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Close the Word Gap Activities

matching-game2The studies on the gap in the number of words in kindergarteners' vocabulary when they enter school depending on their families' socioeconomic level are startling. It is overwhelming to think that it is the teacher’s job to close that gap.  I am not so egotistical to think that I will close the gap, but gosh darn it, I’m gonna give it my all!

My first line of attack is to integrate word work discussion in my small guided groups.  This allows me to best assess the students’ needs and focus the vocabulary instruction with a concrete experience (the text itself). (See the post Estudio de Palabras Integrado.)

Then I like to reinforce our discussions with a playful activity like memory or a more writing-focused activity like a vocabulary map, in which students practice using a vocabulary word in an original sentence, draw a picture that represents the word, and write out its definition.

Downloadable Resources:

  • Juego de Memoria
  • Mapa de Vocabulario
  • Mapa de Personaje
  • Mapa Conceptual

What activities or tools do you use to increase vocabulary?

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