When talking about vocabulary we mean the words known by your children through conversations and books they have read. The possibilities to expand on their vocabulary is endless to help here are some activities you could try when discussing and building new (and known) vocabulary with your children.
When reading identify some new words from the text and ask the children to complete a table similar to the example below.
You could also ask the children how many alternative words or phrases they know that mean the same as the base word.
If the base word is:
Not happy - sad
Satisfied - I'm happy with that
Enjoy - happy to do something
Be willing - happy to do something
This strategy involves drawing pictures to represent the meaning of new or unknown words.
Eg. howling - draw the word within a wolf. slither - draw the word within a snake.
Choose a 'new' word and see what the children already know about it and how they can link it to knowledge they already have.
Word building game:
Use a base word and see how many words children can come up with from this.
These are words which are more specific examples of a more general word. Flow diagrams help children remember words and make sense of them because of the grouping.
TIP: Ask the children how many different ways a word can be used and in different contexts.
In these activities ask the children to order the words from least to most.
Eg. Ugly to Nice.