Expanding Children’s Vocabulary
during Block/Construction Play:
State standards require children to explain, describe, define, ask, compare and contrast, respond, and so on.
To accomplish these skills, children need an expanded expressive vocabulary to both describe and tell the use of many familiar objects and to incorporate new, less familiar or technical words in everyday conversations.
Block/Construction Building, Designing and Play offers excellent opportunities for introducing, reinforcing and expanding upon vocabulary while children are engaged in fun, hands-on experiences. While the teacher is interacting with the students during block play expanded vocabulary can be introduced and reinforced through questioning, scaffolding, and “I wonder” or “I notice” statements.
Examples of Vocabulary to Introduce/Reinforce during Block Play:
Tension Stable Wobble Solid Stability
Hard Smooth Heavy Firm Incremental
Massive Equal Steady Fasten Negotiate
Measure Several Less Level Cooperate
More Area Length Numerous
Taller Wider Three-dimensional
Horizontal Diagonal Symmetry
Edge Connect Balance
Structure Disassemble Gravity
Vertical Architecture Surface
Tremble Asymmetrical Perpendicular
Parallel Attributes Construction