Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Word Power Wednesday

Call me a nerd, but I think vocabulary acquisition is fascinating.  I love learning new words. is bookmarked on my computer.  :)

As teachers, we know that vocabulary is critical to reading comprehension.  It plays an important role in learning to read as well as reading to learn.  To ensure academic success, young readers must develop a wide base of word knowledge and the ability to learn how to acquire new words.

So, how do we foster vocabulary development?  Students often don't share my enthusiasm for learning vocabulary.  ;)  The challenge is to create high-interest, engaging lessons.  Join me for this five-part series as I explore a variety of strategies, activities, and games to promote "word power".

I'll start this week by sharing the routine that I use to introduce new vocabulary with my reading students. 

1.  Introduce the Word and Demonstrate the Word in Use:  Relate the word to the concept being taught.  Supply a kid-friendly definition.  Use the word in a sentence.  Give several meaningful examples.

2.  Apply the Word:  Ask students to demonstrate understanding of the word by restating the description, explaining its meaning, or giving an example of the word.  

3.  Display the Word:  Show students the word.  Discuss the word parts.  Display the word on a concept map.  

4.  Write and Draw the Word:  Students write the word and its meaning in their own words.  Additionally, they draw a small picture or symbol that represents the word.

5.  Use the Words Often:  Return to the words frequently to refine and reflect on them.  Point them out as they are encountered in the text. Construct sentences with them.  Examine each word in depth.  Encourage students to use the words when writing or speaking.  Ask questions that require students to say the words.  

6. Play Learning Games:  Play games that allow students to work with the words and their meanings.  

Here are a few great resources for teaching vocabulary:

What do your favorite vocabulary lessons look like?  Please leave me a comment.  Be sure to link up your ideas with Literacy Spark's Vocabulary Linky.

Stop by for my next edition of Word Power Wednesday.  I'll be posting activities to use when introducing, reviewing new vocabulary.  Visit again soon!


  1. You posted this at the right time for me! I've been wanting to do more vocabulary work with some of the words in our weekly stories and not just our high frequency words. I've also been doing more vocabulary instruction in my small groups. Thanks for this great routine!
    Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

  2. I am your newest follower! wendy