Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary Study

“Vocabulary is the single most important factor contributing to reading comprehension” 

Overcoming Textbook Fatigue, 2013, ReLeah Cossett Lent

There is a direct and circular connection between struggling readers and insufficient vocabulary development. Given that vocabulary is important for reading comprehension and reading frequency is the primary tool for building vocabulary, consider how these statistics have an additional impact on vocabulary development.

  • The average middle school students read about 1,000,000 words per year
  • Struggling middle school students read  100,000
  • Voracious middle school readers read 10,000,000 to 50,000,000

Educators must provide ongoing and explicit instruction to struggling readers. Vocabulary instruction is best facilitated by providing direct instruction that focuses on:

  • simple definitions
  • examples and non-examples
  • semantic maps that reflect the likely sources and possible uses of a new word. 

(Kim, Vaughn, Wanzek, & Wei, 2004) 

Explanation of Tiered Words and their relation to complex text


Vocabulary Resources:

Michigan’s Mission Possible Vocabulary Strategies

Video Demonstration of 8th grade Geometry Vocabulary Review 

Vocabulary Activities for ELA teachers

Word Wise and Content Rich Free online access to this great book for secondary teachers

Teaching Roots/Prefixes /Suffixes

Effective Vocabulary Instruction for Middle and Secondary Students: The Word Roots Connection 

Pronouncing Multisyllabic Words: Video demonstration Chapter from Explicit Instruction

The home of Word Generation Resources for middle school  social studies and science teachers for teaching academic vocabulary.
Great information about proven instructional practices and myths

Some additional tools to help:

Quizlet: This online vocabulary study tool offers study stacks that include images and audio. Build your own for your class or borrow already created sets. The stacks are downloadable and can be used on most mobile devices.

Rewordify: When you enter (or paste in) a block of text (or a web page), Rewordify.com analyzes the entire block of text—all at once—and finds all the hard words and phrases. Then, it simplifies and Smart Highlights those hard words and phrases, helping users understand and learn in new ways.

Lexipedia - Lexipedia is an online visual semantic network with dictionary and thesaurus reference functionality 

Strategic Vocabulary Instruction Module

© Macomb ISD Susan Hardin 2013