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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Is that awkward?

December 13, 2007

My daughter Molly loves words — she always has. Her latest "game" (which is driving Anna crazy) is so much like the procedure for vocabulary development recommended in Bringing Words to Life that I wonder if she hasn't read the book herself!

I walked into the kitchen last night to hear this conversation between Molly and Anna:

Molly: Your jump rope is on the sidewalk. Is that awkward?
Anna: No, I don't think so. Um....yes? (sounding unsure)
Molly: Your teacher has toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Is that awkward?
Anna: Gross, Molly! I don't know....yes?
Molly: Yes! That would be awkward because you would feel weird telling her. Right?

And so it goes. They covered awkward, mist, and glisten(spurred by "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas").

Vocabulary is fun. Really fun! And helping kids become lovers of words is great too. Although I haven't read Miss Alaineus yet, I plan too. The author and illustrator has a terrific web page that includes fun ideas for teachers: vocabulary parade, word games, and art projects.

I know there are tons of other books for kids that encourage discussions about to share your favorites?



Another fun book for young readers introducing new words / synonyms is Thesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg.

I was delighted to find your blog mentioning Miss Alaineus, A Vocabulary Disaster, my book that builds on my daughter's (real) mistaking of the word "miscellaneous." The Grand Finale in the book is a Vocabulary Parade that has been replicated by schools all over the USA to actually bring back CREATIVE activity in name of learning! The slide show at is great proof.Please show Molly! She's a Sage!

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase