Do you want to introduce new vocabulary words to kids — and get those words to stick? Try my favorite new vocabulary book called Absurd Words by Tara Lazar plus practical strategies for learning all the cool new vocabulary words that you’ll read in Tara’s book.
Absurd Words: Vocabulary Words for Kids
First, let’s look at Absurd Words: A Kids’ Fun and Hilarious Vocabulary Builder for Future Word Nerds by Tara Lazar.
In a recent virtual coffee, Tara told me how much fun this book was to write because she had been collecting cool, weird, and exciting words for YEARS.
I don’t know about you but I’m thrilled she finally compiled them all (750+) into a book.
She told me that first, she had to figure out a format. She ended up categorizing the words in topical groupings starting with “Itchy Feet: Words for journeys, adventures, and travel to new places” and ending with “Crashwords: The power to create your own fresh, new words“. Some of the Itchy Feet words in this category are archipelago, vagabond, and boondocks while Crashwords words include jeggings, spork, and ginormous.
Each category’s title page shows the included words. Here’s the “Style Profile” introduction page.
Then, each word listing includes its part of speech, pronunciation, definition, an example sentence, and occasionally its synonyms.
But that’s not all you’ll find…
- bright illustrations
- fun, appealing page design
- trivia (“Level Up”)
- cultural significance (“Pop Culture”)
- history of the word (“The Roots”)
What’s the big deal with vocabulary words?
- improves reading comprehension
- improves writing ability
- improves academic success in other content areas such as science and history
- improves communication
Basically, whether you’re in preschool or 8th grade, learning the meaning of new words makes a significant difference in a child’s life.
Learning Vocabulary Words
Next, let’s discuss how to LEARN all the cool new words in Tara’s book…
I’m writing this section for myself as well as for your kids.
Over the last ten years, I’ve been very sick with mold toxicity — and once we figured out what it was (years of doctors and zero answers), after even more years with answers and trying to detox, I am finally ALMOST better.
Losing my words to this illness’s indescribable and persistent brain fog was one of its many symptoms. I often feel like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon who remembers that he used to be smart but isn’t anymore.
For example, I can’t remember my neighbor and friend of 12 years’s name without going through a complex weird coping strategy of mental tricks to remind myself of her name. This takes at least 2 minutes. It’s not conducive to saying hello across the fence.
Another example is in my writing. I can’t remember so many words so I end up changing sentences and using basic words (no judgment, just explaining) to write. It is what it is and I’m coping.
However, I think that I can handle more words– if only, I could remember them. After all, in the last few months of less toxicity, I’ve been able to work out again and not crash in bed for a week afterward. Progress. Maybe my words will come back, too?
For kids and for me, how do we learn new vocabulary words and make them stick?
HERE ARE 17 AT HOME IDEAS including conversation, games, and collections.
HERE ARE 8 INSTRUCTIONAL IDEAS including a TIP chart, “Save the Last Word for Me”, and Word Talks.
All of the above ideas involve a deeper dive into the new words. In other words, these ideas encourage a closer look at each word to reinforce the meaning and the word’s use in conversation, reading, and writing.
Go to the articles and pick one new idea. Maybe you’ll start a word collection. Maybe you’ll do word talks.
Try something new.
Add in Tara’s book and watch what happens!
(I’m still deciding what I will do– any suggestions?)