A brief guide to Mrs Wordsmith's words

A brief guide to Mrs Wordsmith's words

A brief guide to Epic Words, Storyteller’s Words, and the difference between them.

Epic Words

What are epic words? 

Kids need a balanced diet of words. Our epic words were curated from global curriculum lists for kids aged four to eight, and cover all the basics from learning to count, to getting dressed in the morning, to travelling to school. Even though some of these words will be familiar, kids need practice learning to read and manipulate them. 

But children also need vocabulary that inspires them, so we added a combination of more challenging words, like devour and reflect, as well as culturally relevant, extra-epic words, like drone, onesie, jet ski, dumplings, and tofu

Epic words are aimed at kids who are learning to read and confident readers. 

    How are epic words scaffolded and why?

    In the Epic Word Adventure, our words are scaffolded from easier, everyday words to more challenging ones.
    • Experts in children’s apps recommend scaffolded combinations of easier and more challenging content as the most effective way to learn. Yet, only 19.3% of existing apps involve any scaffolding.[1] 
    The more challenging words in the app will stretch children beyond their reading age, as well as complement what they learn at school. 
      Research supports the incorporation of words that may seem challenging for a six-year old, suggesting that no word is too hard for a young brain as long as it’s taught in the right way. [2] 
        • A research study showed that four-year-olds can learn to use words as challenging as camouflage and arachnid fluently when they are introduced to them in a memorable and engaging way.[3] 
        • Research also shows that the earlier a child learns a word, the more likely it is for the word to stick and become part of their core vocabulary.[4]
        This evidence suggests that you’d be surprised by how much a child’s reading can be accelerated if they are exposed to the right input.

            Storyteller’s Words

            What are Storyteller’s words?

            Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller’s include less common words and words with nuanced meanings that children may only encounter in literature and expository texts. 
            • These are words that will elevate their creative writing, e.g. verdant, gargantuan, perspire

            Storytelling words are curated around six themes that make up the key building blocks of storytelling - character, settings, taste and smell, action, emotion and weather.

            Storyteller’s Words are aimed at confident readers and budding writers.

            Words organized in topical clusters 

            We have organized words into topical clusters because psychological research suggests that words organized in this way are more easily learned and remembered.[5] This way of learning is compatible with how our brains work — building links between related words and storing them together. 
            • Organizing words in thematic clusters creates a self-teaching device that supports independent learning: it helps children organize their knowledge and access it better when they need it.[6] 
            • Another benefit of teaching words in thematic clusters is that the easier words in each cluster help to unlock the meaning of more difficult related words. For example, eat may be a familiar word, but it can help children unlock the meaning of devour or gulp

            Whatever stage your young reader is at, we’ve got a hilarious bundle of words for them. Explore our Epic and Storyteller’s products now. 

             

            References

            1. Callaghan, M. N., and Reich, S. M. (2018). Are educational preschool apps designed to teach? An analysis of the app market. Learning, Media and Technology 43(3): 280-293.
            2. Beck, I., McKeown, M. (2007). Increasing Young Low-Income Children’s Oral Vocabulary Repertoires through Rich and Focused Instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 107(3), 251-271.
            3. King, R. (2017). Sesame workshop trying a new teaching tactic with IBM Watson. Fortune.
            4. Morrison, C. and Ellis, A. (2000) Real age of acquisition effects in word naming and lexical decision. British Journal of Psychology 91. 167-80.
            5. Tinkham, T. (1997). The Effects of Semantic and Thematic Clustering on the Learning of Second Language Vocabulary. Second Language Research 13, 138–163. 
            Neuman, S. B. & T. S. Wright (2013). All About Words. Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom, PreK-2. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

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