I tweeted recently about the vocabulary books that we use in Year 3 and after receiving a few questions about them, I thought it would make sense to write a blog post.
Each child has an A5 exercise book and all of the things I am going to talk about our stuck in there. These are on their tables or in their trays and are easily accessible. We also have a nice ethos in the class where they happily share them if they happen to need it and theirs isn’t to hand.
The books started as a place to put the Year 3/4 (and 1/2) high frequency words and spelling lists. This meant that the children always had them to hand. They also use them to put in words that they have spelt incorrectly and I can check them and add them to their personal dictionary.
We have also added word mats from Twinkl for different word types – adjectives, verbs and adverbs as well as synonyms for said and fronted adverbials. This took a bit of organising to stick in but now I can use these word mats and I just ask the children to turn to the relevant page.
I blogged before about the colour thesaurus and this has been a massive hit with my class. This week we were writing instructions to clean a woolly mammoth and the water was ocean-blue or teal or as blue as sapphire. Such an easy thing to use but has made a huge difference to their vocabulary. It has even led to some brilliant discussions. We were discussing a fire demon from “The Firework Maker’s Daughter” and a child wanted to say he was cherry-red but another said, “Why don’t you use blood-red instead, that will make him sound meaner”. Awesome.
After reading the Vocabulary Ninja book, I decided to create word banks for our topics. This is a selection of words that we might come across throughout our Stone Age topic. Some we have yet to encounter but it has been useful having these close by during our lessons.
Sometimes, I might just print off a page from the flipchart and give it to them to stick in. This one was looking at synonyms for like and hate and we discussed this as a class before sticking it in for later. A copy went on the working wall too, but these change often so having it in the book makes it easier.
Sometimes, we will use Descriptosaurus and scour the pages for words and phrases to use in our writing. These all get put into our vocab books too. If you haven’t encountered Descriptosaurus yet, it is well worth looking into!
During our lessons writing instructions for cleaning the woolly mammoth, we noticed the children were using simple verbs too often. Things like put, get, throw and wash were being overused so we had a session where we looked for synonyms and discussed the slightly different meanings of each of the words.
So that’s about it (so far). It’s just a simple book stuffed full of words from different places. The children grab it in almost every lesson and it is fab to see. If you have something similar in your school or you are going to give it a go, please do let me know.