Ideas for Vocabulary Instruction

CISD Special / Federal Programs Department

Dear Teachers,

As you work to support your EL students, remember that our socio-economically disadvantaged students also tend to have gaps in their academic language. These activities can build the academic language for all students. Students who actively engage with the material - in this case, with vocabulary - will retain it much longer.

Vocabulary Building Activities

Below are several videos from The Teacher Toolkit so that you can see the activities in action. Each link may also provide templates or suggestions so that you can customize the activity for you class.

Anchor Charts, Documents, & Examples, Oh My!

Below are examples of three different strategies for teaching vocabulary that you can use or modify to fit your subject or specific unit. Each can be searched on the internet for many more examples and to read the research supporting the models.

Frayer Model

Here are some examples of ways you can use the Frayer Model and a blank template. The first is for Figurative Language.
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LINCs Model

LINCs was developed in the late 90s as a way to help students master content vocabulary. It may take a little longer so you might want to use it with fewer words and for more intensive support.
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K.I.M. Model

Using K.I.M. - Key Word, Information, and Memory Clue might be a concise way for older students to learn vocabulary. This is a low prep way to directly teach vocabulary. Some of the examples do not show a "statement". Spacing is important between words. Try adding a space between each word and ask students to use the word correctly in a sentence. The science and math examples show that.
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