Johnny Key

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Vocabulary Resources

What does scientific research tell us about vocabulary instruction?
Vocabulary resources

What Does Scientific Research Tell Us About Vocabulary Instruction?

The scientific research on vocabulary instruction reveals that (1) most vocabulary is learned indirectly and (2) some vocabulary must be taught directly. (Put Reading First, 3rd Edition, p. 29)
 
Reading Rockets defines both indirect and direct vocabulary instruction.
 
Florida Center for Reading Research is a website that has many student center activities for students at the K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 grade bands. There are activities for the five essential elements of reading (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). The activities are ready to download and be used with students.
 
Florida Center for Reading Research also has a section for preschool activities. Included are activities for alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, and language and vocabulary.

Indirect Vocabulary Instruction:

Reading First in Virginia Professional Development offers the rationale and examples of lessons for providing indirect vocabulary instruction.  Five instructional strategies are discussed:  Analyzing Word Parts, Word Tree, Dictionaries, Word Wizard, and Access to Stories. 
Word consciousness is “awareness and interest in words and their meaning” (Graves & Watts-Taffe, 2008).  The Keys to Literacy Blog offer ways to “Create a Word Conscious Classroom.”  It includes additional links to sites such as A Word A Day and 50 Coolest Online Tools for Word Nerds. 
K5Chalkbox gives examples of five easy ways to incorporate indirect vocabulary into your daily schedule:  Interactive Read Aloud, Vocabulary Notebook, Daily Words, Label Classroom Objects, and Integrate Use of Multi-media. 

Direct Vocabulary Instruction:

Reading First in Virginia Professional Development offers the rationale and examples of lessons for providing direct vocabulary instruction.  Five instructional strategies are discussed:  Concept Maps, Word Cards, Four Square Vocabulary, Concept Sorting, List-Group-Label. 
A Publication of the Children’s Learning Institute, TPRI Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 5 is devoted to Vocabulary.  A routine for teaching vocabulary explicitly is included.
 
Doing It Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary (Edutopia, January 16, 2014) has tips for ranking words, or choosing which words to teach.  Isabel Beck’s Three Tier is used to choose words, followed by Robert Marzano’s six steps for vocabulary instruction. 
The authors of Bringing Words to Life discuss principles for choosing words for explicit vocabulary instruction. Examples are included for both younger and older students. 
 
Karen Bromley explains that the goal of vocabulary instruction should be to build students’ independent word learning strategies to empower them for lifelong learning.  In the article Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know About Vocabulary Instruction, she shares some valid points for teachers to consider in order to do just that.

Vocabulary Resources:

Professional Texts 

  • Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition, Beck, McKeown, and Kucan uses a three-tier system for choosing words to teach.  An instructional routine for introducing the words is explained, along with ways to assess and maintain the new vocabulary.
  • Developing Vocabulary and Oral Language in Young Children, Silverman and Hartranft is meant for the teachers of prekindergarten through second-grade classrooms. Six principles for the instruction of vocabulary breadth and depth are investigated in detail. Explicit examples are included.
  • Vocabulary Their Way, Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students, Second Edition, Templeton, Bear, Invernizzi, Johnston, Flanigan, Townsend, Helman, Hayes can be used with vocabulary instruction in different content areas, as well as with English Learners.  Vocabulary Assessment, Strategies, Activities, and Classroom Organization are included.
  • Verbal Advantage, Charles Herrington Elster is unlike other vocabulary books because it provides a complete learning experience, with clear explanations of meanings, word histories, usages, pronunciation, and more. 

Professional Development Resources

The following modules are available through the Education Services Cooperatives.  Contact your area cooperative to get information on when the modules are offered.

Grades K-1 Implementing a Comprehensive Literacy Framework

Module One
Overview of a Comprehensive Literacy Framework and Literacy Assessment System (2 days) 
Designed specifically for K-1 educators, this module identifies the critical components of a comprehensive literacy system, focuses on the unique instructional needs of the K-1 learner as related to literacy acquisition, explores setting the context for learning through instructional approaches that meet the needs of the learner, and provides the purposes and types of literacy assessments that when used appropriately will guide instructional decisions.  
 
Required text: Shaping Literate Minds:  Developing Self-Regulated Learners by Linda Dorn and Carla Soffos 
 
Module Two 
Phonics/Word Study: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Spelling Instruction (2 days) 
Designed specifically for K-1 educators, this module focuses on instructional approaches aimed at exploring the sound, pattern, and meaning relationships among words in order to develop children’s phonological awareness, decoding, spelling, and vocabulary. Students are guided towards making discoveries about how words work and generalizing their understandings in order to read, spell, and write more efficiently.  
 
Required Text: Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske, 2nd edition 
 
Module Three 
Oral Language (1 day) 
Designed specifically for K-1 educators, this module focuses on how vocabulary and oral language develops in young children as well as instructional approaches that engage children in developing vocabulary and oral language capabilities.  
 
Participants are encouraged to bring a text for read aloud and a big book for shared reading.  These texts will be utilized for planning instruction with texts that the teacher is already planning on using with the class.
 
Required Text: Developing Vocabulary and Oral Language in Young Children by Rebecca D. Silverman and Anna M. Hartranft
 
Module Four 
Shared Reading (1 day) 
Designed specifically for K-1 educators, this module focuses on teacher instruction that will help students to develop concepts of print, vocabulary, oral language, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension strategies through repeated readings of shared texts. Educators will be guided through the process of planning explicit instruction that will allow students to construct meaning while actively engaged in shared reading texts.
 
