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Ten Important Words Plus: A Strategy for Building Word Knowledge

by Ruth Helen Yopp and Hallie Kay Yopp

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Ten Important Words Plus: A Strategy for Building Word Knowledge

Grades 3 – 12
Type Journal
Published October 2007
Publisher International Literacy Association



In this strategy, students individually select and record 10 important words on self-adhesive notes as they read a text. Then students build a group bar graph displaying their choices, write a sentence that summarizes the content, and then respond to prompts that ask them to think about words in powerful ways. Several prompts are suggested, each emphasizing the meaning, manipulation, or application of selected words in various contexts. This strategy is based on principles of effective vocabulary instruction as it involves

  • repeated exposure to words

  • active engagement with words

  • study of words with instructional potential

This strategy fosters word knowledge as well as comprehension of text with its focus on word meanings and important ideas in text.

Yopp, R., & Yopp, H. (2007, October). Ten Important Words Plus: A Strategy for Building Word Knowledge. The Reading Teacher, 61(2), 157160. doi: 10.1598/RT.61.2.5


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