This week’s “How-To” focuses on vocabulary. Did you know that children from middle to high-income families have heard 30-million more words than their peers from low-income families by the time they are four? Unfortunately, this gap keeps widening as kids move through school. Below are two videos demonstrating ways to help increase vocabulary and understanding of words.
The more words a child hears, the more that child’s vocabulary grows. There are numerous ways to promote language development in young children. Modeling gives you the opportunity to use multiple words with the same meaning so the child learns a word and its definition. For example, “That’s a fragile statue. It’s very delicate. If you knock it over, it could break.” Watch how this preschool teacher models new words for her students:
Books offer another great way to build vocabulary. Children love to use big words or “$50 words,” those words not common in every day language, but rather words they want to learn like brilliant, enthusiasm, amazed. Watch this video and see how Annabelle pays close attention as her mother introduces her to a new $50 word. Note how Annabelle’s mother does not criticize her daughter’s good guess at what the word means, but instead shares the real meaning for the word by pointing to descriptive pictures and expanding with language.
How-To: Help Your Child Get Ready to Read Through Games, is a four-part series of “how-to” videos for parents, and early child care providers and educators that shows you different games you can play with your children to help them get ready to read in kindergarten. Each of the videos models a different technique that will increase your children’s early literacy skills through fun and games. For more information on how to help prepare your child for reading, or to find more fun ideas and games, check out the Stern Center’s Building Blocks for Literacy online program for parents and educators.