One of the most important aspects of language and literacy learning is building an extensive meaning vocabulary.
Research shows that the most effective way for students to develop this kind of extensive vocabulary involves activating prior knowledge, using context clues strategies, and analyzing roots and other word parts to unlock word meanings. This is the foundation of Word Wisdom.
Teaching word-learning strategies instead of memorizing definitions results in greater word knowledge over time and improves reading fluency and comprehension.
The words in each unit are thematically linked to help students build strong meaning relationships among the words.1
The words are Tier Two academic words, selected based on word frequency studies. Tier Two words should be the focus of instruction because they are unlikely to be learned independently through conversation and appear frequently in written text across many subjects.2
Why Do Students Need Explicit Vocabulary Instruction?
Research has consistently shown a strong relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension.3
The English language is extremely complex and large, and it continues to change. Students encounter more than 180,000 word families in Grades 3–9.4
Regular, direct teaching keeps students focused on the importance of learning words and gives them the tools to unlock word meanings in their reading.
Rasinski, T., & Zutell, J. (2010). Essential strategies for word study: Effective methods for improving decoding, spelling, and vocabulary. New York, NY: Scholastic.
Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2013). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction, 2nd ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Ouellette, G. P. (2006). What’s reading got to do with it? The role of vocabulary in word reading and reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(3), 554–566.
Anderson, R., & Nagy, W. (1992). The vocabulary conundrum. American Educator, 16(4), 14–18, 44–47.