Intentional Message

As you design meaningful language experiences for children, finding ways to incorporate key vocabulary in your daily activities will help children learn these new words and make meaning. Using Intentional Messages will help children relate these new words to the active learning experience.

POLL Strategy: An Intentional Message, embedded with pre-selected content vocabulary, reflects the purpose of each Anchor Text or Experience. It can be pre-written or co-written with children in home languages and English to support concept development. It should be verbally shared and used repetitively to promote oral language development.

Use Intentional Messages with children to:

  • Establish the focus of learning based on the vocabulary from Anchor Texts and Experiences.
  • Highlight words that are relevant to their learning experiences.
    Introduce new words and build meaning.
  • Expose them to rich and interesting words in their home language and English.

The written or co-written Intentional Message is a short statement, with 3-4 key content vocabulary words that reinforce the theme or topic for the week.

Example: During music and movement time, on a white board or small chart pad, pre-write the message: “I am a musician! I like to strum the guitar. What instrument do you like to play?

(Underline, circle, color, or bold the key words you will be introducing and using throughout the week.)

For infants and toddlers, focus on one or two words and use them repetitively, so the child is hearing the words while experiencing them. Intentional Messages do not need to be printed for infants and toddlers but having concrete objects and pictures of the key vocabulary words helps the child make associations between the object and the word.

Example: During play, with an infant or a toddler, use a toy guitar and gently strum the guitar – repeating “Strum, strum, strum the guitar!”

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Intentional Messages for Center-Based Child Care

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Intentional Messages for Center-Based Child Care

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Intentional Messages for Family Child Care (FCC)

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Intentional Messages for Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Child Care

Considerations as you plan Intentional Messages for and with your multilingual learners:

  • Adults are the most positive and important language models for children.
    • Be a language model in children’s home language and English. 
    • Read and repeat the Intentional Message throughout the day to reinforce vocabulary. 
  • Choose only a few Intentional Messages for key learning activities throughout the day and week.