The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom

Tina Rollins, Section B, 2 Feburary 2016


The article talked about how to use and incorporate sophisticated vocabulary words into the classroom by modeling. It talked about not using words that are beneath of a students level of understanding, but rather give the students a basic understanding of the words and then enhance the students' vocabulary. The article gave examples of two classrooms, one was a kindergarten class and the other was a fourth grade class. Both classes showed great vocabulary improvements by the end of the year.

Why is it important

A vocabulary rich classroom gets the students ready for the real world. The use of more complex words improves the comprehension and the students communication skills.

Ms. Barker's Kindergarten Classrom

The teacher in the kindergarten class is only using words of the students specific duties that all students understand at the beginning of the school year, but as the year goes on, she makes the same words more complex. By the end of the school year the students use more sophisticated word to describe their duties. For example the students who is in charge to report the weather was called "weather watcher" at the beginning of the school year and by the end of the year, the student was called "meteorologist".

Live Kindergarten Class | School Vocabulary | Teaching Children English | ESL | EFL

Ms. Rivas's Fourth Grade Classroom

In Ms. Rivas, the students have to greet each other everyday and say something nice or describe the other person. In the beginning of the year the class used word like nice and talented. As the year progressed the teacher encouraged the students to stretch their vocabulary words from nice to friendly and talented to creative. However, by the end of the school year the students replaced the basic descriptive words to more sophisticated words such as fable and jovial.


1. How could you teach, incorporate, or improve sophisticated vocabulary use into your classroom?

2. Do you think the use of sophisticated vocabulary is beneficial for the students? Why or why not.

3. How do you choose the words you want to teach?


Holly B. Lane, S. A. (2010). The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 362-370.