Speech Pathology News: Vocabulary

This week the speech pathologists have been excited to begin new Literature Based Units with students in year 1-3. The Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students have continued to work with their individual classroom topics.

The year 1 students are working with the book ‘Loongie the Greedy Crocodile’ and the Year 2 and 3 students are working with the book ‘The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour’.

A big focus of our literature based units includes teaching students new vocabulary. We spend lots of time teaching students the labels of things and their parts (e.g. the names of animals, the names of different fruits and vegetables or places). This helps children talk about the topic and focus on practicing various other language skills. With each book we also choose 3 or 4 words to teach that children are less likely to encounter in everyday activities. For example, glorious, beam, journey, greedy. These words help students to comprehend stories more easily as well as further expand their vocabulary. We start by explaining the word in simple language and then we practice the word using the Word Aware Rap. Students are asked to:

  • Say the word
  • Clap the word
  • Shout the word
  • Whisper the word
  • Say the word

The repetition of the sound structure helps student to remember the word more easily. We then follow up through the unit with different activities which require students to recall, think about and use the words in different ways.

You can support the building of vocabulary at home by involving your child in activities such as cooking and gardening and labelling the things they use and talk about what they do (e.g. “Let’s go and get the shovel. We need the shovel to dig a hole”). You can also build vocabulary as you read stories by choosing 1 or 2 words which your child might not know and explain them. (e.g. “Gwendolyn thought the jungle was glorious. Glorious means it was very beautiful”). If your child is willing you could do the Word Aware Rap with the word.