I got a balloon.
I said, "My baby girl is almost one year old. She can say three words: Mama, hi and her name. She doesn't have a big vocabulary because she's just learning how to talk. Her vocabulary is like this balloon. Empty."
Then I blew one breath of air into the balloon.
I said, "My son is three years old. He has a bigger vocabulary than the baby. His vocabulary has expanded as he's gotten older."
Then I blew another breath into the balloon.
"This balloon is like you. You have an even larger vocabulary than a three year old. Do you think you can expand it even more?"
I blew another breath into the balloon.
"Raise your hand if you have an older brother or sister. I bet they have an even larger vocabulary than you do. As you get older, your vocabulary grows and grows."
I blew a few more breaths into the balloon so it was all blown up.
"This balloon is like a grown up's vocabulary. Your goal is to expand your vocabulary so that your balloon is blown all the way up like this one, or even bigger, like a hot air balloon! How do you think you can expand your vocabulary?"
homebody and serene. Awesome words, right?
OK, so now it was the kids' turns. During Read to Self, their job was to tune into new and interesting words. I gave each of them 3-4 sticky notes, and they wrote down words that they found. When Read to Self was over, I collected everyone's sticky notes and picked out a few words that I thought the kids would enjoy: levees, siesta, loon, and panoramic. Of course, some of the words I got weren't new or interesting, so I was able to sift those out. In keeping with the balloon theme, I made paper hot air balloons to write the new words we find in our reading. We will add more balloons as the year goes on.