Preschoolers easily confuse many words including plurals of common vocabulary such as sheep, goose, etc. How do we handle situations like this? We want children to use vocabulary correctly but we also don’t want them to stop experimenting with new words. Here is one method we’ve found helpful.
We keep short notes on words we see children using incorrectly. Then we make it a point to model the correct use of these words. This helps children learn to listen to others and make changes in their use of words.
For example, a child might say, “ I see lots of childrens on that page.” You could rephrase the child’s statement and say, “Yes, there are a lot of children on the page.” Reinforce the word, children.
Later as you talk about the book, ask the child how many children are on this page:
Count as a group. Reinforce there are 7 children. At that point you can even say, “We always say children when there is more than one child. We don’t say childrens.” Have the class repeat it together, while making eye contact and smiling at the child who had trouble.
Talk with any children still having trouble and ask what they learned about saying the word children. Applaud them for being good listeners and learning from what you said. This way children learn to learn – and that’s important!
Illustrations are from the book, Is There Really A Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell. This is a wonderful book to use to encourage rhyming skills!
NAEYC – 2.B.01; 2.D.01,
Head Start – IV. A.; V.III. A & B.