September 21, 2013

Love It and List It Linky: Vocabulary Tips and Tricks

 my top 3 ways to teach vocabulary skills for preschool/elementary ages

I am linking up with Speech Room News' Love It and List It party this month. The theme is "Vocabulary". With my caseload, I focus on vocabulary for early childhood/preschool/kindergarten ages. Here are three of my favorite tools for addressing this difficult and sometimes abstract concept.


*Plain old children's books are a gold mine for addressing vocabulary skills! Especially if you choose books with detailed and interesting pictures or topics that are high-interest and engaging for your students.

*DOT Language (from Speech Corner) - My elementary students adore using daubers, and this book provides fun dauber pages to work on:
  • Categories
  • Descriptions
  • Synonyms/Antonyms
  • Definitions
  • Similarities/Differences
  • Answering Questions
Blank pages for each activity are also included so you can add your own targets. Love it!

2) Activities and Craftivities:
*Make your vocabulary teaching fun and multi-modal: write words, say definitions, color pictures, act out or role play words and their definitions, sing songs about words or categories, etc. Get up and get moving! Remember, early childhood babes learn best through PLAY! Puzzles, toys, games, songs, crafts, etc. are all wonderful resources for helping our little ones sort out the world around them and increase their expressive and receptive vocabulary.

*Crafts: I love making craftivities with kiddos! For one, they are more fun than completing a worksheet. And two, now they have something to take home and complete more practice in other settings! Some great craftivities targeting vocabulary I have seen include:

Synonym Flowers from Hello Literacy.

Synonym Rolls from Life is Better Messy Anyway.

Foldable Vocab from A Teacher's Treasure.

Anchor charts are always being used in the preschool classrooms I work in. They don't need to be this fancy, but First Grade Parade has some amazing examples. (I don't know about you, but my artistic skills are nowhere near this level!)

3) Technology:
Even changing things up and addressing vocabulary lessons on computers or tablets instead of worksheets can be motivating for students.

*Software: Two of my favorites are:

No-Glamour Category/Definition (by LinguiSystems) - great for basic categories, and you can individualize it for each student

Spotlight on Vocabulary Interactive Software Level 1 (by LinguiSystems) - great for categories, synonyms, antonyms, attributes, associations, etc. You can also create student profiles and save their scores. This one is great!

...and more!

*Apps: 'nuf said

Bluster (free; from McGraw-Hill) - Perfect for addressing rhyming words, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms, homophones, adjectives, and students can compete head-to-head. Great app for older elementary.

Vocabulary Catcher 3 (free; from Innovative Net Learning) - I love using this app with my early intervention and preschool kiddos. It introduces them to basic categories, identifying pictures, and basic picture selection using the iPad. There are versions 1, 2, and 3.

Word Mess (free; from Masala Games) - I recently reviewed this fun, fun app, which you can read about here. So fun! Apps ($1.99) - I especially love Which Does Not Belong and Which Go Together for teaching basic vocabulary skills with my Littles.

So there you have it! My top three favorite resources for teaching vocabulary are Books, Craftivities, and Technology! What do you like to use?

For more information about tips for teaching vocabulary aligned with the Common Core State Standards check out this article.

The following vocabulary resources are also available in my TpT store:
Pocket Categories
Green Eggs Vocab Match

Now, go check out what other SLPs are using to address vocabulary goals!


  1. I forgot about DOT language! Love it!

    1. I love it too! Thanks for stopping by, and double-thanks for hosting the linky!

  2. I didn't even think about including apps! Those are good ones!

    1. Thanks! There are so many more, but the post was already getting too long :)