Week 2: Assignment 2


1. If you were creating a SIOP lesson, how will you activate students’ prior knowledge and build background?

In the Building Background video, Vogt (n.d) explained that when it comes to building background, “You try to connect with anything you can connect with in order for the students to say; Oh, I get it, Yeah, I learned that, or I experienced it, or I saw that once!” One background building activity I used frequently at the elementary level was the Four Corners Vocabulary Chart. Two other effective background building activities that activate student’s prior knowledge are the Concept Definition Map and Vocabulary Games such as Pictionary. One reason why a game such as Pictionary is so great is because it is “fun”, grabs students’ interest from the start and keeps them actively engaged. The more engaged they are the greater opportunity I have at identifying their individual understanding of specific vocabulary terms.

2. What connection to past learning can you make?

I can make connections to past learning by using explicit links between past learning and new learning through discussion and by reviewing previously used powerpoints, graphic organizers, etc. It is important that the students see the connection. As noted by Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008), “Many students do not automatically make such connections, and they benefit from having the teacher explicitly point out how past learning is related to the information at hand.” (p.68)

3. What are key vocabulary words and how will you teach them?

I would consider key vocabulary words to be any academic language of the lesson that I am teaching, but specifically prerequisite vocabulary needed to learn about a content concept. As stated in the Building Background video, Vogt (n.d), prerequisite vocabulary will need to be taught to the students explicitly, “not just once, but multiple times”.

In regards to teaching students these vocabulary words; Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008), identified an effective four component framework of vocabulary instruction which consisted of “1. providing rich and varied language experiences; 2. Teaching individual words, 3. teaching word-learning strategies; and 4. Developing students’ word consciousness.” (p.75)