Continuous Vocabulary Acquisition

for our growing readers

Effective Strategy/Technique: Access to books that kids CAN read, WANT to read, and read MORE of

IMMERSE your readers in texts and language!!

  • "Every child reads something he or she chooses."- Choice is a motivator! Use it to get your kids reading more everyday.
  • "Every child reads accurately." -Provide access to texts for ALL readers in your room. In order to feel successful, kids should be able to read it.
  • "Every child reads something he or she understands." - Help your readers focus on context: what is happening in the text.
  • "Every child writes about something personally meaningful." - Form follows function. Provide learners with a reason to use vocabulary.
  • "Every child talks with peers about reading and writing." - As Vygotsky stated, "learning is social." Allow readers to use language, to learn language.
  • "Every child listens to a fluent adult read aloud." - Provide demonstrations for growing readers to aspire to.


*The article "Every Child, Every Day" by Richard L. Allington and Rachael E. Gabriel helps us understand six elements of instruction to focus on for every reader, every day that you are with them.

Book Club Fun: Growing as Readers through Language

My readers used authentic conversations to think deeper about texts and learn new vocabulary. They used this new vocabulary to push their understandings. They challenged each others' thinking about texts and learned how to communicate in new ways. Books clubs also used new language, especially academic language of story elements (expositions, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, character motivations, conflict, theme etc) to share their take-aways with their peers.

Make it FUN and AUTHENTIC

Have fun with language...

Youtube video: "How to Teach Vocabulary Acquisition" left us with great tips for how to help our learners acquire all tiers of vocabulary (tier 1, tier 2, tier 3*):


  1. Provide a description, explanation or example of the term
  2. Students restate in their own words
  3. Students create a picture or symbol for term
  4. Engage students in activities that use the term
  5. Students discuss term with one another
  6. Involve students in games that recognize them to use the term


*Tier 1: use all the time, everyday

Tier 2: only exposed to a few times (any subject & content)

Tier 3: subject & content specific

Work it in naturally...

How do you use language in your life? Do words work in isolation or is it an integrated part of your day? Gaetan Pappalardo gave a great example of introducing new language to his toddler:


"Setting: Playing in the backyard.

Max: It's getting hot.

Me: Yes, the temperature is going up.

Max: It sure it.

Me: The temperature is increasing.

Max: Yup.

Me: Yeah, It's rising."


Did you notice how he used synonyms to describe the temperature going up? How can you have authentic exchanges with your learners in your classroom?

Inquire into Language

Wonder and Learn about Language throughout the Day...

Look for opportunities to inquire about vocabulary! (based on the article "Techniques for Teaching Vocabulary to Elementary Students")


  • read alouds
  • reading/writing conferences
  • poetry
  • morning messages


All of these components are essentials to my reading and writing workshops. My readers look forward to our daily read alouds whether it be a picture book or a novel (like Home of the Brave) we are continuously reading. Home of the Brave was extremely effective for inquiring into language, since it was written from the perspective of a south African refugee who was learning about words of American culture.

Our morning messages are electronic through Google Classroom and promote authentic conversations through questions and responses. This is how we began our days and establish our community of learners. Language is the center of our growth. We talk with each other and use language and new vocabulary to continuously outgrow ourselves.