Building Vocabulary with books: Pout Pout Fish & First Day Jitters

Strategies for using picture books to build vocabulary
I’m obsessed with picture books. Seriously can’t. get. enough. of. them. They provide an effortless way of building vocabulary. You can find some amazing words in some of the simplest of books. Words seen on standardized tests, even the SATs, are in picture books-no joke. Do not let these little gems collect dust on bookshelves. Even after the littles have moved on to those great chapter books-KEEP READING THE PICTURE BOOKS!
How do I actually do this important vocabulary building with a picture book you ask?  You may be already doing some (pat yourself on the back) but knowing some specific strategies will help you be more confident and intentional with your read-alouds.
Over the next few weeks leading up to this school year, I will feature a “back-to-school” theme book with key vocabulary words and a strategy for you to try as you read to your blessings.
First strategy: Imagery
The person reading aloud creates visual interest (symbolism or representation) for those they are reading to.  Do this through facial expressions and gestures. Channeling your inner Shakespeare is not required, I promise. 
Book 1: The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School. The Pout-Pout Fish series of books all offer an excellent opportunity to use imagery for vocabulary building.  Just look at his face on the cover! Isn’t he pitiful? This book also is great to read to kids who struggle academically, or who sometimes feel inferior in their learning abilities. It is the sweetest book. I give you permission to click over to Amazon and purchase it right now if you promise to come back…it is that good.
Vocabulary words: flow, plopped, corridor, rhombus, drifted, belong, confidence, pride.
An example from the text, “As the students and their teacher Said with confidence and pride:…” You can give them an image of this by siting up tall, puffing out your chest, and holding up your head high. Mimic the expressions of the fish as you are reading. 
Book 2: First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a great book for anyone nervous about the first day of school...which is everyone, right?
Vocabulary words in this book: snapped, tunneled, stumbled, fumbled, moaned, trudged, clammy, slumped, weakly.
An example from the text; “…said Mr. Hartwell as he walked over and snapped up the shade.” Now, most kids hear the word “snapped” and think of snapping your fingers. They may not consider a roller shade- so demonstrate this action AS YOU READ it!  See- you just gave them an image!

You can do imagery now, right?! 
Click HERE to get your vocabulary freebies for these books! 
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Get a free download to work on vocabulary with the book The Pout Pout Fish Goes to School

Have your child or student trace the words as they read the sentences. See if they can to “act out” the sentences after reading. This now gives 3 experiences to the vocabulary words (reading, writing, acting it out).

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