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Petrichor

Vocabulary Curricula

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I'm thinking about doing some vocab in 3rd grade. 

 

Do you use a curriculum for vocabulary? In what grade(s)?

 

If you do, which curriculum do you like, and why?

 

:bigear:

 

 

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The book "Vocabulary Cartoons" is pretty great. We like that one around here. We also like all things Greek and Latin roots because the benefit is once you learn the roots you can suddenly puzzle out the meaning of so many words. :)

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I'm thinking of introducing a vocabulary curriculum as well! We're going to try out Wordly Wise 3. If it's too much we'll go back to vocab cartoon and english from the roots up. Following this thread :)

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We do VERY relaxed vocabulary in the form of  Word of the Day.  I write the word on our dry erase board, the part of speech and the definition.  I am doing this for 1st and 3rd combined, so it can get a bit complicated trying to ensure both my girls can get it.  But I try to relate the words specifically to whatever we are working on that week, so that it makes more sense.  For example, during eclipse week, our words were things like solar, orbit, and or course, eclipse lol.  Anyway, I write that all out, I have DD8 read it, then I have them try to explain it to me.  Then, they draw a picture of whatever it is.  That's really all I do though.  For me, it's more about exposure because DD6 has a severe language delay as part of her ASD diagnosis, and DD8 is a bit below normal in her language also.  I just want them seeing lots of different words, if they don't learn the specific definition of each one, I am ok with that. 

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We do, though it's mostly because my language-loving kid asks for it. What we've used and enjoyed:

 

Vocabulary Cartoons: I had the spine cut off the book and hang up the words, switching them out every day or three, whenever I remember. DD seems to absorb them quickly and remember them well. She loves these!

 

Rummy Roots: Card game that focuses on Latin and Greek roots, their meaning, and how to combine the roots to make modern words.

 

Caesar's English: Part of the Michael Clay Thompson LA, it can be used as a standalone. By far the most intensive of what we've used, it includes both word roots (mostly Latin) and academic vocabulary words focusing on ones commonly used in classic literature. There are a lot of words introduced beyond the focus words, examples of the words being used in literature, and a lot of discussion regarding the word use. It's big and meaty.

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From early on, a lot of vocabulary was absorbed in context through read-alouds -- and we did read-alouds from infancy up through high school. In the high school years, vocabulary was mostly done in conjunction with the literature being read, or with the new science terminology being learned. In the elementary grades, we did do a bit of more "formal" study with a program, but adapted to fit our needs.

 

Wordly Wise was a major bust for us -- too random, no connections to spelling lists/phonics or literature being read, and busy-work workbook pages that were disliked by DSs. Nothing was really learned/retained from WW.

 

We did English from the Roots up (Greek and Latin roots) to build vocabulary. There are 2 volumes, each with 100 roots. The roots in volume 2 are harder than those in volume 1 -- a little less common, and the vocabulary words based on the roots are at a higher level or are more abstract kinds of words. JMO: Vol. 1 can be done with grades 3+, but vol. 2 is better for grade 4 or even better, grade 5 and up.

 

We did 4 roots per week (2 on one day, 2 on another). That took about 25 weeks. We spent 2 years on each level of EftRU -- we'd go through the entire program in year 1, and then review and "cement" the roots the next year. We used just the book as a group "brain warm up" game in the morning: we'd cover up the definition and list of words using that root, and try to come up with words that had that root in it. From that we would try to guess what the root meant (ex: "photo" -- we'd come up with telephoto, photograph, photon, etc. -- "Oh look, those words have to do with cameras or light; cameras need light; maybe it means light!") Then we'd read the definition, the list of words using that root, and the explanation about the root. If we came up with words not in the book's list, we'd look them up in the dictionary; if they did come from that root, we'd add them to the the flashcard that we made.

 

See more about how people have used EftRU in these past threads:

"English from the Roots Up" -- some great ideas quoted from past posts

"How do I make English from the Roots Up interesting?"

"I bought the flash cards for EftRU -- now what?"

"How do you use English from the Roots Up?"

"If you have used English From the Roots Up"

 

Cynce's Place -- clickable link for free downloadable pdf for EftRU games, + free schedule, notebooking pages, and flashcards
Shelby Family Academy -- word search puzzles of the roots for fun review at their new website: TTKreations

 

It wasn't really available until too late for us, but I've heard good things about The Vocabulary from Classical Roots series -- starts at grade 4 and goes up through high school.

 

You might also just have fun with vocabulary at this age and enjoy doing Rummy Roots and More Rummy Roots games, and the Vocabulary Cartoons book (which was originally designed to build SAT word power, but its such a visual resource, I can picture that younger ages would potentially enjoy this one, too).