Required Text: Read It Again! by Barbara Parkes.
 
Module Five 
Read Aloud (1 day)
Designed specifically for K-1 educators, this module focuses on instruction that will show students how to employ a range of strategies through teacher modeling of the behaviors of good readers and providing a model of fluent and expressive reading.  This includes constructing meaning while reading and applying fix-up strategies when appropriate.  Vocabulary growth and concept development will also be addressed.
 
Required Text: Bringing Words to Life by Isabel Beck

Grades 2-3 Implementing a Comprehensive Literacy Framework

Module One  
Overview of a Comprehensive Literacy Framework and Literacy Assessment System (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 2-3 educators, this module identifies the critical components of a comprehensive literacy system, focuses on the unique instructional needs of the learner as related to literacy acquisition, explores setting the context for learning through instructional approaches that meet the needs of the learner, and provides the purposes and types of literacy assessments that when used appropriately will guide instructional decisions. 
 
Required Text: Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell 
 
Module Two 
Word Study:  Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 2-3 educators, this module focuses on a systematic, engaging approach aimed at exploring the sound, pattern, and meaning relationships among words. Students are guided towards making discoveries about how words work and generalizing their understandings in order to read, spell, and write more efficiently.  
 
Required Text: Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske, 2nd edition
 
Module Three
Reading Instruction (2 days)
Designed specifically for Grades 2-3 educators, this module focuses on the key principles of effective reading instruction within the reading workshop. This includes understanding procedures and materials necessary for developing competent readers.  Participants will
examine comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary utilizing the systems of strategic actions
for processing text.  It is recommended that educators begin with the Overview Module if they intend to complete the entire series.
 
Required text: Teaching for Comprehension and Fluency:  Thinking, Talking and Writing about Reading by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. 

4-5 Implementing a Comprehensive Literacy Framework 

Module One 
Overview of a Comprehensive Literacy Framework and Literacy Assessment System (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 4-5 educators, this module identifies the critical components of a comprehensive literacy system, focuses on the unique instructional needs of the learner as related to literacy acquisition, explores setting the context for learning through instructional approaches that meet the needs of the learner, and provides the purposes and types of literacy assessments that when used appropriately will guide instructional decisions. 
 
Required Text: Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell 
 
Module Two 
Word Study:  Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 4-5 educators, this module focuses on a systematic, engaging approach aimed at exploring the sound, pattern, and meaning relationships among words. At this stage many of the words are related and derive from the same Greek or Latin root. Students are guided towards making discoveries about how words work and generalizing their understandings in order to read, spell, and write more efficiently. 
 
 Required Text: Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske, 2nd edition
 
Module Three
Reading Instruction (2 days)
Designed specifically for Grades 4-5 educators, this module focuses on research-based reading instruction for whole group and small group to move students to independence.  At this grade level, students must engage in close, analytic reading. Therefore, an emphasis in this PD has been placed on implementing close reading instruction. This includes strategies needed for comprehending and responding to complex texts across multiple genres, and of sufficient complexity in both whole group and small group instruction. These strategies will continue to lead students along the path to becoming college and career ready.  
 
Required text: Closer Reading by Nancy Boyles

6-8 Implementing a Comprehensive Literacy Framework

Module One 
Overview of a Comprehensive Literacy Framework and Literacy Assessment System (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 6-8 ELA educators, this module identifies the critical components of a comprehensive literacy system, focuses on the unique instructional needs of the learner as related to literacy acquisition, explores setting the context for learning through instructional approaches that meet the needs of the learner, and provides the purposes and types of literacy assessments that when used appropriately will guide instructional decisions. 
 
Module Two 
Word Study:  Orthography, Morphology, and Vocabulary Instruction (2 days) 
Designed specifically for Grades 6-8 ELA educators, this module focuses on a systematic, engaging approach aimed at developing learners’ understandings of how words work and developing vocabulary knowledge through speaking, reading, and writing. Students are guided towards making discoveries about word relationships and generalizing their understandings in order to read, spell, and write more efficiently. 
 
 Required Text: Vocabulary Their Way Second Edition by Templeton, et al.
 

Disciplinary Literacy

Science
Short Title: Leveraging Literacy in Science (one day)
This module is important for science educators at the 4-5 and 6-8 grade levels, as these teachers prepare students to meet the expectations of the NGSS and the state Frameworks.
Extensive research establishes the need for college and career ready students to be proficient in reading and writing complex informational text independently in a variety of content areas. Many of the skills that are evident in strong readers and writers are also core skills in the study of science: predicting, understanding cause and effect, acquiring a rich vocabulary, building background knowledge, and developing the ability to read and write informational texts. This training module addresses effective literacy strategies for learning science and provides educators with opportunity to make connections among the NGSS, Frameworks, and CCSS in order to create instructional plans that incorporate the leverage literacy affords to science students. 
 

Websites

The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, Put Reading First, is a summary of the findings from the 2000 National Reading Panel Report.  The five areas of reading instruction, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension are defined, reviews the evidence from research, offers suggestions of classroom instruction implications, and describes proven strategies for teaching reading skills. 
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