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Alternate words for children

  1. May 15, 2008 #1
    I'm working on a project, which is writing and illustrating a children's book for age 4-6
    now, the illustrations are going smooth, but i have a problem with what text to put in.

    my story is that a boy goes to a shopping mall, gets lost. a sales clerk finds him, takes him to the cash counter and makes an announcement. his dad comes, and they go home.(sounds dull for someone whose brain is filled with 10 types of physics, but it's pretty good for a child when illustrated :p)
    anyway, so i'm facing a problem of finding easy words for children.

    can you suggest some?
    for e.g. i can't find an alternate for sales clerk. or announcement, or speaker, or microphone, or aisle.

    help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2008 #2

    lisab

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    One of the reasons children find books such as Harry Potter so interesting is that the books don't "talk down" to them. I vote for going ahead and using "adult" words. Kids are pretty bright; they'll catch on.
     
  4. May 15, 2008 #3
    but the age group is only 4-6!
     
  5. May 15, 2008 #4
    Use Sesame Street as a guide, go to the book store and take a look at them, you'll get more information that way.
     
  6. May 15, 2008 #5
    I think you are going about it backwards. Get a vocabulary list of words that are appropriate for the age group, and then build a story out of those words.
     
  7. May 15, 2008 #6

    lisab

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    My approach to raising kids is probably a bit different than the usual. I think kids understand far more than they let on, especially if they're exposed to advanced vocabulary from day one.

    I always talked to my daughter using adult vocabulary. She was reading at the 3rd-4th grade level the day she started Kindergarten. But her interests were exactly what one would expect from a 5-year-old. I had a very hard time finding subject-appropriate books (e.g., kittens) that were written with advanced vocabulary.

    So my opinion is influenced by my own child-rearing experiences (of course :smile:).
     
  8. May 15, 2008 #7

    NoTime

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    Having a grandson that just turned 7, I would have to say that he sure knew what the words money sales clerks, aisle, mall, microphones and speakers meant at that age group.
    As well as what cables to plug in and what buttons to push to watch TV, play his video game, or DVDs.
     
  9. May 15, 2008 #8

    Moonbear

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    Is this a book intended for parents to read to the children or for children to read to themselves? You'll have a bit of both in the 4 to 6 age range, I think. The children will likely know all those words if they hear them read to them. But, the ones that may be challenging for that age range reading level might be announcement (that's a LONG word to sound out with silent letters in the middle) and aisle (again, because of all the silent letters). Instead of announcement, perhaps the phrase "called on the speaker" would work better (I don't think the 'ea' combination in speaker is too hard, and parents can better help with that in a short word). Likewise, the 'ph' in microphone is a common enough diphthong that it's worth it for a young reader to learn it early, so with a parent's help, it can be sounded out too. A few hard words with mostly easy ones would be good anyway. It helps reinforce parental involvement in the reading exercise, since the kid will HAVE to ask a parent to help with a couple words if they are at a typical reading level for the age range (the advanced readers likely are so because they already have involved parents).
     
  10. May 15, 2008 #9

    NoTime

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    I remember learning to read independently when I was six. Initially, I often had to ask the parents to help decrypt the spelling, but it was fairly rare that I also had to ask what the word meant, although sometimes the explanation didn't help.
    I'm inclined to think that announcement gets used often enough so that they would understand it, but agree that they probably couldn't sound it out unaided.
    I hated Dick and Jane :yuck:
     
  11. May 15, 2008 #10
    I have to agree with lisab. So much of the material I see for children anymore is really dumbed down. It's sad and probably points to why so many teenagers are practically illiterate and use little other than slang.
     
  12. May 16, 2008 #11

    fuzzyfelt

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    There must be proper material on this, but if you are interested in what my kids read, they have read ‘The Magic Key’ stories at school and I think they are really good for teaching kids to read and keeping them interested in the stories.

    Also, if this is for children to read themselves, then this may help, or it may just be the way my kids read. I’ve noticed from my 6 year old’s reading diary that if a word is unfamiliar he usually reads the first few letters and guesses the rest from the sound or context and stumbles if those letters break a rule. Or if it is a dipthong, the first few letters of each. He stumbled with the word ‘suggested’ last night because he expected to sound the g as in goat, so that the sound of the word was wrong, and I’m afraid he also probably doesn’t hear the word 'suggested' in the context it was used all that often, so he couldn’t correct himself by context. Examples of words he managed well were greyish and fieldmouse.

    So he wouldn’t have a problem with ‘announcement’, but would have a problem with pronouncing the i as in ice, which breaks rules in this instance, instead of as in ‘tick’ in microphone. He knows the word phone, so the second part wouldn't be a problem. He would have trouble sounding clerk as we pronounce it, but not as Americans pronounce it, but I don't think we use the term 'sales clerk' anyway. 'Aisle' would just be impossible to get first off.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  13. May 16, 2008 #12

    fuzzyfelt

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    edit, sorry, meant two syllable words.
     
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