Vocabulary for Pre and Beginning Readers

Reading involves understanding printed words, and having a large vocabulary makes it easier to gain meaning from what is being read.

When learning to read, children with rich vocabularies have an enormous educational advantage. The more words a child knows, the more information he/she has.

Building up a child’s vocabulary involves both direct vocabulary learning and indirect vocabulary learning.




Pronouns: Basic Vocabulary

Here is a simple activity for assessing and teaching pronouns.



Collect several toys of different genders. (We have bucket loads of comic character toys, so they were our natural choice). Using these toys, ask questions involving various pronouns such as:

  • Touch his shoes.
  • Touch her hand.
  • Can you make her fly?
  • Make them jump.

Alternatively, you perform an action using the toy and ask the child to describe the action. Eg. You make Hulk run along a table and the child says, “He is running”.

If incorrect pronouns are used or pronouns are misunderstood, build up the child’s vocabulary by teaching through modelling.


N&M: 4 years, 5 months
November 2012

Lessons Learnt Journal
Some more important points to consider when building up a child’s vocabulary.

About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.

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