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Lesson Plan

Using a Word Journal to Create a Personal Dictionary

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

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Ongoing, over a 9-week span

Instruction and presentations =
3 class sessions
Lesson Author

Kristina McLaughlin

Kristina McLaughlin

East Palestine, Ohio


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Learning new vocabulary words is important for all readers, and an important part of the learning process is finding the definitions. This lesson teaches students how to track unfamiliar words as they read, link these words to their background knowledge, create new sentences for their words, and finally develop a project that displays their new vocabulary. This lesson could be adapted for ELL students or students in grades 3 to 5.

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Rupley, W.H., Logan, J.W., & Nichols, W.D. (1998/1999). Vocabulary instruction in a balanced reading program. The Reading Teacher, 52, 336346

  • Vocabulary instruction, whether it is focused on narrative or informational text, is most effective when it relates new words or derivations of words to existing vocabulary and background knowledge.

  • Active processing, which associates experiences and concepts with words, contributes significantly to vocabulary growth, comprehension, and continuous learning.

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