Robust Vocabulary Instruction

Make Every Word Count!

Action Research- Vocabulary Instruction in Kindergarten

My name is Monica DeLuck. As part of my Masters in Reading course study, I had to complete an action research project. I chose to research the best methods for teaching young children vocabulary. I used two kindergarten classes for this study. My class received direct vocabulary instruction from read aloud text, followed by structured activities. The comparison class heard the same read aloud text and were introduced to the same vocabulary words but did not have review and follow up activities. The end results were very clear that directly teaching young children vocabulary with structured activities was the best way for students to learn and retain vocabulary words. The following is a link to my research paper, including a complete reference list:

How to chose the right words

Follow these steps to choose higher level vocabulary words that will be motivating to students and useful across curriculums.

-choose words from themes or read aloud text

Beck, McKeown and Kucan suggest four criteria for choosing words: utility, concreteness, repetition and relatedness to theme or topic (see link for reference list).

-words should be tier 2 vocabulary (see link below K-12 Tier 2 vocabulary), and should not be familiar to most students.

Young Students Can Learn Sophisticated Vocabulary!

Teachers must plan ahead for vocabulary instruction. Choosing the best words is the first critical part. Teachers need to find ways to make connections between the words to be taught and their students' lives. This picture shows how students found many of the vocabulary words they were taught in the bunny house right outside of our door. They saw a burrow, bunnies huddling, a dappled bunny, and bunnies with winter coats. A teacher's enthusiasm about learning the new words is of great importance. Providing students with multiple opportunities to use the new words in different contexts is also an important part of vocabulary instruction.