Building Vocabulary – Synonyms & Shades of Words

vocabulary gamesAn important area of knowledge for your child to expand over the summer is their vocabulary. This helps to make their writing more in depth and meaningful as well as increasing the ability for them to comprehend more complex words when reading.

There are fun activities that you can do at home to help them develop their vocabulary skills, especially by increasing the variety of words that have shades of meaning or are more specific synonyms of typical words we use in our everyday vocabulary.  For example, instead of using the word “good”, they could use more descriptive words like nice, kind, superb or fabulous.

One on-the-go activity you could use to practice vocabulary development of this style with your child is to use the free paint chips from your local hardware or paint store.  Put the common word on top and then add the “shades” or synonyms beneath it as the colors change.  You can then add these like flash cards by hole punching them in the top corner, adding a ring, and then you have a great travel-ready vocabulary activity.  Here is an example.

A similar activity could be to have your child write down a list of words with synonyms that they can either think of or look up in a thesaurus or online.  Start off coloring the familiar word in the brightest color and then they can add the new words below that word coloring over the word in increasingly lighter colors.  This shows that they have a commonality, but that they are more meaningful terms that they could use to express themselves when speaking or writing.

Here is a list of words to help you get started on assisting your child in expanding their vocabulary with synonyms and shades of meaning.

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