Practice Concept Words At Home

  • Use the Documents and Ideas Below to Practice Using Concept Words With Your Child

    Concepts are words we use to describe position/location, quantities, qualities and/or texture/material.

    These words are an important part of understanding and using language within the educational setting.

    Think of a first grade classroom and a typical daily morning routine a child follows...

    The bell rings and the children file into the classroom as the teacher announces,

    First, put your lunch money in the red bowl on the small table next to my desk.

    If you brought your lunch, put it into the bin by the door. Next, hang your coat

    on the lower hook and your backpack on the top hook. Then, have a seat at

    your desk, get out your writing folder, and wait quietly for me to come around

    and check it.”


    A child in this classroom needs to understand at least 17 early basic concepts to successfully participate in the first 5 minutes of this day. Even in a preschool or kindergarten classroom, teachers expect a child to be able to...


     “sit in a circleor “pick one crayon” or “wash [his/her] hands before [he/she] sits at the big table in the front of the room for a snack.”


    Remember to bring attention to these words, and practice using them throughout your entire day or while you are reading together! Here is a checklist of things you can do at home throughout your daily routine:

     - Talk to your child about everything you see and hear in your environment. Bring your child’s attention to textures (e.g., the way things feel—smooth, bumpy, soft).


    - Expand the words you use when you describe things. For example, instead of using the word

    “big” just because you know your child understands it, use the word “huge” to expose your child to new words.


    - When talking about spatial relationships and positions (where things are), try not to show your child by pointing or gesturing. Use more descriptive words such as “below,” “behind,” “on top of,” “in front of,” and “above.”


    - Use and encourage “Wh” questions and answers. “Wh” questions often encourage the use of

    basic concepts in response. For example, “where” encourages a response that uses spatial

    relationships and positions (behind, under) and directions (across, through). “When” encourages a response that uses time concepts (before, later).



    Here are some specific games/activities you can do with your child to increase understanding and use of concept words:


    - Play "I Spy"! For example, "I see a book. Where is it?" When the child finds or points to it, you can respond with, "The book is on the the book bag...under the the bed...above the table...beside the chair." Have your child practice saying these words as well!


    - Act out words! Ask your child to "act out" different comparative words such as happy, happier and happiest or slow, fast, faster.


    - Draw Pictures! Have your student draw pictures of an object that is big, bigger then the biggest. Draw pictures of things that are cold, long, deep, etc.


    - Collect objects from your home and compare them! Talk about which are soft, hard, large, little, colorful, thick, thin, etc.


    - Give your child a concept word and have them go around the room and identify something that fits the description. To make it more difficult, have them try to find an object that is the opposite of the given concept word. Use words like; heavy/light, soft/hard, big/small, long/short, narrow/wide, on/off, new/old etc.


    - Let your child help putting the dishes away by telling them where to put each item. Use words like; under, next to, beside, in front, first, last, above, under, etc.


    - Read a book together and ask as many "where" questions as you can. Have your child describe locations of various objects pictured in the book.


    - Go outside and talk about where plants/flowers/trees are in your yard. Use as many descriptive location words as you can.



     Practice the worksheets below to improve your student's understanding and use of specific concept words they may be struggling to understand and use.


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