A lot of our vocabulary is built through reading. Sometimes, though, a good old vocabulary list does the trick too. Taking a letter-by-letter approach to the alphabet is one way to introduce new words into your students' vocabulary.
It doesn't have to be blasé, either. Below each list of words that start with E for kids, we've drafted a few letter E activities to get them up on their feet and excited to broaden their horizons.
It might've been kindergarten more than preschool, but do you remember the pride you felt when you formed your first word out of three letters? Wouldn't it be fun if the first word one of your students spells is "elf"? Let the excitement begin with this list of E words for kids:
ear - the part of the body used for hearing
eat - to put food in the mouth, chew, and swallow
egg - thin-shelled oval body by hens and other animals
elbow - the joint that bends between the top and bottom parts of the arm
elf - a mythical being in human form with magical powers
end - the last part of something
eye - the organ that gives sight to humans and animals
In letters A through D, we've been incorporating "Trace the Letter" activities into our learning fun. Below, you'll find a printable worksheet that will help your students practice the art of the letter E.
With their alphabet down pat, it's time to move on from the three-letter words of the world to something a bit more robust:
earth - the planet we live on
east - the direction to the right of a person facing north
edge - the outside of an area
else - different or other
enter - to come in, put in, or get in
escape - to get away
even - level or fair
everyone - all people
everything - all or the most important thing
extra - more than expected
One afternoon, pull out the red markers and gear up for a game of checkers. You can pre-prepare a blank chessboard and ask your students to color in the red squares.
Then, set them up in pairs and ask them to write one vocabulary word in each square. As each pair plays, they'll have to provide the correct definition for each square. If they're successful, they claim ownership over that square.
How do you feel about advancing from words like "enter" to words like "exercise" and "expect"? Since there's no time like the present, get ready to "explore" with this E words list for second grade:
edit - a change made to something before a final copy is submitted
effect - a result of something
energy - the exertion of power
enemy - a person who is your opponent
exactly - done correctly or accurately
excess - something that is extra
exercise - to engage in physical activity for the purposes of staying healthy
expect - to look forward to
By this time, students should have been introduced to basic parts of speech, especially nouns and verbs. Ready to test their knowledge?
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." One each popsicle stick, write out words like "enemy," "enter," and "exactly." You can then work as a class or in small groups to sort the sticks into the three jars.
Check out these Verbs That Start With E too!
How do you feel about consonant blends? It's time to bring them into the forefront with words like "expression." There are a couple other tricky ones in the bunch too, including "eight." Take a look:
eager - ready and impatient to do something
easy - something that is not difficult
eight - the number that comes after seven and before nine
elegant - luxurious in a quiet manner
enable - to make something possible
embed - to plant something deeply or firmly
examine - to analyze, inspect, or study carefully
explore - to search or investigate
expression - a frequently used word or phrase
Building your students' vocabulary one letter of the alphabet at a time is a great way to solidify their journey into a lifelong love of reading and writing. Work your way through the alphabet with the Noun Worksheet below. Ask them to write one noun beside each letter of the alphabet. This will not only ask them to recall what a noun is but also encourage them to explore some of those trickier letters of the alphabet.
Enjoy opening your students' eyes to the world of double letters. It's interesting to note we double some of our letters, as in "effective" and "essential." And how about those long vowel sounds in "exclaimed"? Here's a list that'll open up the conversation today:
effective - something that can achieve a desired outcome
eliminate - to take out or leave out
entirety - the whole thing
essential - completely necessary
estimate - a guess of the size, worth, or cost of something
evidence - something that gives proof or leads to a conclusion
example - someone or something used as a model
except - to take out one thing when you included everything else
exclaimed - having cried out or spoken suddenly
experiment - a test or the act of trying out a new course of action
Build upon the lessons taught in "exclaimed" with these Examples of Long Vowel Words.
Are the days of print newspapers and magazines behind us? Not entirely. See if you can scrounge up a hard copy of a periodical for each of your students. (Alternatively, you can find an article online and put it up on the overhead.) Then, ask students to look for either a picture or a snippet from the article that contains one of the above vocabulary words. When they've done so, ask them to write it down and use it in a sentence of their own before presenting their findings to the class.
This fifth-grade vocabulary list might push the boundaries just a tad but, if you feel your students are up for it, propel them to new heights with these E words:
easily - with little or no trouble
ecology - branch of science that studies how organisms relate to each other and their environment
ecstatic - in a state of great delight or joy
edible - something that can be eaten
editorial - something related to the content in a newspaper or magazine
elasticity - the state of being able to stretch and expand
embellish - to exaggerate or add details to a story
emissary - a person sent on a mission
entertain - to hold the attention of someone and show them a good time
epidermis - the outer layer of skin
escalate - to increase quickly
euphemism - a polite word or phrase used in place of one that might be offensive
evade - to get around or escape from
exhibit - a collection of art or objects on display for the public to see
explain - to make something clear
Do any of your students have an affinity for poetry? If so, use some of the more eye-catching vocabulary words above to develop a selection of topics your students can write about.
Say you choose the word "emissary." Maybe they'll produce prose about a king's emissary who went to find his one true love. Or, how about "ecstatic"? Will the king's one true love be ecstatic to hear his calling or try to "evade" the emissary? Open up the floor to a wide variety of poetry, including rhyme schemes or free verse. Encourage your little learners to share in their 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 your students enjoy most.
It helps if endless enthusiasm is your constant companion when it comes to vocabulary lessons. Rote memorization isn't the only solution. Activities that engage students' minds in a very "real-world" sense, along with a little kinesthetic learning can help them increase their vocabulary exponentially.
If you're loving this letter-by-letter stroll through the alphabet, then be sure to start back at the beginning with Words That Start With A For Kids and keep on truckin'.