Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

A Prereading Strategy: Using the Vocabulary, Language, Prediction (VLP) Approach

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


A Prereading Strategy: Using the Vocabulary, Language, Prediction (VLP) Approach

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 45-minute lessons
Lesson Author

Valerie A. Adair, M.Ed.

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, students use the Vocabulary, Language, Prediction (VLP) approach to understand new vocabulary prior to reading. This approach provides a means of preteaching by using oral language activities and vocabulary words as a basis for predicting what might happen in a nonfiction reading selection. The VLP approach also aids in the structural analysis and morphology of words. Using identified vocabulary, students record synonyms, antonyms, categorization, dictionary usage, semantic analysis, part of speech, phonics analysis, structural analysis, and rhyming words. Once students complete the word study, they make predictions based on teacher-created questions related to the content. After reading the selection, students modify their predictions based on their reading and complete a crossword puzzle based on the vocabulary and word study. The VLP approach can be used in all content areas.

back to top



Interactive Crossword Puzzles tool:
Use this tool to assess how well students match vocabulary words with definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.

National Geographic Kids: “Ten Freaky Forces of Nature”
Read the story “Ten Freaky Forces of Nature” and use it as the content area reading for this lesson.

Merriam-Webster’s Word Central: Have students use this site to identify synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and parts of speech for vocabulary words.

back to top



Baumann, J., Ware, D., & Edwards, E. (2007). “Bumping into spicy, tasty words that catch your tongue”: A formative experiment on vocabulary instruction. The Reading Teacher, 61(2), 108–122.

  • If we can instruct students in word study prior to reading a text, they will be more likely to understand what they read.

  • Not only should we provide varied language experiences, we should teach word-learning strategies and individual words and also foster word consciousness in all content area reading.

Harmon, J.M., Wood, K.D., & Hedrick, W.B (2006). Instructional strategies for teaching content vocabulary, grades 4–12. Westerville, OH: National Middle School Association; Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Vocabulary learning is an ongoing process.

  • Students have access to a wide range of content area reading.

  • Direct instruction plays an important role in vocabulary learning. Integration, repetition, and meaningful use of vocabulary are integral instruction strategies for students’ retention.

Wood, K.D., & Robinson, N. (1983). Vocabulary, language, and prediction: A prereading strategy. The Reading Teacher, 36(4), 392–495.

  • Prereading strategies are important for accessing background information, relating prior knowledge to new knowledge, preteaching new vocabulary, and determining a purpose for reading.

  • Vocabulary strategies and prediction strategies are merged into one prereading strategy.

back to top