Direct and rich vocabulary instruction

Once you have selected your text and target words for the week, you will need to plan instruction for each word that includes three components:

You should also ensure that at least one previously learned word is revised during the week. Vocabulary instruction methods that include review time are twice as successful as those that do not (Biemiller & Boote, 2006).

A child-friendly definition

It is worth preparing the definitions in advance and writing them down so they are used consistently from the first time the word is presented and them and then on subsequent occasions. Students should not be expected to remember the definition the first time they hear it.

Multiple exposures to each word in meaningful contexts

A text being used to work on language comprehension should be read several times over a week. Each time, focus on the target word, with the teacher saying the word and asking students to repeat it to establish a phonological representation to go along with the orthographic (written) representation. Discuss the spelling of the word and any irregularities.

Read other texts with the target word and ask students to come up with sentences. Games can be played using the target word such as Simon Says for a verb, or nursery rhymes can be adapted to include a target word.

Several active processing tasks for each word

There is a variety of active processing tasks that can be used for students of all ages and vocabulary levels.

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