Vocabulary… now that’s a mouth full! Number 3 of our “The Big Five” blog post, lists vocabulary as the third skill taught to students after both phonemic awareness and phonics.
Vocabulary is such an important component in becoming a successful reader. It expands our minds in more ways than one. It can help us visualize a scene in a story, feel an emotion from a main character, express our own self in our writing, and gives new meaning to many unknown words. It is the bridge between emergent readers and fluent readers. It is how we communicate.
Children who are exposed to a vocabulary rich environment are proven to be more successful readers. Words children hear help them make sense of words they read. This is where repeated reading comes in as a handy tool in increasing a reader’s competency. When a child hears/sees a word for this first time, they may not have any reference point for that word, but reading that word over and over within context will help to solidify the new word and its meaning in the child’s mind.
There are many facets of vocabulary and many ways to expand children’s vocabulary. As stated above, it is a mouth full! Voweletics Readers Theatre poems, stories and song lyrics teach vocabulary from many different angles. Their fun, phonetic word choice draws readers in to help with development of vocabulary and aids in comprehension. The child repeatedly rereads the passages with the web teacher because they love it, all the while, teaching themselves to become fluent readers! Without fun stimulating vocabulary, reading could be quite boring.