Top 10 List of State Fair Vocabulary

Written by Sarah Van Dusen
October 6th, 2011

It's that time again - the magic of the State Fair of Texas. I have many fond, childhood memories of going to the State Fair of Texas with my family. I loved the sights, sounds, and smells of the state fair. I loved walking through the exhibits and seeing what new inventions there were. I even enjoyed watching cooking demonstrations and seeing concept cars, and I especially looked forward to seeing Big Tex.

Now, I look at the Fair differently. The sights, sounds, and smells that excited me as a child could be overwhelming for my students who avoid sensory stimulation. I take note of the numerous multisyllabic words that may be difficult for children with apraxia (i.e., names of animals, Brand names, names of rides, and even the word "exhibit"). I also consider how much new vocabulary there is to learn there.

So, take earplugs for your kids who are sensitive to sound. Avoid the midway if your child is overstimulated by bright colors and movement. Allow plenty of time so you can help your child break down those multisyllabic words. And plan ahead for vocabulary opportunities.

Here is my State Fair Top 10 List of Vocabulary Words to practice before piling the family on the DART rail and heading to the fairgrounds.

1. Fried - This may be the most used word at our fair!

2. Exhibit - Teach the vocabulary and practice a multisyllabic word at the same time.

3. Ride - This is a good opportunity to teach a multiple meaning word.

4. Carney - This word is used regularly in humor and otherwise. When is there a better time to explain it to your child than at the Fair?

5. Invent/Invention/Inventor - There are numerous, new inventions at the fair. Does your child know what that means?

6. Tent vs. Tint - Yes. In Texas, these two words sound identical. Take your child to the car tent, and teach them the difference between these two words.

7. Demonstrate/Demonstration/Demonstrator - Another opportunity for vocabulary and multisyllabic word practice.

8. Swag/Promotion - Take them through an exhibit hall and see how much "swag" they can collect. You can practice some unfamiliar words by saying the names of the companies being promoted.

9. Parade - Go to www.BigTex.com to look at the parade schedule.

10. Livestock - Kids love animals! Teach them this word as you walk through the petting zoo, stroll through the livestock barns, and sit down to enjoy the shows.

There are many more words to teach, but these should get you started. In fact, when you get home, you can help your child talk through his favorite parts, so he is prepared to tell his friends and teachers about his experience. The State Fair of Texas provides innumerable teachable moments. Take advantage, and have fun!

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