game board, 45 question cards, 20 challenge cards, 4 pawns, 1 die and a secret decoder. For 2-4 players.
Prefix/Suffix Cosmic Conquest Vocabulary Game – Players conquer the galaxy by using prefixes and suffixes—and master important vocabulary skills as they play! In our skill-building game, students try to move their pawns to an opponent’s planet by drawing cards and answering questions about prefixes and suffixes. Each correct answer earns them a chance to roll the die and move their pawns rocketing past starbursts and racing through time warps! Includes an 18″ x 18″ game board, 50 question cards, 8 pawns, a die and a secret decoder. For 2-4 players.
Balderdash Game – Classic bluffing board game. The categories contain real but unbelievable content about People, Words, Initials, and Movies; now includes a new category, Laughable Laws. Players make up phony answers, read them off along with the correct answer, and others vote on which answer is real. Score points for guessing correctly and for bluffing the other players. Grab the bull by the horns and play Balderdash, the game that’s hilarious beyond belief.
Granny’s Candies Vocabulary Game of Word Meanings – Let Granny treat your children to some old-fashioned fun! Combine the excitement of picking colorful “candy” tokens from Granny’s candy jars with hundreds of opportunities to expand vocabulary skills. First, you fill up the “candy jars” with “candy” (soft, foamy, and colorful tokens). Then, players choose question cards from one of eight semantic areas (or mix and match cards). Children answer the questions, roll the die, and pick “candy” from the jars. The player with the most “candy” at the end of the game wins. Sounds yummy!
How do you incorporate the study of vocabulary in your homeschool? I would love to hear from you!