Vocabulary for 1st Grade

What is Vocabulary?

Children looking at a globe.

Vocabulary refers to knowledge of the meanings of individual words being read. Vocabulary knowledge is important to a student’s ability to read and comprehend what is read. (Definition from University of Oregon)

In 1st grade, readers strive to learn many new words and their meanings. Growing vocabularies will help them academically and socially.

What Does it Look Like?

What does it look like to talk about vocabulary?

Practice Activities

Read to Build Vocabulary: While reading with the child, talk about the text, helping the child understand important vocabulary words in the story. Watch Read to Build Vocabulary.

Conversation in the Kitchen: Through conversation, use every day activities to build the child's language and vocabulary.  Watch Conversation in the Kitchen.

Word Chain: Give the child a word and take turns brainstorming words that mean the same thing as the word that was named (e.g., big, huge, large). This game can also be played by brainstorming words that mean the opposite of the word that was named.

Add Details: Encourage the child to include details when talking and/or writing by asking for more information (e.g., I see a brown truck that delivers packages. vs. I see a truck). One way to encourage the child to include more details is by asking the child what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

Multiple Meaning Bugs: Connect multiple meanings to one word in this bug game.  Multiple Meaning Bugs

Word Connection: Identify similarities and differences between the meanings of words.  Word Connection

If the Word Fits: Use words in context with sentence cards.  If the Word Fits

Four Square Vocabulary Map: Describe a word by completing a Four Square Vocabulary Map.  Four Square Vocabulary Map

Action Word Ring Sort: Select words that describe a picture card.  Action Word Ring Sort

Online Activities

Multiple Meaning Words: This activity includes matching sentences to demonstrate an understanding of words with multiple meanings.

Shades of Meaning: This activity has children select words that are related from a given group of words.

Word Smith: This game includes matching 3 sets of pictures to words read.

What Does This Mean?: This Classroom Connect lesson focuses on determining word meanings and identifying prefixes and base words. Extension Activity (optional)