Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Check out our collection of strategy guides to find effective literacy teaching and learning strategies to use in your classroom.
Journal > The Reading Teacher
Words Are Wonderful: Interactive, Time-Efficient Strategies to Teach Meaning Vocabulary
by Margaret Ann Richek
|Grades||3 – 5|
Vocabulary is important, yet instruction in word meaning is often tedious and ineffective. This article presents motivating and time-efficient strategies for introducing and practicing the meaning vocabulary students will encounter across subject areas and texts in school. In the "Semantic Impressions" word-introduction strategy, students write a story using words that will later be presented in published text. In the “Word Expert Cards” introductory activity, each student prepares a few word cards and then teaches them to peers. Because words are learned gradually, review is important. Four game-like review strategies are also suggested. In the quick-paced "Anything Goes," the teacher points to words and asks students to reply to questions about meaning, part of speech, or use in a sentence. In "Connect Two," the teacher displays two columns of words and asks students to find similarities across columns. In the game "Two in One," students are asked to put two or more words into one sentence. Finally, in "Find That Word," students must find and record examples of words as they are used in books, speech, or the media.
Richek, M. (2005, February). Words Are Wonderful: Interactive, Time-Efficient Strategies to Teach Meaning Vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 58(5), 414–423. doi: 10.1598/RT.58.5.1
Grades 2 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students use the Semantic Impressions and Possible Sentences strategies to write about Patricia Polacco's books Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Egg, complete a character study, and write using a WebQuest.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
What wonderful ways words work! The parts of speech are the highlight of this lesson in which students identify parts of speech in a nonsensical poem and then create their own wild and wacky rhymes.