 

There is also vocabulary built into the Grammar With a Giggle series by Jan Bell Kiester, along with proof-editing practice and grammar concept review, as part of a paragraph a day that builds a story over the course of the semester.

 

BEST of luck in finding what is the best vocab. fit for YOUR family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Edited by Lori D.
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Also, in high school, I had a latin and greek roots book called Word Clues. I LOVED this program in high school, it was just part of my regular yearly english class.   I spent years hunting down the book when my oldest was in school.  Ultimately I didn't find it before she was able to take an etymology class in high school.  But I found it at a yard sale a few years ago and plan to use it with my youngers, even though they will probably be back in public school at that time.  It's really basic-here's the roots, here's the definition, here are words with them.  But I found it effective.  So much so, that Dh wants to study it.  On his own.  Which surprises me, he's generally not the type to seek out learning like that. 

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Both Vocabulary Workshop (which I loved, DS1 hated) and Wordly Wise were flops here. Now DS1 uses Vocabulary From Classical Roots - he doesn't mind it, I like it, and it gets done. 

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We are currently using Wordly Wise, but I don't love it. OTOH, my third grader will often tell us, "Oh, that's one of my vocabulary words!" in conversation or when reading, so I think the program does a fine job of introducing words at levels when most kids (who read on-level) will begin encountering them frequently. That, and the fact that it can be done totally independently, are what I have seen as the strengths of the program.

 

We also enjoy playing Rummy Roots.

 

I also note the good words my kids ask about when I'm reading aloud to them and put them on our whiteboard with etymology, definition, and the sentence from the book we were reading. We then try to use that word over the course of a week or two as a kind of fun challenge. (Our latest word was crepuscular, thanks to E.B. White.) While I think reading itself is often sufficient for building a vast vocabulary, I was never exposed to a formal vocabulary program and have noticed two places reading-alone-as-vocab-builder has tripped me up: on the GRE, and-- more embarrassingly by far-- when reading to my kids, when I have several times found myself giving definitions for words that make perfect sense in the contexts where they are frequently found but, upon a check of the dictionary, are not quite right. Or even, sometimes, dead wrong. So finally we have the "keep a dictionary within reach when you're reading" method of informal vocabulary building!

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I used Evan-Moore's Word A Day with DD. It introduces only 4 words a week, but she retained them, and it only took a few minutes a day. There are several grade levels. Vocab is something DD doesn't poick up well from context, and it hampers her reading comprehension, so I always make new words a focus oif discussion and try to work them into my conversation with her and point out the words of the week when we see them. I would also find wquotes with the vocab words in them for her to copoy into her commonplace book.

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I'm not there yet. Currently when we come across ones I don't know we look it up.

 

I plan on using McGuffey readers. I know some of them have vocabulary words in the higher books. Currently we are in the primer.

 

When the time comes I really like the idea of her reading a book with a dictionary next to her and maybe a thesaurus.

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With my syllables class, I found my students learned roots fastest with bingo with me calling out example words as they looked up the roots. Free to print, a fun supplement, videos coming next few weeks, the videos for those lessons are 6 - 9. Then, you can do a similar bing with any other root program you use, there are plenty of free to print bingo card making websites out there.

 

The resources also include a file with example words you can use.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

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I used Evan-Moore's Word A Day with DD. It introduces only 4 words a week, but she retained them, and it only took a few minutes a day. There are several grade levels. Vocab is something DD doesn't poick up well from context, and it hampers her reading comprehension, so I always make new words a focus oif discussion and try to work them into my conversation with her and point out the words of the week when we see them. I would also find wquotes with the vocab words in them for her to copoy into her commonplace book.

My daughter had to be trained to pick up words from context. We went through McGuffey readers, starting at the level where she did not know a few words per reading passage.

 

First, she read the definition first, then read the passage thinking about how the word was used and how she could have figured out its meaning if she had not seen the definition.

 

Then, we read the definition after she was worked through how to figure the word out from context, with me walking her through the process.

 

Then, she read them on her own, checking the definition against her guesses.

 

After doing this for a while, she could figure out words from context on her own.

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For some reason, my DD really enjoys Wordly Wise.  At one point I stopped scheduling it for her and she asked me to put it back in... She works independently and we also use it as a word list for spelling, so it's her vocab and spelling rolled into one. FWIW, she is working about a year ahead of grade level and I think it's a little easy for her. There is more writing required in the upper levels (4th grade and up). Last year, I had her just circle certain answers instead of writing it out like the directions stated, because her hand would fatigue. This year, she writes out the sentences.

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