Back to School Picture Books to Build Vocabulary: 2nd edition

I'm back with the second round of back-to-school picture books as a powerful strategy for increasing vocabulary. I hope you enjoyed the first of the series here and downloaded the freebie here. This week we will look at another reading strategy and more great words.

Strategy this week: Providing a Synonym
As you are reading a book and come across a new word, a word your students may not know, or word you want to develop deeper meaning, give a synonym. You don't need to skip a beat, just look at them and insert a synonym and keep on reading.

Book 1: The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray. So, everyone knows and loves the classic Gingerbread Man...did you know this little edible man also makes an appearance for the start of school. Many PreK and Kindergarten teachers use this the first week to introduce the kids to all the parts of the school. Well this cute little book is set up comic book style and offers some fantastic opportunities to build vocabulary.

How to use back to school books for speech therapy. Great vocabulary list in this blog post!
Vocabulary words: mold, tidy, squatted, spied, explore, peered, complete, ingredients, mentioned 

*I'm giddy just writing these thinking of their little brains filling up with these words!

Here is an example from text, "The children began to roll me and mold (shape or form) me to look like a man." or "The children you mentioned (named or said) just left you to cool." I put the synonyms in parenthesis.  Easy peasy. Just give the synonym right as you read.


Book 2: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Such a sweet, beloved classic. I love this book for many reasons. It's great for building self-worth and confidence. More SAT-found words in this gem to not let slide by as you read.

Vocabulary words: appreciate, wilted, dreadful, scarcely, fascinating, priceless, scrawny, jealous, plucked

Examples from text, "And when she was old enough to appreciate (enjoy) it." and "She thought it was absolutely dreadful (terrible, awful)." Synonyms in parenthesis.

Making synonyms with words is one of the most researched methods to strengthen vocabulary. You can use semantic mapping to give visual images with older students as another tool in your toolbox.

I hope you are inspired to start hunting for opportunities to spotlight words during your read alouds.
Please click here to download a freebie to complement the words highlighted above.

What back-to-school books do you love to read?
Check back next week for more picture books to build vocabulary!

1 comment

  1. One of my favorite back-to-school books to read is "We Share Everything" by R. Munsch. I love all of his books, but this one is perfect for back-to-school time. Especially for incoming kindergarteners.

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