Fishing for Words!

What's your favorite strategy to teach new words to your kids? 
Hands-on vocabulary learning seems to be the most effective that I’ve found, as having my kids use multiple senses when learning a new word seems to increase retention. To review and consolidate the new words learned I teach vocabulary that is related to each other, together, yes! clusters.
Clustering, or using semantic clusters, basically means learning words around one theme or idea. These themes or ideas can be quite large such as “My Country” (countries, ocean, continent, languages, …) or can be more focused such as “Winter Clothing” (socks, hats, scarves, …).

A few ideas on how to teach using clusters:
  • use brainstorming charts where one word branches to another with visible cluster-like appearance.
  • challenge your kids to find appropriate synonyms (words that have the same meaning).
  • try to use a variety of resources – books, audio books,  dialogues, stories, poems, songs– but with the same theme.  This will increase the kinds of vocabulary that children are exposed to.
  • play games! My kids love games. I designed this board game to review vocabulary. You will find some cards with tasks like "List 3 pets", and blank cards for you to review your list of words.

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