I like to encourage students to be word collectors. Words are easy to collect from everyday conversations, music, TV shows, books, magazines, comics or any place language is seen or heard. When you become intentional about collecting words vocabulary grows. While a large vocabulary helps a student’s writing, it also helps their ability to express themselves in conversation. Being able to communicate effectively increases self-confidence.
One of the things I love about picture books is that rich vocabulary and more complex sentence structure can be used because the book is usually read to the child. The person reading the book can explain words or nuances that the child does not understand. This helps a child’s vocabulary and their use and understanding of language grow.
All students, even older ones, can benefit from reading picture books. Send them on a quest to fill a journal with words collected from various sources, including picture books. Challenge them to:
- look up words they don’t know
- use words from their journal in their writing
- share a favorite word with the class
- Write a word from each student on the board-How many can be used in one silly sentence?
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds (Orchard Books, 2018) would be a wonderful book to use to introduce this idea. In the book Jerome collects words instead of the normal things people collect. He collects words he sees, hears and reads. One day, as he carries a pile of scrapbooks filled with words, he stumbles and words come flying out. He sees new combinations of words. He strings them together to make poems and songs. To communicate with others he uses his simple powerful words such as: I understand, I’m sorry, thank you and you matter. One day he releases his collection and is happy as he watches other children start collecting them.
Collecting words isn’t just for students. Start your own list. I find I read more carefully, listen more intently when I’m on the quest to find new and interesting words!
4 thoughts on “Picture a Classroom of Word Collectors”
Oh I love that concept- word collecting. I used to do that when I was young, especially with words I liked that sounded good, regardless of what they meant. Love those word-a-day calendars!
Another great idea-classrooms should have those word-a-day calendars!
Lovely review! Thanks for sharing this book! I saw it in my scholastic catalog… 💗I may order it next month!
You won’t be disappointed! 😉 I’d love to hear if you “create” any word collectors!
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