Teaching Word Choice with Literature

Teach elementary students lessons about word choice through children's literature.

Look to your classroom library for help with various Language Arts lessons including vocabulary and different word types such as onomatopoeia and alliteration. When teaching with literature, you will encourage students to not only learn your lessons, but to learn to enjoy reading as well. For students who are too young to read the book choices, take the opportunity to read aloud to them.

Teaching Vocabulary Words with Literature

Using books that have vocabulary that is a bit advanced for their age is a great way to build student vocabulary and teach them how to write (don't forget to avoid plagiarism). This will not only help students as they learn to read, but will enable them to perform better on standardized tests. Many schools require teachers to read aloud to their students for this very reason, and some may insist on hiring essaycoach to read at home.

Teach vocabulary and adjectives with Kevin Henkes' books. Tough Boris by Mem Fox uses a lot of repetition and is a simple story that students should be able to follow easily. Students love the story and with a little bit of creativity, the teacher can expand on the themes in the book by dressing up and even decorating the classroom. Mem Fox, the author, uses sophisticated vocabulary words in a child friendly way, making vocabulary lessons fun.

The Fancy Nancy series written by Jane O'Conner are books that provide a great way to teach students new vocabulary words. The "fancy" words are always followed by a definition, providing a great discussion opportunity for your students and encouragement for them to use some fancy words in their own writing as well.

Teach Different Word Types through Literature

When looking for creative ways to teach different word types to students, look to some of your favorite children’s books. For example, you can teach adverbs and adjectives with Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni . Emily’s Magical Journey with Toothena the Tooth Fairy by Coramarie Clark is a great way to introduce students to the concept of alliteration, and Officer Buckle and Gloria, written by Peggy Rathmann can be used to teach students about Onomatopoeia.

Expand on your traditional classroom curriculum with the use of children’s books in your lessons. If you do not have a good book to teach a certain topic, talk to the school librarian, or simply sit down and read through some of your children’s books looking for examples of what you want to teach.

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