Vocabulary building is very important because people tend to judge others not only by the way they carry themselves, but by their vocabulary and speech patterns.
In our opinion, there is very little need for formal vocabulary study in the early grades. If you read lots of good books to your children and then encourage them to read a wide range of literature and non-fiction, once they are reading, then they will naturally build a broad vocabulary. In fact, before middle school, the only vocabulary study we recommend is through playing games such as Rummy Roots or using fun programs like English from the Roots Up. Then in middle school you can begin to actually study vocabulary words, starting with a program like English from the Roots Up.
High school vocabulary study should be targeted towards words used in the SAT or ACT tests and vocabulary that is most suitable for college English.
Vocabulary building resources
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”083882823X” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518oBxx3lTL._SL110_.jpg” width=”83″]Wordly Wise. This is a vocabulary building program for grades 2 through 12 that provides a core vocabulary of over 4,000 words taken from literature, textbooks, and SAT-prep books.
Books for grades 2 – 4 and each of the 10 – 12 lessons introduces a word list of up to 12 words, followed by brief definitions and sentences that illustrate the meaning of the word. Then there are exercises that reinforce learning the vocabulary words such as matching and choosing the correct word.
Books for grades 4 and up introduce up to 15 new words in each lesson, give practice using the words in sentences, and have exercises such as riddles, crossword puzzles, analogies, and hidden messages. There are additional exercises dealing with prefixes, suffixes, root words, and dictionary usage. Books also include exercises using analogies, connotations, and literal and metaphorical usage.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B000GTBCBQ” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VAb1v7%2BEL._SL110_.jpg” width=”58″]Rummy Roots We can’t say enough good things about this amazing card game. It is made up of a deck of cards, half of which have 42 common Latin and Greek roots and half of which have the English equivalents. The game is played at four levels. The first and simplest level is a matching game similar to “Go Fish” where root words and English equivalents are paired. Once all players learn all 42 roots and their meanings they can progress to 3 harder games: one game combines roots to form English words (example: “tele” and “scope”), the other two involve dictionary skills, organizing words by themes (science, etc.), and deciphering word combinations. Lots of twists and turns make the games entertaining. Ages 8 and up.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0964321033″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WZT69R7AL._SL110_.jpg” width=”85″]English from the Roots Up. It is ‘finds” like this book that make home schooling so unique and fun! Increase English vocabulary by studying 100 common Latin and Greek root words. Each lesson introduces a root (examples: logos, photos, luna, terra, bios), defines the root, gives the most common English derivatives, and suggests learning activities. The root words are studied using color coded flash cards, and the suggested learning activities are also multi-sensory. For 3rd through 7th grade or higher. Requires no previous knowledge of Latin or Greek.
[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”188594229X” locale=”us” height=”84″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RCzK6pyHL._SL110_.jpg” width=”110″]English from the Roots Up Flashcards, Vol. 1 and English from the Roots Up Flashcards, Vol. 2 for those who don’t want to take the time to make their own. Cards are exactly like the ones shown in the book.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0307945022″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515DYbKHj2L._SL110_.jpg” width=”73″]Word Smartselects 823 difficult words that appear most frequently in the vocabulary sections of the PSAT, SAT, and GRE and gives definitions, sample sentences, quizzes, and learning tips.
[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”0838822568″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/411ZJQ5PPBL._SL110_.jpg” width=”85″]Vocabulary from Classical Roots is a workbook format for Jr/Sr high. Lessons are arranged around categories of words derived from Latin or Greek roots, and each lesson introduces more than 15 words derived from two or more roots. For example, a series of lessons is about numbers and covers monos (“one” in Greek, from which we get monologue, monotone, monolith, and more), unus (“one” in Latin, from which we get unanimous, unilateral, universe, and more), duo, tri, tres, quartus, decem, and centum. Book A, Book B, and Book C do not have to be done in sequence and are for grades 7 up. Book D and Book E are for 10th grade and up. Each book has 16 lessons.
Vocabulary from Classical Roots – A, Vocabulary from Classical Roots B, Vocabulary from Classical Roots – C, Vocabulary from Classical Roots – D and Vocabulary from Classical Roots: Book E
Tests are available for Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Vocabulary From Classical Roots A: Teacher’s Guide and Answer Key, Vocabulary from Classical Roots Book B – Teacher’s Guide/Answer Key, Vocabulary From Classical Roots C – Teacher’s Guide & Answer Key, Vocabulary From Classical Roots D – Teacher’s Guide & Answer Key and Vocabulary From Classical Roots E – Teacher’s Guide & Answer Key.