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Helping to develop your child’s vocabulary #1

16 July 2021

The key idea is that to remember and understand new words we can use a word map ‘word magic’ (see image):

  • Provide information in different ways, e.g. visually with the word magic chart, pictures, objects, and talking about, looking at, and feeling objects.
  • Repeat the words.
  • Link new words and information to what your child knows already.
  • Talk through how the word sounds, i.e. what sound it begins with, how many syllables it has, what it rhymes with, etc.
  • Tell your child what helps them to learn new words.

Vocabulary Practice:

  • Take turns with your child saying all the things that you know about a word, e.g. ‘pineapple’. Use the word magic word map to explore the information you both know about the word. Go through the different questions on the word map and write or draw pictures to represent your child’s answer. Repeat the information as you go through it. oMake it easier/harder: Ask additional prompt questions, e.g. “What colour is it? How big is it? What does it feel like?”
  • Play a guessing game with real objects. Put the objects into a bag and ask your child to put their hand in the bag and hold one item in the bag. Ask your child to describe the object without naming it, using the word magic word map as a guide When your child thinks they know what the object is, they can have a guess.
  • Make it easier: Take the first turn to demonstrate how to describe the object without naming it or help your child with clues about what to say.
  • Make it harder: Ask your child to give the sound the word begins with or another that rhymes with it.