1 Shows an understanding of words and their meanings
a Child has age-appropriate vocabulary across many topic areas and demonstrates a wide variety of words and their meanings within each area (e.g., world knowledge: names of body parts, feelings, colors, shapes, jobs, tools, plants, animals and their habitats, and foods; words that describe: adjectives, verbs, and adverbs).
following directions that use descriptive words (e.g., run fast, draw a big circle, eat slowly)
Play Simon Says and scavenger hunt games using specific location, action, and descriptor words (e.g., "Find two blocks that are the same and one that is different.").
Include language about position and descriptive characteristics of things and actions when interacting with children or commenting on their play (e.g., "Look at the ladybug on top of the leaf.").
Read both fiction and non-fiction books that contain functional and organizational language.
Play games indoors and outdoors using positional words. (e.g., "Hold the parachute over your head." "Stand on top of the scarf.").
c Child understands or knows the meaning of many thousands of words, including disciplinary words (e.g., science, social studies, math, and literacy), many more than he or she routinely uses (receptive language).
using a new word when describing a trip to the museum or from another experience
demonstrating understanding of new words and information by restating words in context or reproducing the appropriate actions
responding to a teacher's request to "return to the table," when "return" may not be a word the child has used before
responding correctly to a teacher's directive.
Use and discuss new words daily when speaking with children.
Teach and discuss new word meanings before, during, and after book reading.
When creating a bulletin board or mural for a new theme, identify, label, and discuss the meaning and function of the pictures and objects.
During an interactive science activity model the use of relevant specific science terms (e.g., experiment rather than project, beaker rather than cup, hypothesis rather than guess).
Use words like, architect, engineer, columns and skyscraper to describe their roles, actions, and products while children are creating a structure in the block center.
2 Shows increased vocabulary to describe many objects, actions, and events
a Child uses a large speaking vocabulary, adding new words weekly.
using descriptive words (e.g., "My turtle crawls slowly." "That's a silly picture.")
trying out new words when talking to their friends
during story time, asking questions to clarify concepts and build word knowledge
describing the process of how eggs and an incubator were used together to hatch baby chicks.
Provide numerous daily opportunities for children to talk with peers and adults in the classroom.
Encourage children's verbal input during shared book reading (e.g., in response to questions or to relate the book to their own experiences)
Teach children to play Go Fish and other card games that require verbal labeling and request of picture card.
Develop child-friendly definitions of important words related to an upcoming lesson.
Build your own background knowledge and expanded vocabulary related to an upcoming thematic unit to share with the children.
Create a bulletin board or other spotlight area to highlight new words children discover during on-going classroom experiences.
Create and regularly add to a classroom dictionary that includes new words, child-friendly definitions, and illustrations or photographs.