Word Aware



At Ladywood we are becoming Word Aware!

This means we are placing even more importance on learning and understanding new words in all our lessons.

Did you know children need twelve meaningful encounters of a word before they really know it? Word Aware promotes a method called STAR, which stands for: 





This process ensures the children encounter the new words many times and in many different ways.


How you can help your child become excited about words:

¨ Talk to them about words - ask them what their favourite word is and why?

¨ If you come across a new word in a story become word detectives and find out what it means, try to use it yourself in a sentence or draw a picture of the meaning of the word.

¨ Discuss your child’s topic words with them – each class will share their topic words on their newsletter or Class Dojo.

¨ Play word games at home, such as crosswords, board games or apps.

¨ Celebrate finding and using new words.


There are lots of games you can play to help Select, Teach, be Active and Review words with your child. Some of which were enjoyed by KS1 families during a recent vocabulary parents morning.

Find it - before or even after reading a book with your child identify words they might not understand, write them down and ask them to find it in the story, can they then use the clues and their reading skills to work out what it means. They could use a dictionary to find the meaning or look in a thesaurus to find words with similar meanings.

Dictionary Definition – ask your child to choose a number based on how many pages you have in your dictionary. Then choose a number between 1-20, again depending on the average number of words on the page. Then when you have told them the initial letter read them the definition, can they guess the word you are describing?

Articulate – describe a word without using key words, you can buy this or make your own version with your child’s topic words.

Splat it – give a definition from a selection of target words and your child can say which one you are describing by either hitting it with a fly swat or by throwing beanbags or a pair of bunched up socks.

Word group spinner – as demonstrated when the computer failed you don’t really need anything fancy, just something to point with or a pot to hold the cards. On one side have 4 letters and on the other 4 categories such as noun, verb, adjective, living thing, food etc. then choose one from both sides and see if you can find 5 words to fit the sound and category. Either do it together or turn it into fastest wins!

Treasure Hunt – on the way to and from school, look for things you could describe by a particular word like shrivelled or spiky. Categories such as living things, things with circles, things with engines.

Touch, taste and smell – take every opportunity to describe sensory experiences. Ask them to describe it to you, try to encourage them to use more detailed words than nice or bad, such as rough or sweet.

Word of the day or week – as a family see how many times you can use your target word in a meaningful way during the week. The only rules are the sentence must make sense and fit into your conversation.

Remember to try and use these new words in your conversations to embed them into your child’s vocabulary

Try some of these ideas and become splendiferous word detectives together!


To try a fun Word Aware Challenge, please click here