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Cory Bransford » Vocabulary Strategies

Vocabulary Strategies

Vocabulary Strategies

Activities for Engagement


Why is Teaching Vocabulary Important?

  • Vocabulary is the foundation of all learning.
  • Vocabulary should be taught in all subject areas.
  • Vocabulary Instruction is key to closing the achievement gap between socioeconomic groups.
  • Based on a study by Kirsch 2003, by age three students from wealthier families have mastered over 1,100 words, middle class families have mastered around 749 words, and poverty stricken families only around 525 words.
  • Reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition are intricately linked.
  • There is no vocabulary acquisition without picturing. This is extremely important for our ELL students.
  • Vocabulary instruction must be frequent and structured. See this article Marzano's Six Step Approach
  • Students need multiple and various exposures to uncommon words
  • New technologies can be effective in helping students practice new words.
Why is Teaching Vocabulary Important?
Big picture

How do I know which words to teach?

1. Watch the video below for tips on deciding which vocabulary words have the highest impact.
Selecting Words for Vocabulary Instruction Video
2. Read the article Which Words Do I Teach and How? This is located in your packet or linked



3. Review the following lists of high impact words:

ACT Word List



Activities to Support Vocabulary Instruction


Frayer Model Powerpoint Slides

1. Click on the shared powerpoint link below.


2. Assign words within your group and complete the organizer.


Teacher Quick Start Sharing an Office 365 Doc or PPT

Click Here for Link 


Quizlet Study Stack

Study the ACT words using Quizlet. Choose the flashcards, a game, or quiz yourself.
ACT Quizlet

Quizlet Live

  • Students work together to find the term that matches the definition - since none of them have all of the answers.
  • Students lean in, stay focused, and communicate to win. Everyone on the team must contribute.
  • Students work in small teams to learn a Quizlet study set and race against the rest of their class.
  • Quizlet Live encourages accuracy over speed. If a team matches incorrectly, they have to start over from the beginning.
Quizlet Live Demo
Teacher Quick Start Guide for Quizlet