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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vocabulary in Informational Text

Every morning, before I crawl out of bed, I consider challenges that await me in my classroom. Today, for some reason, vocabulary was on my mind. How can I encourage my students to pay attention to new vocabulary in informational text?

Kids must learn vocabulary associated with so many subjects each day. For example, in math, we're using words like factor, product, dividend, divisor, and quotient. Today's geology lesson requires them to discriminate between humus, silt, clay, and sand. Social studies vocabulary of the day includes marsh, moraine, till, and cavern. If you're a teacher, you'll understand that's just the tip of the iceberg!

I want my students to be detectives as they read informational text, looking for clues to vocabulary meaning in visual aids, definitions, appositional phrases, context clues, word parts, and glossaries. My newest tool can be found below. I'll be trying it out in my classroom today. Feel free to snatch it so your students, too, can become great deTEXTives!

P.S. This addresses Standard 4 for Reading: Informational Text in the Common Core State Standards.