The Whimsical Word Collector

The beloved Peter H. Reynolds has written yet another delightful and empowering book. Reynolds makes it so easy to promote a love of vocabulary when he gives us a character whose favorite hobby is collecting words! It doesn’t get much better than this! 

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“Reach for your own words. Tell the world who you are, and how you will make it better.”

– Peter H. Reynolds

When Jerome’s word collection gets too big, he begins to sort his words into different scrapbooks – action words, whispery words, serious words, poetic words, animal words, mysterious words and so much more. One day he accidentally slips and falls, causing his words to get all mixed up. Instead of getting upset he starts to look at the words differently. He realizes that you don’t need words to be perfectly matched with those similar to make a masterpiece! Jerome starts using his words to write poems and songs. He shares his words with all the children in the valley. In the end, Jerome makes the world a better place by sharing his love for words.

Buy this book as soon as possible and incorporate it into your interactive read aloud routine!

Videos to Introduce & Support Your Read Aloud

Extension Activity – Collecting Words!

A great way to kick off your word wall learning (and quickly get some words up on the word wall!) is to have your students spend a week or two “collecting” words, just like Jerome did in the story. They could do so at school, at home, on the soccer field, etc. As soon as everyone has brought in a word or two, spend a few morning meetings allowing students to present their word to their classmates. Before presenting, they should learn how to pronounce the word correctly, the definition and how to use it in a sentence.

Teacher Tip: Print these cards on colorful cardstock and hand them out to students to have handy at school and at home. Using a different colored paper than your normal word wall words will help your class remember which words were part of your word collection celebration!

Helping children feel personally attached to words on the wall is the best way to keep them engaged in vocabulary learning all year (I promise!).

Of course, you should take part in the word collection too! My favorite word to describe Jerome is whimsical. He is such a playful and lovely character. He has a wonderful imagination and loves helping those around him. This character trait word is a great one to have up on your word wall all year round. It can be used to describe many characters across a variety of genres.

More Books with Word Collecting Characters

Jerome isn’t the only kid collecting words out there!

Max’s Words by Kate Banks

Max’s brothers are collectors – one collects stamps, the other coins. Neither brother will share their collection with Max. So, he decides to start his own collection of words!

Donavan’s Word Jar by Monalise DeGross

When Donavan comes across a new word that peaks his interest, he writes it on a slip of paper and puts it in his word jar. Eventually he finds so many lovely words, that his word jar fills up! He has to seek advice from grandma who knows exactly how to help!

If you use your word wall for other specific words, think about starting a class word jar!

The Word Collector by Sonja Wimmer

Luna is a girl who collects words. One day she noticed that everyone was forgetting beautiful words and using words of hate and violence. She puts all of her words in a suitcase and sets out on a journey. Her mission is to spread words of friendship and passion. When Luna’s word suitcase is empty she starts to notice that her mission worked and people were spreading kind words without her help.

The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter & Giselle Potter

Selig collects words that stir his heart and words that make him laugh. He has the chance to help a poet find the perfect words for his poem. Through this experience Selig discovers that he loves to spread his love for words with others!

If you know of any additional books with word collector characters, please let me know in the comments below!

I hope these books and the word collection card activity help to spread a love of words in your classroom!

Until next time, make today meaningful 💕.

Looking for more Vocabulary Teaching Tips & Tricks?
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Published by Liz Siracusa (Vocabulicious)

* Elementary Educator * Instructional Literacy Coach * Vocabulary Lover * The history behind Vocabulicious is simple - I love to help students growth their vocabulary, and I want to help YOU make your classroom a word conscious environment. I’m excited to share all of the vocabulary activities I have had success with throughout the years, plus great mentor texts to use for interactive read alouds. I live in Burlington, Vermont and enjoy hiking, biking and running!

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