We are all always learning new words, even in adulthood. For example, think back to what happens for you when you pick up a text that’s unfamiliar and challenging, whether it’s a medical chart from the doctor, an instruction manual to install a new TV, or a cousin’s quilting manual and directions. Just like us as adults, children will need to be learning and noticing words throughout their lives.
So whatever we can do to support our children to enjoy noticing, collecting, and talking about new words can help them towards lifelong skills in learning and literacy. But did you know that it takes 17 encounters with a word before learning it?! Those encounters can be a mix of seeing, hearing, reading, speaking and writing a word, often with a progression through these different ways of interacting with a word. With this in mind, and knowing that children have so many words still to learn, how do we choose what words to emphasize, to ‘collect,’ to point out to children?
Below are tips for getting the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ in Word Work and Word Study.