Encouraging children to express their thoughts and write them down can make some children quite nervous. They need words that fit their ideas! Teaching vocabulary can help a child in so many ways, from being better readers to expressing themselves in daily life and in their school work. I was glad to receive a copy of Daily Skill Building Vocabulary I, a 36 week- vocabulary curriculum for elementary students. This is an open and go book that will help 3rd and 4th grade students enhance their vocabulary. It is a PDF file that requires no preparation other than printing. The curriculum is set up in such a way that students can easily complete the work independently if needed.
The file is 202 pages long, and just one page is a simple introduction to explain how to use it. There are thirty-six weeks of work included, and five days of work per week. The work is completed quickly, and you can do two words a day if you’d like to complete the book faster. Students can use the included glossary, which is organized by week, to copy definitions. If you prefer you can provide them with a dictionary, and not print the glossary pages. A thesaurus is helpful as well.
The first four days of the week require a student to define a new word, use it in a sentence, and find three synonyms and three antonyms. There is a final question that asks if the child knew the meaning of the word before today. The fifth day of the week is a review sheet. The student is asked to match the four new words they’ve learned with their definitions, and to write a sentence using at least two of the vocabulary words. Every fourth week includes an additional review containing the previous 16 new words. This page instructs the child to write two paragraphs or more using at least 8 of the words.
The lines for the student to write the daily definition and sentence on measure 5/8”, with the traditional dotted line between. All other writing lines are a single bottom line.
When I received the PDF file I printed the full book and spiral bound it. You could print the pages day by day or week by week if you choose. The front cover is full color, but don’t let the ink costs frighten you! The pages have very little color, just a bar at the top and bullet points for the synonyms and antonyms. I printed the pages on my laser printer to save on printing costs, and they look great in grayscale. Be sure to check out the sample download available on the website.
My daughter has been using this over the end of the summer and the beginning of her 4th grade year. I have been impressed with how simple the work is for her to complete, and how quickly she can get it done. Even though it is easy, it has provided her with new words to use in her writing and speech! She can complete one day of work in around five minutes, and only the reviews that come every four weeks take longer. I asked her what she thought of this curriculum. She replied, “It’s really fun and it’s pretty easy. I already knew some of the words, but I learned a lot of new ones. When I find a word I already knew, sometimes I learn a new definition for that word.” I’d say that we’ve found a winning vocabulary curriculum!
Be sure to check out the free vocabulary resource pack available to enhance Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary on the author’s website.
-Product review by Deann H., The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®, LLC, October, 2017