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Writing: Family Writing Fun

Summer Word Jar


Today's Snack: What's good to eat, that comes out of a jar? What else? Peanut butter! Try it on something else good that comes out of a jar - pickles! Ewww, you say? Awwww! Try it! You'll like it! :>) Even if you don't, a peanut butter sandwich with a pickle on the side makes a nice snack with a glass of milk.




Empty wide-mouth glass or plastic jar

Scraps of paper | pencil or pen | dictionary



Vocabulary is destiny, or so they say. The English language has more than 750,000 words, and counting. The more of them that your child is familiar with, the more precise and accurate his or her thinking will be, and the better student he or she will be. So use your summertime experiences as an opportunity to build your child's vocabulary.


You can do it with a simple Summer Word Jar. Lay out an empty jar with scraps of paper and a pen or pencil on your kitchen table or family room coffee table. Then, encourage your child and everyone in the family to use the scraps of paper to write down new, unfamiliar vocabulary words that they didn't know before, that they encounter during their summer activities.


They can be words they learn just from living life: words from baseball, words from swim team, words from nature walks, words from books, words from watching TV . . . anything that's new and different!


They can look up the word in the dictionary to make sure they are spelling it right, and to get a quick definition, which they should also add to the scrap of paper.


Then place the scrap with the new word in the jar, and that's it! That is, you wait until the jar is absolutely full of new vocabulary words - and you, as the parent, decides when that is.


When the Summer Word Jar is full, schedule something special to celebrate, like a trip to the pizza parlor, a family evening at the swimming pool, or a round of mini-golf. Be sure to take all the words out of the jar and re-read them and talk about them before you go, or maybe while you're there.


Then set out the empty jar and some more paper scraps, and start over! Fill the jar as many times as you'd like - maybe even once a week.


They say it takes 25 exposures to a new word before it becomes your own. That means you have to hear it or read it 25 times. So keep those new words in your daily conversations, and keep your child filling and re-filling that Summer Word Jar.


By summer's end, you will have expanded your child's vocabulary by a lot . . . and filled up your child's head with many new, useful words and ideas.


By Susan Darst Williams Writing 2012





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