Several years ago, after we read the work of Beck and McKeown, a group of Kindergarten teachers at Chets Creek decided to write our own vocabulary study. We looked at books that we were using for oral retelling after coming back from studying with Lucy Calkins at Teachers' College in NYC. We selected the best of those books and then choose 6 words for each book - 4 words that were actually used in the book and 2 words that were implied. We then wrote vocabulary activities for each of the books. We have used and edited the vocabulary for about 4 years now. Not only do the teachers love the work, but the children clearly are using the vocabulary in their oral speaking and in their writing! The bulletin board above by Maria Mallon and Cheryl Dillard, shows how their kindergarten class has incorporated the vocabulary unit into their curriculum. This board shows activities around one of our "Star Books," Mop Top.
"Vocabulary Jeopardy," as illustrated above, is a game played in the classroom as children learn new words with each new book. The teacher asks the question and the children have to name the word. It's a fun way to practice definitions.The book above is an example of a child that has incorporated the vocabulary that the class has been learning into her writing. She has written a pattern book called, "What makes you thrilled?" This book clearly shows that she understands the word!
The activity above is an example of one completed by each individual child. This concept map is words and pictures for the word thrilled. The activity above shows four of the words from the story, Mop Top, illustrated by a kindergartner - stumbled, floppy, soaring, thrilled. This activity has been used as an activity so students could show their understanding of the words but also could be used as an assessment.