Enhancing Student Vocabulary

Using Interactive Read Alouds


According to Pressley and Allington (2015) "To increase vocabulary development, surround the child with vocabulary-rich language. Read to a child and talk with a child during storybook reading and during formal vocabulary instruction, prompting the child to think about the to-be-learned vocabulary words in many, many ways".

Omaha Public School's Academic Action Plan includes specific references to vocabulary development with English Language Learners "The teacher uses a combination of rich and varied language experiences, teaches individual words, teaches word-learning strategies, and fosters word consciousness"

The Lesson Plan

  1. Choose a read aloud of high quality literature (see handout)
  2. Select 4-5 vocabulary words found in the text. Choose words that are supported by illustrations or can be illustrated by your students, are synonyms/antonyms to familiar words, will enhance your student's understanding of things in his/her world, enrich your student's comprehension of the story
  3. Show and discuss these words with students and practice a "signal" they will give when they hear it in the story. Pause and check for understanding/connections on the page the word is read.
  4. Second day, review words, re-read story, have students highlight with highlighting tape and illustrate words.
  5. Place the book in your classroom library for students to discuss and read with a partner.
  6. Play games such as "Four Corners" as a review strategy.
  7. Refer to the vocabulary board when conferencing with students during Writer's Workshop.
  8. Have fun...they will be excited about their new "Wow" words!