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Words Are Wonderful: Interactive, Time-Efficient Strategies to Teach Meaning Vocabulary

by Margaret Ann Richek

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Words Are Wonderful: Interactive, Time-Efficient Strategies to Teach Meaning Vocabulary

Grades 3 – 5
Type Journal
Published February 2005
Publisher International Literacy Association



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


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