Beefing-Up Vocabulary Instruction

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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Vocabulary Instruction

grade children from higher
SES groups knew about twice as many words as lower SES
children (Graves, Brunetti, & Slater, 1982; Graves & Slater, 1987)

High school seniors near the top

of their class know about four times as many words as their lower
performing classmates (Smith, 1941)

knowledge third graders had vocabularies about equal to lowest performing 12

(Smith, 1941)

New vocabulary can be gained from context, ho
wever not enough and not quickly enough. Studies
estimate that of 100 unfamiliar words met in reading, between 5

and 15 of them will be learned.
(Nagy, Haerman, & Anderson, 1985; Swanborn & de Glopper, 1999)

Information taken from the highly recommended..

Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction

by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan

egies for Direct Vocabulary Instruction

Reading Across the Disciplines Vocabulary Map

RAD concludes that this vocabulary map provides a process for

understanding the meaning of a new vocabulary word by

organizing the information about a wo
rd into specific relationships
helping students recognize i
nferred concepts about the word

relating backgro
und information to the new word

helping students use context cl
ues to understand unknown words

providing a structure to improve retention of vocabulary

Frayer Model


an adaptation of the concept map.

The framework of the Frayer Model includes: the concept word, the definition, cha
racteristics of
the concept word, examples of the concept word, and non examples of the concept word.

It is
important to include both examples and non examples, so students are able to identify what the
concept word is and what the concept word is not.

irst, the teacher will assign the concept word
being studied, and then talk about the steps involved in completing the chart.


This game could be copied on card stock, laminated, and used with various word study or vocabulary
lists. It is played j
ust like Bingo with the teacher calling out the word description or a sentence
with a blank that would include a given word.

Front Loading Vocabulary Activity

Select interesting

vocabulary words and write each word on an index card. Before reading the
story to the class

or the students reading
, distribute index cards and have students walk around
the room to
look at all of the cards. (Students should be able to read
and describ
vocabulary wor
Then students work in small groups and make predictions of what the story might
e about. After reading the stor
y, the students review their story predictions. This strategy was
presented in a workshop on building vocabular
y with ESL students or students with limited
vocabulary. The presenter recommended using books rich in content or multicultural stories.

100,000 Word Pyramid


is a fun way to review vocabulary. Based on the game show, $100
,000 Pyramid, one student

sits with their back to the pyramid. The other student gives clues to help the first student name
the given vocabulary word.

Students move across
and up the

pyramid until all the words have been

Cubing Vocabulary



is a way to have students practice with their vocabulary words. As partners or teams,
ents have a cube containing six of their vocabulary words. They take turns rolling the cube to
describe each of the words. Add a second cube with words such as Spell, Describe, Draw, Act Out,
Use in a Sentence, Name a Synonym, Name an Antonym, etc. Stud
ents take turns rolling both the
cubes. The student will need to do the rolled task for the rolled word.

I have Who has

Just like with other I have Who has

games, students will play the game in a group. Vocabulary,
word study, or sight words could be put on the cards. Cards can be copied on card stock, laminated,
and used with different words. Students in older grades could be assigned to create the game

Flashlight Word Wall Tag

Using the classroom wor
d wall, play a game to review

the vocabulary or the sight words. Cover two
flashlights on the lens end wi
th different colored cellophane and secure with a rubber band. Sort
students into two teams. Turn lights down low so the flashlight beam will be seen on the wall. The
person at the head of a line holds the flashlight steady at a fixed place on the outsi
de edge of the
word wall (you may want to post a sign that says “The beam starts here”. When both teams are
ready, the teacher gives the description of the vocabulary word or name of the sight word. The
two students race to get their beam on the correct
word first.

Word Swatters


This game is also used with a word wall of vocabulary words or sight words. The teacher says a
description or a word and
students swat the word with a fly swatter and say it out loud. This could
be played as a competition or just with students taking turns.

“Snowball Fights”


students write one of their vocabulary words on a piece of paper. Have students stand in two
lines facing on

ther. On go, they ball up their

word into a snowball and throw

it at
the other line of students. This can continue for several t
hrows if you would want. At the end of
the fight, students open their snowball, read the vocabulary word, and give the description of the
word. If they cannot give the correct description, they will be out of the fight. If they can
correctly describe it
, they continue to the next battle.

Body Writing

This is a great energizer or time filler during transitions. Have students stand. Call out th
description of a vocabulary word. Students should then spell the vocabulary word that is being
described using a body part, i.e. their finger in the air, their elbow in the air, their foot on the floor
(writing in the sand), or even their head in the ai

Read Alouds

Simply casually explaining the meaning of a new word during read aloud time with the class,
enhances student vocabulary. Some authors u
se complex vocabulary even in picture books.

For example

William Stieg

Patricia Polacco

Sarah Stewart