Teaching Vocabulary K-6


Session Description

Instruction in vocabulary involves far more than looking up words in a dictionary and using the words in a sentence. How are you explicitly teaching vocabulary in your classroom? What strategies do you use to teach vocabulary in the classroom? How can we be more intentional with vocabulary instruction? Are there words should be be teaching? In this session  participants will learn simple strategies for building vocabulary and  increasing comprehension in spoken and  written communication.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of the sessions participants will know / be able to: 
  1. Explore multiple strategies to explicitly teach vocabulary in the classroom
  2. Create an intentional read aloud lesson that focuses on vocabulary 
  3. Learn how to integrate social studies and science during your ELA block while using vocabulary to summarize content specific text 

Activity 1:

Learn how to integrate social studies and science during your ELA block while using vocabulary to summarize content specific text using the rolling vocabulary “Sensational Six” strategy. You will explore several books on the same topic. We’ll start by exploring the easier books first, collecting words and definitions in our notebooks that are important to the topic. After reading, we’ll determine the SIX (“Sensational Six”) most important words to the topic. We’ll continue the process with more challenging texts. Finally, after all of our words have been collected, we will use the “Sensational Six” from all of the texts to summarize the important learning from the text set. 

Activity 2:

You will watch a brief read aloud video and discuss the ways/strategies the teacher intentionally focused on vocabulary. You will then participate in a read aloud activity in which the presenter will model how to focus on vocabulary in a text. Finally, you will use the books and lesson plan template provided to create your own to use in your classroom. 

Activity 3: 

You will have time to explore the smore that contains multiple strategies for teaching vocabulary in your classroom. After your exploration (approx. 15 minutes), you’ll REFLECT/THINK:
- How could I easily implement these strategies in my class? 
- Why would it be beneficial my students?
- How could I “technify” these strategies? 

Finished Early? 

Are there words you should be teaching? Check out this resource to learn the differences between Tier 1, 2, and 3 words.  

Follow up Activity: 

1) Select a text that your students will be reading. (Check out NewsELA, ReadWorks.org, Wonderopolis, Vale Articles, or Reading A-Z)

2) List all the words that are likely to be unfamiliar to students. 

3) Analyze the word list: 
  • Which words can be categorized as Tier Two words? 
  • Which of the Tier Two words are necessary for comprehension? 
  • Are there other words needed for comprehension? Which ones? 
4) On the basis of your analysis, which words will you teach?
  • Which will need only brief attention? 
  • Which will you give more elaborate attention to?
  • How will you teach them? 

Additional Resources

Recommended Links