Vocabulary is in the Air
(Reposted from Figurski Wiki March 22, 2011)
Our language is made up of many words. Some convey the most simple message.
The dog ran down the street.
Certainly that sentence gives the reader a specific picture, but not a colorful one. It leaves a lot to the imagination of the reader who is expected to fill in the missing parts. The sentence borders on boring.
By playing with words, children are experimenting with ways to make their language more vivid. They use words to create movies in their heads. This will surely result in more fascinating writing that will jump off the page. In order to accomplish that task, children need to choose more picturesque words.
Look at this sentence.
The brown dog galloped down the crooked street.
It’s more vivid and easily allows a clearer image to be conjured.
I asked my class to play with words. I gave them a set of stimulus words (in bold) and asked to think of more visual words.
Look at their work below.
ran — dashed, raced, rushed, sprinted, zoomed, galloped, bolted
picked — plucked, snatched, yanked, grabbed
jumped — leapt, hopped, skipped
flew — glided
yelled — screamed, scolded, yelped, screeched, hollered, shouted, snapped, barked
For HomeFun, they will work on the following words.
walked --shook --
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I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.