The Vocabulary Rich Classroom

Alex Wilhelm- Section B, 9-10-15

Main Ideas

Vocabulary is defined as "The knowledge of words and word meanings."

The four types of vocabulary are oral (words understood when said aloud), print (words understood when read or written), receptive (words understood when listening or reading, and productive (words understood when speaking or writing.)

There is a three tier model for how to select vocabulary words to teach.

  • Tier 1- includes basic words most students know (ex. car, toy, etc.)
  • Tier 2- includes words essential to comprehension and are used by "mature language users" (ex. mysterious, scrumptious, etc.)
  • Tier 3- Includes low-frequency words associated with content areas (ex. peninsula, nucleus, etc.)
Creating an environment where the words are used in daily routines allows students to be more competent in their word usage. Using words daily will help students to be able to access the word and its meaning more efficiently.


When I read about the kid saying it would be "rather brisk today" I was a laughing so hard. Before reading the article i thought that a kindergartener saying (and understanding) a word like that after only half a year would be impossible. Reading this article has opened up a whole new type of vocabulary teaching to me. The vocabulary i remember was a very boring, repetitive task required in class with words that had seemingly no relevance to me or my life. Using the approaches discussed in the article, students would be more interested in the words, as they have to do with themselves.


What makes vocabulary so stressful for students? How can we work past that to teach them?

Knowing the "jobs" and "get to know you" activities, what are some other ways to engage students in advancing their vocabulary?

How can we decide what words to teach our students?


Article: Lane, H. B., Allen, S. A. (2010). The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom: Modeling Sophisticated Word Use to Promote Word Consciousness and Vocabulary Growth. The Reading Teacher, 63(5), 362-370.

Strategies: Top 10 Resources on Vocabulary. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from

Words: 600 Essential Words For The TOEIC. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from