The best word-learning classrooms are filled with an intentional
focus on vocabulary where students notice words and consider strategies for becoming word savvy. – Linda Hoyt
This list is from Spotlight on Comprehension: Building a Literacy of Thoughtfulness by Linda Hoyt, Chapter 18 “Building a Robust Vocabulary”.
This is a list of ways to intentionally build word awareness as an important stepping stone to facilatating vocabulary development and retention.
1. Ensure that students spend a lot of time reading from a wide range of texts with well-crafted language.
2. Read to learners from richly written fiction and nonfiction sources, discussing interesting words.
3. Create a word-rich environment, celebrate words on the walls of your classroom.
4. Use a rich vocabulary when conversing with learners.
5. Study the concepts that underlie words.
6. Identify relationships between words.
7. Connect new words to words already known.
8. Help students develop strategies for independent word learning.
9. Model good word learning behaviors and your own curiosity about words.
10. Invite students to be word detectives, collecting interesting words and words that are important.
11. Save words in a notebook.
12. Give students opportunities to use words in meaningful ways.
13. Engage with fewer words; don’t try to cover so many that learning is superficial.
14. Link visualizations to word meanings.
15. Provide opportunities to make inferences about word meanings.
16. Have fun with language!
I am including two worksheets I have created to go with Linda’s amazing vocabulary/comprehension building ideas.
The First activity KID Vocabulary is for students to choose key words from a concept that is introduced. They choose the important information to remember, then draw an illustration to help build their understanding.
The second activity requires students to summarize a lesson in two words. Students need to reflect on the two words that will provide them with the most meaning for what they learned. Students are also asked to write or talk about why they chose those 2 words. They could talk about other words they considered and why they rejected them. They can help a partner evaluate the 2 words they chose. This is an excellent activity for using conversation as a learning tool.