I picked up two new books that I love for talk around words. BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST by Nancy Coffelt is not a brand new one and I may even have blogged about it before. I LOVE it and seem to have loaned my copy out or something. This is a picture book that is great to use with kids of all ages. Each section consists of 3 pages with related words. For example the first three pages focus on the words small, smaller and smallest using animals to illustrate the meaning. But the book goes a bit further than that and gives readers other words that mean similar things. For example on the small page, the "smallest" page, the spider says, "I'm smallest. I'm miniature. I'm miniscule. I'm microscopic!" This almost serves as a mini-thesaurus and can also be used to start conversations about how even though the words mean similar things, you'd pick one over the other as a writer depending on the context. This book provides invitations into so many conversations about words. So simple but so packed. (For younger readers, this would be a great one to pair with THE BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST BOOK.)
GUMPTION is a new by Elise Broach that a friend told me about. Sally at Cover to Cover suggested using it in word study. She is so smart! This is the story of a boy who goes on a safari with his grandfather. His grandfather lets him know many times during the adventure that all he needs is a little "gumption". The story is a humorous one that kids will like and they will see how they can figure out the meaning of a word by reading it in the context over and over again. I read the book to a few classes this week. They had a great time saying the word gumption and it was interesting to see their understanding of the word build as the book went on. They had no idea what it meant early in the book, made several guesses early on and then changed their thinking as they heard the word again and again. A fun read aloud even without the word study piece.