Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

An incredibly interesting and engaging book… Title: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras Written and illustrated by: Duncan Tonatiuh Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015, biography, 40 pages Suitable for ages: 6-10 (and older) Themes/topics: art, Mexico, Day of the Dead Opening: Skeletons riding bicycles…skeletons wearing fancy hats…skeletons dancing and strumming … More Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

A Splash of Red

PPBF Special: For all the teachers who are in the midst of testing season, I’ve included a literature unit for this amazing book. Title: A Splash of Red, the Life and Art of Horace Pippin Written by: Jen Bryant Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet Random House/Knopf, 2015, biography Suitable for ages: 5-8 (easily Gr 1-5) Lexile: 610 … More A Splash of Red

Fancy Words – Building Children’s Vocabularies

One of the questions that often comes up among writers of children’s books concerns the use of higher level vocabulary.

Whether a child is a native English speaker or is learning English as a second language, he/she needs exposure to rich, varied and challenging language. Children acquire most words through their daily encounters, using context to understand meaning. But acquiring a new word is not automatic. They must be engaged and interested.

So for all the writers – YES! Use some fancy words. They’re fun!

Vocabulary learning is crucial to reading comprehension and success in school. The keys to expanding a child’s vocabulary are

multiple purposeful exposures,
explicit instruction,
interactive activities,
acquiring strategies and
opportunities to use new words.
I’ll leave you with some great VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES for the CLASSROOM on my Parent/Teacher Resource page, and two sources on vocabulary instruction – one focused on the research and the other modeling instruction during a read-aloud.

A Review of the Current Research on Vocabulary Instruction from the National Reading Technical Assistance Center, RMC Research Corporation, 2010

“Bridging the Vocabulary Gap: What the Research Tells Us about Vocabulary Instruction in Early Childhood” from Young Children, July (2010): 84-91. National Association for the Education of Young Children. … More Fancy Words – Building Children’s Vocabularies