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Vocabulary

Tools and Strategies


Why Teach Vocabulary
• Vocabulary deficits are a major cause of
problems with reading comprehension
• Students with low SES have a fraction of the
vocabulary of those with higher SES
– Entering kindergarten with half the vocabulary of a high SES
student, and adding new words at a much slower rate.

• Context is not enough – explicit instruction of


vocabulary is also needed
How to Introduce Vocabulary
• Limit number: 5-10 words at a time
• Provide student-friendly definitions
• Provide context clue sentences
• Create activities that will engage students in
dealing with the words’ meaning
– Writing which connects to personal experiences
– Graphic organizers, thinking activities, and games
• Use multiple strategies, repeated exposures
12 exposures enough for most students, but others require 20 or more
Some Tools and Strategies

• Vocabulary Cartoons
• LINCS Index Cards
• Synonym/Antonym Fill-in-the-blank
• Frayer Model

• And many more!


Vocabulary Cartoons
LINCS Vocabulary Strategy
(Ellis, 2000)

Students create flash cards


with their own word-sound and
picture links

Word  Reminding Word  Reminding Story  Picture  Definition


Creating LINCS Study Cards
1. Draw a line across the middle of both sides of an index card.
2. Write the word on the top half of one side. Then circle it.

fief

3. Write the parts of the definition you need to remember on the


. top of the other side.

Land given by king


fief for fighting in army
Creating LINCS Study Cards (cont.)

4. Write the Reminding Word on the bottom of the first side.

Land given by king


fief for fighting in army

chief

5. Write the LINCing Story and draw the LINCing picture on the
bottom half of the second side.

Land given by king


fief for fighting in army

Chief of
chief his land
LINCS Study Cards – More examples

perpetual constantly

My pet
pet constantly
barks

charitable giving, generous

He gave
table lots of food
for the table
Provided definition
to make your own LINCS card

Mitosis:
Asexual reproduction of cells
Synonym/Antonym
Fill-in-the-Blanks
Word Antonym Synonym

domestic for_ign _____________________

prosperity p_v_rty _____________________

revenue p_ym_nts _____________________

rural urb_n _____________________

subsequent prev_ous _____________________


Frayer Model
Definition Facts

Word/Concept

integer

Examples Non-examples
Frayer Model
Definition Facts

- Is a number - May be positive

- Has no fractional or - May be negative


. decimal part - May be zero
Word/Concept

integer

Examples Non-examples
Frayer Model
Definition Facts

- Is a number - May be positive

- Has no fractional or - May be negative


. decimal part - May be zero
Word/Concept

integer

0 0.2
-4 -1.3
781 2/3
Examples Non-examples
And More Tools & Strategies
Concept Sort / List-Group-Label
Used to introduce the vocabulary of a new topic, or to review
already-learned vocabulary.
 Teacher identifies words,
 Creates several sets of cards (one word per card)
 Students sort word cards into categories
 Categories can be defined by the teacher or the students.

deciduous leaves water bark

evergreen forests branches mountains

sunlight soil roots rainforest

Example For introducing a book about trees. Sort words into categories:
 Parts of a tree
 Types of trees
 Where trees grow
 What trees need to grow
Prefix / Root / Suffix
Semantic Feature Analysis

FDR JFK Nixon Reagan Clinton


Democrat
+ + – – +

Wartime a
+ – + – –
President
Congress of
-/+ + – -/+ -/+
same party
Reelected
+ – + + +

Served in
– + + – –
Congress
Won majority
+ – -/+ + –
of popular vote
Word Hunt
Provide a text (newspaper, book, magazine, etc.) and have students
find/highlight all words with a certain characteristic.

Example:
Find all words ending in –ate or –ation

Other characteristics might be:


 Words describing people, Republicans,
Democrats etc.
 Words related to geography
 Words setting mood or tone
 Words that contain certain prefixes or suffixes
 Words that mean add or subtract (math)

List the words and discuss/write a brief definition / synonym for each.
Discuss other words with those characteristics.
Word Box
Definition Sentence

Word

Synonym Picture

Antonym

Related words
B I N G O

isolate neutral agriculture suffrage

prosperity subsequent domination innovation

monarchy ratify excessive legislate

amend unanimous urban revenue


Check out digital versions of
these vocabulary tools at:

autoliteracy.wikispaces.com
References
Allen, J. (1999). Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12.
Portland, Maine: Steinhouse Publications. www.steinhouse.com ISBN: 1-
57110-085-7

Beck, I.,McKeown, M.,Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing Words to Life: Robust


Vocabulary Instruction. NY: Guilford Press

Ellis, E. S. (2000). The LINCS Vocabulary Strategy. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge


Enterprises, Inc.

www.adlit.org Adolescent Literacy website