Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Strategies and Resources for Vocabulary

I know that vocabulary instruction is a topic being discussed at both Atwood and Williams. The image "Why Read 20 Minutes at Home?" (below) clearly shows what an impact reading can have on vocabulary! The difference in the words learned per year is astounding! Even if we can't control how much students read at home, we can make sure that students are reading and hearing lots of books at school. This week I am sharing some favorite professional books and mentor texts, as well as games and online resources, for vocabulary instruction.

Happy Reading,


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What Words Should I Teach?

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This image perfectly summarizes the 3 Tiers of Vocabulary Instruction. As you select words for instruction, think about focusing on Tier 2 words, which are defined as "high frequency for mature language users and found across a variety of domains." Basically, Tier 2 words are word that students will encounter frequently in reading and in life!

Professional Books for Vocabulary Instruction

Great Books for Vocabulary Instruction

Instructional Games and Resources

Ideas for Word Walls

Five Steps to Rockin' Word Walls

Many teachers including our content specialists use word walls. This is a great post about 5 ways to improve your word walls. Great images and instructional ideas!

Great Games for Vocabulary

11 Games to Make the Learning Stick

These games would be easy to make and could be used with any words! My favorite is Oranges to Oranges (which is like Apples to Apples) with words from your recent unit and Vocab-Categories (which is like the game Scattegories!) You will need to sign up for the free download, but it's worth it!

Great Booklist Organized into Categories for Teaching Vocabulary

I found this booklist online that includes mentor texts for teaching prefixes, suffixes, homonyms, synonyms, initial consonants and more! It is an extensive booklist with books organized into categories and labeled A (all students), Y (younger learners), and O (older students). The categories align with our curriculum and/or the Common Core. I highly recommend checking it out! I have some of the books listed in this collection and I'm sure our school libraries will have some of the titles, as well. Enjoy!

Fun Vocabulary Games on PBS

This link includes tons of online games that would be great for young learners!

Great Series for Teaching Vocabulary & Conventions ~ If You Were A....

I just found this series on Amazon and think it would be a great addition to any classroom library! Reading aloud one of these mentor texts would be a fun way to introduce students to elements of vocabulary (prefixes, homophones, etc.), parts of speech and punctuation! I would love to check them out!

More Fun Mentor Texts

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Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School