Happy Cheetah Reading

The Steps to Reading: Vocabulary (Step 5 of 5)

Children who have learned to read have the ability to translate symbols into sense.

“Reading” involves more skills than just identifying the sounds in a word. It’s a multi-layer process. Experts have identified five skills necessary for your children to read well.

So interesting to see what researchers has discovered!

First: know that words are made of distinct sounds.

Second: match the sounds to letters or groups of letters.

Third: gain the ability to read easily and accurately.

Fourth: understand the reading.

The last step in the reading process is vocabulary.

Children need to grow their vocabulary in order to understand what they’re reading.

Pride and Prejudice famously opens with the wonderful sentence, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

This means, basically, “Everyone knows that an unmarried rich man wants to marry.” But Jane Austen’s version has layers of meaning that the summary doesn’t convey. There’s dry wit in Austen’s version that’s entirely lacking in the paraphrase. (Is it universally acknowledged really, or is it actually only the women who acknowledge the need for a wife?! And why is it only the men in possession of a good fortune who must want a wife?)

To fully enjoy good literature, children need to have robust enough vocabularies to be able to understand what they read.

They also need some level of cultural literacy. Although a paragraph about the Gettysburg Address may not be difficult to read, in order to understand what they read, students need to know about the Civil War and President Lincoln, about the two sides and the reasons for the battle.

Ideally, children learn thousands of new words between first and sixth grade, so reading a lot of good books with strong and varied stories, both fiction and nonfiction, is the best way to increase vocabulary in elementary school. Enjoy read-alouds and good quality literature together!

With the Happy Cheetah Reading System, your children cover phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and the beginnings of vocabulary development, and the complete package comes with excellent, children-pleasing book recommendations to enhance your time reading aloud.

Your children’s reading journey is covered from beginning to end.

Happy reading!

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