A brief guide to Epic Words, Storyteller’s Words, and the difference between them.
Epic Words (found in Epic Word Adventure and My Epic Life Dictionary)
What are epic words?
Kids need a balanced diet of words. Our epic words were curated from global curriculum lists for kids aged six to eleven, and cover all the basics from learning to count, to getting dressed in the morning, to travelling to school. Even though some of these words will be familiar, kids need practice learning to read and manipulate them.
But children also need vocabulary that inspires them, so we added a combination of more challenging words, like devour and reflect, as well as culturally relevant, extra-epic words, like drone, onesie, jet ski, dumplings, and tofu.
Epic words are aimed at kids who are learning to read and confident readers.
How are epic words scaffolded and why?
In the Epic Word Adventure, our words are scaffolded from easier, everyday words to more challenging ones.
- Experts in children’s apps recommend scaffolded combinations of easier and more challenging content as the most effective way to learn. Yet, only 19.3% of existing apps involve any scaffolding.
Research supports the incorporation of words that may seem challenging for a six-year old, suggesting that no word is too hard for a young brain as long as it’s taught in the right way. 
- A research study showed that four-year-olds can learn to use words as challenging as camouflage and arachnid fluently when they are introduced to them in a memorable and engaging way.
- Research also shows that the earlier a child learns a word, the more likely it is for the word to stick and become part of their core vocabulary.
- This evidence suggests that you’d be surprised by how much a child’s reading can be accelerated if they are exposed to the right input.
Storyteller’s Words (found in the Storyteller's Word a Day, the Storyteller's Dictionary, and the Storyteller's card game)
What are Storyteller’s words?Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller’s include less common words and words with nuanced meanings that children may only encounter in literature and expository texts.
- These are words that will elevate their creative writing, e.g. verdant, gargantuan, perspire
- Storyteller’s Words are aimed at confident readers and budding writers.
Words organised in topical clustersWe have organised words into topical clusters because psychological research suggests that words organised in this way are more easily learned and remembered. This way of learning is compatible with how our brains work — building links between related words and storing them together.
- Organising words in thematic clusters creates a self-teaching device that supports independent learning: it helps children organise their knowledge and access it better when they need it.
Whatever stage your young reader is at, we’ve got a hilarious bundle of words for them. Explore our Epic and Storyteller’s products now.
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- King, R. (2017). Sesame workshop trying a new teaching tactic with IBM Watson. Fortune.
- Morrison, C. and Ellis, A. (2000) Real age of acquisition effects in word naming and lexical decision. British Journal of Psychology 91. 167-80.
- Tinkham, T. (1997). The Effects of Semantic and Thematic Clustering on the Learning of Second Language Vocabulary. Second Language Research 13, 138–163.
- Neuman, S. B. & T. S. Wright (2013). All About Words. Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom, PreK-2. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.