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Building vocabulary lesson for KS1?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tinateaspoon, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Hoping that someone can help me with a very silly question...
    I've got an interview for an NQT post after the holidays and I need to teach a 30-minute lesson that "focuses on building children's vocabulary". Can someone tell me what immediately comes to mind when you think of a vocabulary-building lesson please? I have loads of ideas along the lines of using the senses to describe things, or brainstorming synonyms, etc, but does this count as building vocabulary or is that technically just using words that the children already know (as I'd be asking them to come up with ideas)?! If I get them to work with a talk partner to think of synonyms, then we collate all our ideas, does it count as vocab building because in theory all the children should learn some new words from some of the other pairs' suggestions? The more I think about this, the more I seem to tie myself in knots!
    I have a lovely onomatopeia lesson I could use but does that count as vocabulary building? Or should I be looking more at definitions and dictionary work?
    The post is for KS1/ lower KS2 by the way, if that helps at all - don't know yet which age group I'd be teaching at interview as I'm still waiting to hear back about this.
    Thanks in advance for any help, I feel that simply by needing to ask the question, I'm not good enough for this job...
     
  2. Hoping that someone can help me with a very silly question...
    I've got an interview for an NQT post after the holidays and I need to teach a 30-minute lesson that "focuses on building children's vocabulary". Can someone tell me what immediately comes to mind when you think of a vocabulary-building lesson please? I have loads of ideas along the lines of using the senses to describe things, or brainstorming synonyms, etc, but does this count as building vocabulary or is that technically just using words that the children already know (as I'd be asking them to come up with ideas)?! If I get them to work with a talk partner to think of synonyms, then we collate all our ideas, does it count as vocab building because in theory all the children should learn some new words from some of the other pairs' suggestions? The more I think about this, the more I seem to tie myself in knots!
    I have a lovely onomatopeia lesson I could use but does that count as vocabulary building? Or should I be looking more at definitions and dictionary work?
    The post is for KS1/ lower KS2 by the way, if that helps at all - don't know yet which age group I'd be teaching at interview as I'm still waiting to hear back about this.
    Thanks in advance for any help, I feel that simply by needing to ask the question, I'm not good enough for this job...
     
  3. I would be inclined to look at using and applying this to either a piece of text that needs improving with vocabulary or actually creating a piece of shared writing together.
    Have a good look at Pie Corbett's Jumpstart books and Improving Writing Across the Curriculum - very much well worth it.
    I would prefer to observe a lesson where building vocabulary was used and applied within a task rather than simply a stand alone grammar/vocab lesson.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You can use your lesson to describe things children are familiar with if you lead them to using vocabulary they wouldn't necessarily have thought of using or provide new vocabulary for them to use.

    So if they say 'a yellow flower', you could lead them through questioning to actually say/write 'a delicate golden daffodil, fluttering in the breeze'.

    If they say 'a flower' and you ask them to describe the flower and they say 'a yellow flower' then you haven't really added anything.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  5. Develop this further with Pie Corbett's technique of 'name it' - therefore the yellow flower becomes a daffodil or a sunflower etc...
     
  6. This one is difficult, just for the reasons you point out. Children can only give you words they already know.One way might be with a topic based lesson introducing topic-specific vocab through using a non- fiction big book perhaps, exploring the unfamiliar words and maybe doing some follow up with children labelling. Perhaps bits of the human body labelled on a model skeleton. Children love skeletons. It would depend on the year group how technical the vocab would need to be.Alternatively it could be about refining knowledge of vocabulary and sharing known vocabulary. Perhaps you could use the Grammar for Writing idea, where you put up a washing line, brainstorm some vocabulary for a specific continuum eg hot to cold and decide what order to put the words in according to their meaning and pegging them up accordingly. As teacher you could sow in some more obscure words which the children are less likely to know and discuss them. Both activities could include some partner talk and follow up writing.
     
  7. Thanks for all your replies - sorry, I posted this and then couldn't get back online for a few days! Yes I definitely plan to make sure that the vocab building is in the context of a specific task rather than just being about learning new words, etc. I like the idea of improving writing and making sentences more descriptive.
    I tend to use lots of props and random objects in my lessons anyway so I am thinking along the lines of describing unusual objects using the 5 senses, and developing these descriptions to include more ambitious vocabulary - working in groups to explore 1 object, and creating and performing a group poem where each child is responsible for 1 or 2 lines in the poem (as it's only 30 minutes - if it were longer I would follow it up with children then individually taking their group poems and editing and extending ideas further). Does this sound like I'm doing what they are asking for?
    My onomatopoeia (really must learn to spell that) idea has a similar format but group poems would be describing the sounds each object makes (using things like a jack-in-the-box, pouring water from a jug, etc.) - but I'm guessing from your responses that that probably isn't vocab-focused enough?
    I don't know why I'm having such a block about this!
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Have you tried the Pie Corbett Magpie book ideas?
    We have a 5 a day story policy because our children have poor vocabulary and when we share stories children jot down words they either don't know or interesting words (you can use whiteboards or if you have a TA they could record the words) Later we spend time discussing the meaning of the words (children might make notes of these in their Magpie book too).
    I also have a word of the week for homework and the child who can use the word in the most interesting spoken sentence on Monday morning gets a small reward.
     
  9. I love the word of the week idea, I am squirrelling these things away to use with my own class when I eventually (hopefully) get one.
    Argh I hate going in and teaching a class just for half an hour without knowing anything about the kids and knowing I can't follow up anything I learn about them in that time, it drives me crazy!
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    What year group?
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I've used "How to cook a rainbow" as a short whole class lesson generating lists of word for the colours and descriptive words for objects that colour to create poems.
     
  12. I'm not sure which year group yet, the post is KS1/ lower KS2 teacher so at the moment it could be anywhere between yr1 and yr4! I have an "informal chat" on Monday and will find out then which year group, size of class, etc. So for now I'm trying to get generic ideas together that I can then make appropriate for the year group - as I'm also on final placement right now so won't have time to plan it completely from scratch between Monday and Wednesday.
     

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