How do you like to compile your vocabulary lists for students? There are many ways to approach this all-important topic. If you want to take a very literal approach and go letter by letter, we've prepared an extensive list of words, grade by grade.
Let the learning begin as you not only introduce new words to your students, but also allow them to find new ways to implement them into their everyday lives. Here are over 50 words that start with D for kids, as well as several interactive letter D activities.
Do you remember the sense of accomplishment you felt when you spelled your first word? It was probably something like "dog." It's a special moment in every student's life. Set your little learners up for success with this list of D words for kids:
dab - a quick touch or pat
dad - your father
den - a small, cozy room in a house
did - the past tense of the verb "do"
dig - to break up, remove, or unearth
dip - to put into a liquid and then take out
do - to perform an action
dog - a four-legged animal often kept as a family pet
Learning the alphabet in preschool and kindergarten serves as an important foundation for all the learning to come in later grades. It starts with learning how to print the letters in the first place, so we've provided a Trace the Letter PDF below for printing the letter D. Download and print a copy for all your little learners!
First grade is a nice time to advance from those three-letter words to something more substantial. It'll be fun to share new sounds like the "-sh" sound in words like "dish." For more on the likes of -sh, enjoy sharing these Examples of Consonant Blends with your students.
Here's a healthy start to your first grade D words list:
dart - a small pointed missile
dear - precious or highly thought of
deep - at a great depth
dirt - earth or garden soil
dish - a container used for holding and serving food
dive - a headfirst jump
dock - a pier for boats
dragon - a mythical flying reptile creature that breathes fire
drink - a liquid made for swallowing
duty - something required by one's religion, job, or position
This is a good time to work on basic sentence structure with your students. If you take about 20 index cards, you can help them create sentences together. On 10 of the cards, write basic subjects (using your vocabulary words), such as "The dragon," "David," or "The drink." On the other 10 cards, write sentence predicates in a different color ink. You might write "eats chocolate," "built a treehouse," or "tastes like watermelon."
Ask students to pick index cards from the "subject" pile and the "predicate" pile. If they can read, ask them to read the sentence aloud. If they can't read yet, you can read the sentence aloud and wait for the chuckles to unfold.
Check out these Adjectives That Start With D for more inspiration!
Enter the realm of double letters. Why does "difference" have two Fs? And what's with that -ous suffix in "dangerous"? Open the floodgates on a life filled with smart vocabulary words with this list of words for second graders:
damp - slightly wet
dangerous - potentially harmful
dash - a small amount of an ingredient
data - facts or figures
dawn - the first light of a new day
describe - to give details about something or someone
difference - the features that make one thing distinct from another
discover - to learn something new
drowsy - a feeling of being sleepy, tired, or not fully awake
In our first grade activity, we were clueing students into subjects and verbs. Now, you can see if they can identify them for themselves. For this activity, all you'll need are popsicle sticks and jars of some sort - maybe three old mason jars or coffee mugs. Label one jar "nouns," the other "verbs," and the last "adjectives."
On about 10 popsicle sticks, write noun words like "dingo," "Danielle," and "deck." Do the same for the verbs and adjectives. You can either work as a class and call out each popsicle stick and sort them together, or you can prepare a few sets (if you have mason jars to spare) and allow small teams to start sorting together.
Check out these Nouns That Start With D to expand your vocabulary!
Let the consonant blends continue! And, while you're at it, third grade is a nice time to take a good hard look at vowels too. Here, we have the double E in "deed" and an "ea" combo in "dread":
decay - the state of rotting
deed - an action performed intentionally
deny - to refuse to admit something
defend - to protect or guard
device - a tool or technique used to do a task
digest - breaking down into parts that are easier to use
distant - separated or far away
doze - to be half asleep
dread - extreme fear
drift - to be carried away by currents
Feel free to supplement your lesson with these Examples of Long Vowel Words.
How well do your students understand parts of speech? Below, we've created a worksheet that asks students to name one adjective for every letter of the alphabet. Feel free to print out the PDF as you dedicate time to reviewing adjectives and building vocabulary.
Vocabulary words start to balloon in the fourth grade while reading and comprehension skills continue to blossom. Take this time to introduce the complexities of these words:
decrease - to become smaller or fewer
difference - features that make one thing distinct from another
dignity - the personal quality of being worthy of honor
disappointed - missing hope, desire, or expectation
discuss - to talk about and consider all aspects
distaste - to dislike or displease
develop - to grow or become more advanced
distribute - to divide, scatter, or hand out
dormant - inactive, sleeping, or quiet
The earlier children are exposed to poetry, the more likely they'll develop a lifelong love for it. Use your vocabulary words to develop topics your students can write about. Say you choose the word "disappointed." Maybe they'll write about a disappointed puppy. Or, how about dormant? How does a dormant secret garden sound?
You can open up the floor to any variety of poetry. Perhaps you'll require a certain rhyming pattern or allow free verse. See how your little learners feel and then allow them to share their own forms of self-expression.
If you'd like to focus on a specific form of poetry, scroll through these 7 Common Types of Poetry. See which one resonates the most with your students.
It's time to send your hard workers off to middle school. But, before you do, see if you can leave these fifth graders with a few lasting lessons, including the "i" before "e" role reversal in "deceitful."
dashboard - a panel under the windshield of a vehicle
dawdle - to waste time or move excessively slowly
daybreak - the beginning of day; dawn
debate - a formal discussion between opposing sides of a specific subject
deceitful - intentionally untruthful
decline - a lessening
dedicate - to devote to a specific purpose
delegate - to assign a task to someone else
desolate - unhappy or bleak
detect - to uncover or sense something previously hidden
diagram - a graph, chart, drawing, or plan that explains something
difficult - hard to understand or do
document - a piece of paper containing information
documentary - a film that shows a story or situation truthfully
drama - a story or situation which presents some sort of conflict
Speaking of drama, here's a classroom activity that involves short stories. After you've reviewed your vocabulary words for the day, pull up a short story of your choice. We have a robust list of short stories here. Then, prompt your students with a list of symbols from the story.
Perhaps there was a moon in the story that represented hope. Or, maybe the newly planted tree symbolized a new beginning for the main character. A robust vocabulary will always be the goal, but it's worth venturing into the land of rhetorical devices as students continue to develop their reading comprehension skills.
If you enjoy the lesson on "deceitful," expand upon it with a list of I Before E and E Before I Words.
With deliberate determination, you can help your students embrace a lifelong love affair with words. If you're enjoying these letter-by-letter vocabulary lessons, we've got you covered. Start at the beginning with Words That Start With A For Kids.