Language Activites for K - Grades 2
Language development proceeds rapidly during the early elementary years. Children refine and expand on basic vocabulary, begin to develop abstract conceptual language, and acquire more sophisticated grammatical structures. At school, children are introduced to the use of language for academic learning.
Activities To Do at Home
- Use literature to enhance language skills. Choose books of interest to read to your child. As you read, occasionally ask questions aloud to develop attention, memory and language skills. Answer those questions yourself or ask your child to answer them. Teach children by modeling what a "who" or a “where” answer, for example, sounds like. Add information to your child’s statements to further their thinking skills.
- Retell stories or books "in your own words,” one-to-one or as a family. Model retelling, and then ask your child to do the same in a comfortable setting. If this is too much for your child, "chunk" the story or text and every so often have them tell a part or the story, or "what's happened so far."
- Read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to your child. This will help in them in later grades when they read textbooks in science and social studies, when they read for factual information, and when they learn research methods.
- When reading together discuss new or complex word forms as you run across them. Children may benefit from highlighting or paraphrasing the following: words that are opposites (hot - cold), words that mean the same thing (big - large), and words that have more than one meaning (feet as a body part - feet as in measurement).
- Play categorization games with your child. For example, name as many animals, sports, colors, etc., as you can. Teach your child what to do and say if they don’t know an answer. Start by asking them what they do know if they answer, “I don’t know.”
- Play same/different games with your child. State two items, for example. popsicle and ice cream cone; ask how the two items are the same and different.
- If your child uses incorrect grammar structures, “I gotted a A on my project,” model the correct grammar by saying, “Oh, you got an A on your project.”
- If your child is difficult to understand because she or he uses non-specific words during stories or explanations, (for example, "We went there and got the stuff for the thing,”) you can label the non-specific words as “words that don’t tell us much," or as "confusing words." Model for them how to be more specific. Example: “Your class went to the library to get books for the read-a-thon,” now you tell me again.
- You can practice sequencing with your child by cutting out newspaper funnies, or cartoons. After you read them have your child put them in the correct order and tell the story. Encourage them to use terms such as, first, second, third, and then, next, last.
- Practice sequencing with your child by using a real life situation such as, “tell me how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”