1st Grade Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

The more you read, the more you will find new words you need to know. Sometimes, it can be difficult to remember these meanings. In this lesson, you will learn about different strategies to help you remember vocabulary words.

What Does That Mean?

Have you ever been to the zoo? If you have, you may have seen a sign by each animal's area that tells you more about it. Let's pretend that you see the following sign while looking at the elephants:

Elephants have two enormous ears, which help them cool off when it is hot.

Although you may know what an elephant looks like, the word 'enormous' may not be as well-known to you. Looking at the elephant could help you understand that 'enormous' means 'big or large' because their ears are huge.

Every day, you can read or hear words you don't know. This is part of building your vocabulary, or the words you use when you speak or write. We can use different ways, or strategies, to help us remember the meaning of a certain word.

Just like elephants are said to never forget something, let's explore some different vocabulary strategies so you can remember the meanings of new words that you find.

Think About Similarities

The meaning of the word 'enormous' can be easy to remember when you think about an elephant. Likewise, one way to help you remember vocabulary words is to think about other words that make you think of your vocabulary word.

For example, the word 'habitat' is another word for an animal's home. See anything similar between the word habitat and the word home? This is called using alliteration, or using words that start with the same letter, and is a strategy for remembering vocabulary.

You can also make a word web, like this one, to show words that are similar to or make you think of the vocabulary word.

A web showing the meaning of habitat

If you come across the word 'habitat' when you are reading, you might remember the picture of the web you made and then remember that a habitat is an animal's home.

Draw a Picture

When someone sees a picture of a banana at the zoo, they might think the sign is directing them to the monkeys. Why? Because monkeys are known for eating bananas. If you have a vocabulary word that's hard to remember, you can draw a picture of the word's meaning.

For example, if you wanted to remember that the word 'enclosure' means an area that is blocked off by a wall like a open cage, you might draw a picture like this:

Example of a picture for enclosure

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