Creating Meaning With Words

Having a strong vocabulary is the foundation you need to achieve success. We use spoken and written words every single day to communicate our ideas, thoughts, and emotions to those around us. Our Inquiry - In Your Own Words  was designed to promote the development of a strong vocabulary.

Teachers around the Taupō region attended a workshop on vocabulary for their professional development. We learned how to use different tools to get children interested and excited about vocabulary.

Teachers from Wairakei Primary School  


We have to meet new vocabulary a number of times before it starts becoming part of our own usage and understanding. In order to develop a deep understanding of words students need to hear, see and use new vocabulary in different ways. Reading and being read to provides the opportunity to interact with new vocabulary so it can be learned. In addition to teachers reading to their own class, teachers and support staff visited different classrooms during Term 2 and shared their favourite books. 

Sara Sprague from Room 3 is reading to children in Room 13.


As part of Our Inquiry - In Your Own Words Room 13 had a trip to Taupō Library. We were lucky to have Kevin, one of the librarians, read to us some of his favourite poems.  

Room 13’s trip to Tāupo Library.



Words carry most of the meaning in oral and written language. Therefore, a learner's vocabulary knowledge strongly influences their ability to understand what they read and write. To develop their curiosity about words and to enjoy discovering how to use them students in Room 13 had a go at writing poetry. Our first attempt was to capture how Autumn leaves fall to the ground. After finding some suitable specimens we dropped our leaves off the Senior Playground and observed how they fell.  We made a word list of adjectives that described what we saw.  We then read a poem about Autumn leaves.  Based on the poem a writing frame was created for the children to add adjectives to. The goal was to build a picture in the mind of the reader or listener of how an Autumn leaf falls. 




These poems are on display in the classroom. 


We used chatterpix to  record our poems as well. Reciting and recording our poems meant we were learning about using expression, pauses and pace.

View our Creating Meaning with Words videos here

Our next step is to write a poem about a person we admire using descriptive language. First we will look at the different vocabulary used  by other poets because a good vocabulary can help us say exactly what our person means to us.


Keywords: vocabulary development