Ideas to expand ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ vocabulary in the classroom

‘Feelings’ or ‘emotion’ vocabulary is important for pupils to develop. They can use the vocabulary to express themselves and gain confidence speaking in front of an audience. Developing this vocabulary or doing the following activities can tie into other subject areas such as Social Personal Health Education or Drama.

Oral language & vocabulary development with ‘Three Words’ activities

Storytelling is a great way to build oral language skills and ‘Three Word Cards’ will develop sequential development of plot and encourage listening skills.

These are cards that have three words (and three corresponding pictures for non-readers) printed on them. The aim is for the pupils to use their imaginations and incorporate the three words into a story having a suitable beginning, middle and end.

Morning Meeting (language discussion)

Have a section of wall/ board to display topics for discussion during ‘Morning Meeting ’. Ideally this could be in your ‘speaking and listening corner’/ oral language area. It is a perfect oral language activity for revising previous work, practicing and reinforcing new vocabulary and can be used as an opportunity for children to give presentations, look at items using the visualize and discussion etc.

Why is oral Language important?

Oral language is our earliest form of communication and it is essential as we use it daily to communicate our needs. Language to crucial to learning as it gives a child entry to a world of knowledge, unlocking the world of the imagination, reading, providing skills to write and helping us grow as individuals. However, without language, a word gap ensues.

Debating in the primary classroom

Debates are important in oral language as they develop a child’s ability to argue a point of view, a skill that is valuable in many aspects of life. These activities allow them to become better debaters through time and help them become critical thinkers, expressing their opinions and thoughts and gaining self-confidence.
Debating is not about raising your voice but about choosing your words wisely, making reasoned and well-thought-out arguments.
The aim with teaching pupils how to debate is not to start formal podium style debates immediately but rather work to develop and expand their debating vocabulary so that the pupils can understand and use the expressions in the correct context.

How to use photographs for oral discussion

Photographs or cut-outs from newspapers/ magazines are very useful for oral discussion…as long as you don’t select a famous person or someone familiar to the pupils.

Question time: Pupils can choose a photograph and discuss using questions such as …

Create a rich language-learning environment

The physical environment of a classroom has great power over the quality and the quantity of children’s experiences of oral language (Roskos & Neuman, 2002). Children use print available to them in the classroom and so when creating a rich language environment, be aware that the environment surrounding the pupils meditates the language that they will use.