Key Words: Reclaiming Children's Precious Vocabulary is about early and emergent literacy-- it promotes the concept that each child possesses a key vocabulary of words that are special and magical. These words conjure emotions that can lead them into the enterprise of reading. Words such as mom or love or a sister's name, a friend, or a beloved game - these expressions are read by the young child even before they have commenced formal decoding. They are sight words - but of a special kind, because they evoke an emotional response. They are called "key" and each child might well produce her or his own key ring of thirty or forty words. They become the stuff of writing, the personal and the meaningful, in accordance with all of the honored theory about nurturing young writers. This book is full of classroom stories that elaborate the process of a key word approach. The stories are humorous, engaging and inspiring. They are accompanied by specific, detailed guidelines for instituting a key word program in any early childhood classroom. Special attention is paid to students' progression into writing curriculum as an outgrowth of doing words. The context of culturally relevant, equity and anti-bias education is established throughout every chapter.