If you had to devise a list of 100 vocabulary words that every fourth grader should know, what words would you include? (You can assume fourth graders already know basic words like “no” and “went,” and words learned in previous grades, words like “multiplication,” “noun,” “habitat” and “community.”)
Would you include “jar” on your list? How about “malicious”?
Both words made the list compiled by the editors of the American Heritage Dictionary. See if you know them all:
If you are working with your child on expanding her vocabulary, and you are not using a vocabulary book, this list might be a good place to begin. (It comes in book form at the American Heritage Dictionary website, https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/hundredfourth.html.)
- Start with one or two words a day. It’s better to learn the words slowly and remember them than to cram and later forget most of them.
- Ask your child to pronounce the new word first, and make sure she can read and pronounce it correctly.
- Explain the meaning or meanings. Some of these words, like “frank” and “vain,” have multiple meanings. Make sure your child learns all the commonly used ones.
- Ask her to write each word in a sentence which demonstrates the meaning. “I see a nape” does not show that the child understands the word “nape,” but “The barber buzzed the hair on the nape of Dad’s neck” shows the child does understand.
- Review, review, review. The more times the child encounters the words, the more likely she is to remember and use them herself.